Sitting through lectures has always been a particularly boring event for me personally throughout my learning life . I am the type of person who needs to get into the focus of doing the learning hands on . I have come to understand that this is my learning style . I have underestimated the value in this process however in reading Brookfield’s study on creative lecturing . The one single sentence that stood out to me in the sixth chapter of his book ” The Skillful Teacher ” was, ” A liberating Instructor will Illuminate reality “even” if he or she lectures “. I thought about this and I got the sense that the wording in this sentence assisted in demoting a lecture into a lower level of education that was seen in the eyes of learning as necessary but experienced as mind-numbing verbal diarrhea. Brookfield helps the reader understand that nothing could be further from the truth in this apparent stronghold that may be prevalent within the mind-set of many students before they come to class . I have sat through lectures where I believe the creativity was missing in the lecture itself and as I read through this chapter , I became interested in how to create an atmosphere of learning that would see discussion and lecture events come together symbiotically . I believe that when these two learning events take place in the classroom , the room is will come alive with critical thought provoking dialogue which can be skillfully moderated by the Instructor .
I believe that lectures must begin as an introduction to establish the broad outline of a body of material needed for the learning goals of the Instructor and student alike. This does not need to be a boring process however and the creative aspects of this activity will allow the students to become motivated in the over-all lecture/ discussion process itself . This will enable and ensure that an Instructor can introduce alternative perspectives , model intellectual attitudes and behaviours and further encourage student interest in a topic .
Characteristics of a creative lecture are found and best supported for learning by a variety of teaching and communication processes , modelling the learning behaviours expected in the program and most importantly , clearly organizing the lecture/ discussion so students can follow the thread of the lecturers thoughts . This will allow for critical thinking and a discussion/ question time that would allow for feedback from the Instructor .
One lecturing activity called “spatial separation “for instance can show the same facts , skills , or content can be interpreted in different ways . The challenge for the Instructor I see here, is to not only plan and moderate the lecture/discussion , but allow himself to understand the need to implement creative or different ways to engage with his students in the lecture process. Other creative ways an Instructor can use to engage with students is to :
Break learners into well-paced 10 to 15 minute segments of time that deal with separate ideas or concepts .
Using clickers or other classroom response systems to ensure a response from the students to questions or statements given on material covered within the lesson plan .
Using social media . I belong to a group within a social media medium that allows for questions and answers to problems within the group . This is a wonderful way for students to get help and answer questions on the standards , codes and specifications within the course I want to teach.
The whole process of lecturing will of course play into a heavy emphasis on the students comprehension and ability to follow the lecturers train of thought . The foundation laid out here is in the sound planning and organization of the lecture/discussion itself . Brookfield helps us in his book to understand how this can be done in a couple of ways . He suggests that handouts are a good way to help students prepare in taking scaffolding notes that follow along with the lecturers progress . Brookfield also suggests that giving clear verbal signs is a way for students to comprehend an important point is being made or a major change in direction will be initiated .
Modelling learning behaviours allows for the Instructor to draw the students into the behavioral attitudes expected of them in the course of subsequent discussions , team presentations , and homework assignments . Brookfield helps us to create this atmosphere himself by suggesting four opportunities to model desired learning behaviours .
Begin or start every lecture with a question that allows for critical reflection in the answer that you are trying to satisfy.
End every lecture with questions that the lecture/discussion itself has raised or left unanswered .
Deliberately introduce alternative perspectives . * Note – In my opinion , this behaviour in and of itself would not work well within a curriculum where strict standards are taught (in my profession) that require an adherence to .
Introduce periods of assumption hunting . *Note- because the course I teach is strict in its standards within , I would like to replace the word “assumption” with the word “facts” . This will allow students to look for the facts when they are not familiar in any process or come to their own conclusions on a particular process to use within a job assignment .