Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adapting teaching to student needs

In Bangalore recently it was nice to meet Shobhana Narasimhan. Following discussions about the challenge of teaching science in the developing world she sent me an interesting and helpful paper she wrote Training the Future Scientist: Making the Transition from 'Knowledge’ to 'Synthesis’.
After describing the context of Indian education [which utilises copious amounts of rote learning], she reviews Bloom's taxonomy of learning objectives [knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation, synthesis], and then discusses specific initiatives she has taken when teaching Introductory and Advanced Condensed Matter Physics to graduate students.

Although geared to the Indian context many of the ideas are relevant and adaptable to other contexts. The paper showcases the importance of establishing where students are at, what their needs are, and adapting our teaching accordingly.

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