Thursday, September 17, 2015

Are College Lectures Unfair?

Taken from: Annie Murphy Paul, Gray Matter.

DOES the college lecture discriminate? Is it biased against undergraduates who are not white, male and affluent? The notion may seem absurd on its face. The lecture is an old and well-established tradition in education. To most of us, it simply is the way college courses are taught. Even online courses are largely conventional lectures uploaded to the web.

Yet a growing body of evidence suggests that the lecture is not generic or neutral, but a specific cultural form that favors some people while discriminating against others, including women, minorities and low-income and first-generation college students. This is not a matter of instructor bias; it is the lecture format itself — when used on its own without other instructional supports — that offers unfair advantages to an already privileged population. Read more...