Sunday, November 6, 2011

Getting it together

Hey everyone..

Recently I met up with some friends from undergrad and we were discussing life and times in engineering school. You have a lot of good friends. You study and learn, yes, because there are classes and homeworks and tests and exams. But a large part of my memories are of time spent with friends, little comments and jokes cracked just before an exam. I valued my friends and classmates for their friendship and their company through those times. And yet, all these years I had never credited them with teaching me everything I have learnt!

This one is a 5 minute introduction of the problem

Someone recently pointed me to a very good talk on education by Professor Eric Mazur who teaches Physics at Harvard. He spoke about the problem with the common lecture-homework-exam approach. He says that it is not the teachers alone that enable a student's learning and understanding. Real learning, be it in engineering or any other discipline (his own examples are from physics), largely happens outside the class when we do homeworks with friends, discuss problems and questions, and study for exams with others.