I just started reading Derek Bokâ€™s Our Underachieving Colleges. Early on, Bok argues that academics either don’t know about or don’t apply the research findings on pedagogy. They don’t really assess the effectiveness of their teaching methods, or experiment much with alternative approaches, assuming instead that “the tried and true” must work.
Throughout undergraduate education, a great wall separates the world of research from the world of practice–even though the practitioners involved are professors, trained in research, who would seem ideally prepared to take full advantage of whatever findings empirical investigators have to offer.
This is exactly the point Carl Wiemer was making.
After three chapters, Bok has introduced a proliferation of questions but no answers, and yet I’m getting a richer sense of the issues. It reminds me of Postman & Weingartner‘s discussion of the inquiry method of teaching, something I will be trying in the upcoming semester.
If the rest of the book is as thought-provoking, I expect I’ll be posting again on it.