A lesson from physics: Even lucid lectures on abstractions don’t work
I used Arnold Arons’ work a lot when I did my dissertation, so I particularly liked this quote from a recent Richard Hake post. There are direct implications for us in CS, where just about everything (from FOR loops to linked lists) are abstract ideas. Lectures, even lucid ones on these topics, don’t work for most students.
“I point to the following unwelcome truth: much as we might dislike the implications, research is showing that didactic exposition of abstract ideas and lines of reasoning (however engaging and lucid we might try to make them) to passive listeners yields pathetically thin results in learning and understanding – except in the very small percentage of students who are specially gifted in the field.”
Arnold Arons (1997)
REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <
> and accessed on 06 March 2012.] Arons, A.B. 1997. “Teaching Introductory
Physics,” p. 362. Wiley, publisher’s information at <
>. Amazon.com information at <
>, note the searchable ”Look Inside” feature.