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Eric Mazur: Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?

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Uploaded on Jan 7, 2011

Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses - instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important - and most elusive - aspect of education. Mazur shows how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom.

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