Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?
Abstract: 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. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom.
Biography: Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Chair of Applied Physics. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University. Mazur founded several companies and plays an active role in industry. He is Past President of the Optical Society. Mazur obtained his PhD at the University of Leiden before joining the faculty at Harvard University. Mazur holds Honorary Doctorates from the ?cole Polytechnique and the University of Montreal and from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. He is Fellow of the Optical Society of America and Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands and a Member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. He founded several successful companies, including SiOnyx, a company that is commercializing black silicon, a new form of silicon developed in Mazur's laboratory.
Eric Mazur，哈佛大学物理与应用物理学教授，兼任哈佛大学工程与应用科学学院（School of Engineering and Applied Sciences）应用物理系主任，美国光学学会前主席，著名高等教育专家。为在课堂教学中提高学生的注意力，保持学生对教学活动的参与度，他于1991年提出了同伴教学法（Peer Instruction），成为翻转课堂（Flipped Classroom）教学模式的一种有效实践。