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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 6 (2004) pp 389-392

Excuse Me, But Did I Just Passively Learn about Active Learning?

Don DeCoste

Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61821,

Published online: 11 November 2004

Abstract. The “stand-and-deliver” lecture method has taken its share of criticism in the past couple of decades. The teacher as the “sage on the stage” is being replaced by facilitators, mentors, and coaches. Ideas such as active learning are used to make the classroom more student-centered and promises are being made that this will increase the achievement level of the students. In this paper I will argue that the lecture (even a noninteractive lecture) still serves a purpose in the overall educational experience of our students. Indeed, I will make the claim that a purposeful lecture is a crucial part of what is truly an active-learning experience.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; general chemistry; first-year chemistry; introductory chemistry; ICUC

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Issue date: December 1, 2004

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