Monday, August 8, 2011

Eric Mazur on Teaching


In 1991, Mazur began designing an instructional strategy for teaching called peer instruction. In 1997, he published a book called Peer Instruction: A User's Manual which provides details on this strategy.

Peer Instruction (PI) has been found to be more beneficial than class-wide discussion or lecture. In fact, according to an article in the March/April 2009 edition of Complexity, over 90% of instructors who have tried PI plan to continue to use it and incorporate it more into teaching.[1] The seating arrangement plays an important role in the outcome of this method. For example, when low-performing students are seated in the front, their chance to do better increases. Meanwhile, the results of high-performing students who are seated in the back are not affected. In addition, when high-performing students are seated in the outer four corners of the classroom, the performance of the class as a whole increases.

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