Teaching Today

Teaching practices today primarily center on the idea of instructors and professors using summarization as an instructional technique. In other words, professors teach by summarization.

For example, most professors at the college level present via PowerPoint and the lecture is always in bullet point. The professor summarizes the introduction, provides a summary of the body, and then summarizes the conclusion of the presentation. You rarely see a professor pick up chalk or a dry-erase marker and write on the board. They rarely place one idea in one column and another idea in another column and draw corresponding lines.

In addition, students read the course text with the hope of understanding it. Professors review the text, which is another form of summarization. Both the student and the professor learn how to review, but they don’t learn how to analyze. Analyzing the text is just as important as developing an analysis based upon the text.

English teachers also don’t teach grammar at the college level. They don’t diagram sentences linguistically. They don’t teach students to understand how each part of the sentence serves a function. They figure that you should already know grammar before coming to college.

What most people don’t understand is that when we first learned grammar, we learned it enough to know it and socialize with people outside the primary home. However, if someone asks you what a misplaced modifier is, you couldn’t explain it to yourself or to anyone else.

Teaching grammar at the college level is important to helping students revise and correct advanced sentence structures.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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