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Re: [Phys-l] Lecture vs Advocacy

Oh come on John...its great just having one data can pick whatever slope you would like to have. :-)


Joseph J. Bellina, Jr. Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556

On Jun 1, 2008, at 12:24 AM, John Clement wrote:

Actually this is an example of where the audience (Brian) already is on the
same page as the lecturer, so the lecture conveys meaning in a dramatic
fashion. I doubt that it riveted many other listeners, or even conveyed
much meaning to a large number of listeners. One reason the standard
lecture does not generally work because the audience is not in tune with
what is being said because they do not have the same frame of reference.
And notice that the research shows that the standard lecture does not
improve conceptual understanding, or change paradigms as much as interactive
engagement. One can be entertained and riveted without learning much.

Also please note this is anecdotal and NOT evidence. To find out the effect
of this particular lecture one needs to add many more data points. One data
point is not sufficient to draw a firm conclusion. Indeed people easily are
fooled by seeing one piece of data, and by drawing conclusions from it.
This is how misconceptions arise easily.

John M. Clement
Houston, Tx

Hi all-
I interpret this as confirming my experience in the world of the
theater; there are many would-be actors, but very few become popular with
their audiences.
But there are few actors who do not have a litany of self-serving
reasons for their lack of popularity.
On Sun, 4 May 2008, Brian Whatcott wrote:

I was driving a trailer to a horse show yesterday. NPR was tuned;
Click And Clack had finished and a comedian's talk show was running.
Feldman is not a particular enthusiasm of mine.
But he does invite an eclectic variety of guests to interview.

I was not paying much attention. The guest mentioned Faraday.
I have his experimental researches. Then my attention was quickly
The guest - Johnson - mentioned a gas lantern with a polarizer placed
before a big electromagnet.

Faraday looked through another polarizer - as it might be, a pair
of sunglasses,
as Johnson put it, to extinguish the lantern's light. When he
switched on the
electromagnet, the lantern reappeared. I knew about that. You knew about
effect too - the rotation of the polarization plane of light by a

Johnson was talking about his book - Ten Beautiful Experiments - and I
shocked how powerfully this commentary differed from my received opinion
about the inadequacy of the lecture method.
As far as I can tell, lectures do not generally convey enthusiasm,
and pleasure: but advocates overcome our barriers with just these

Brian Whatcott Altus OK Eureka!

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