I cameawayfrom my years of teaching on the college and universitylevelwith a convictionthatenactment (扮演角色), performance, dramatization are the mostsuccessfulforms of teaching. Studentsmust be incorporated, made, so far as possible, an integralpart of the learningprocess. The notionthatlearningshouldhave in it an element of inspiredplaywouldseem to the greaterpart of the academicestablishmentmerelysilly, but that is nonetheless the case. Of EzekielCheever, the mostfamousschoolmaster of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, his onetimestudentCottonMatherwrotethat he so planned his lessonsthat his pupils "came to work as thoughtheycame to play," and AlfredNorthWhitehead, almostthreehundredyearslater, notedthat a teachershouldmake his/her students "gladtheywerethere."
Since, we are told, 80 to 90 percent of all instruction in the typicaluniversity is by the lecturemethod, we shouldgivecloseattention to thisform of education. There is, I think, muchtruth in PatriciaNelsonLimerick's observationthat "lecturing is an unnatural act, an act for which God did not designhumans. It is perfectly all right, now and then, for a human to be possessed by the urge to speak, and to speakwhileothersremainsilent. But to do thisregularly, one hour and 15 minutes at a time ... for one person to drag on whileothers sit in silence? ... I do not believethatthis is what the Creator ... designedhumans to do."
The strange, almostincomprehensiblefact is thatmanyprofessors, just as theyfeelobliged to writedully, believethattheyshouldlecturedully. To showenthusiasm is to riskappearingunscientific, unobjective; it is to appeal to the students' emotionsratherthantheirintellect. Thus the ideallecture is one filledwithfacts and read in an unchangedmonotone.
The cult (推崇) of lecturingdully, like the cult of writingdully, goesback, of course, someyears. EdwardShils, professor of sociology, recalls the professors he encountered at the University of Pennsylvania in his youth. Theyseemed "a priesthood, ratheruneven in theirmerits but uniform in theirbearing; theyneverreferred to anythingpersonal. Somereadfrom old lecturenotes and thenhaltinglyexplained the thumb-wornlastlines. Otherslecturedfromcardsthat had served for years, to judge by the wornedges .... The teachersbegan on time, ended on time, and left the roomwithoutsaying a wordmore to theirstudents, veryseldombeingdetained by questioners .... The classeswere not large, yet there was no discussion. No questionswereraised in class, and therewere no officehours." 【題組】30. Whoseteachingmethod is particularlycommended by the author?
(A) EzekielCheever's. (C) AlfredNorthWhitehead's.
(B) CottonMather's. (D) PatriciaNelsonLimerick's.