Home » Courses » Urban Studies and Planning » Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education » This Course at MIT » Teaching Students with Strong Science and Math Backgrounds
In this section, Prof. Klopfer describes some of the advantages and challenges of teaching an education class for students with strong backgrounds in science and math. Next, he shares some of the key points in this area that he explicitly discusses with his students in class.
MIT students typically have very strong backgrounds in science and math, and students in this course are no exception. In this video, Professor Eric Klopfer describes how the students' backgrounds and personal educational experiences present both advantages and challenges as the students learn about education.
During the first week of class, I explicitly talks with my students about some of the unusual challenges that they, as MIT students, face in this course. As discussed in the Course Overview and Rationale, the key challenges the class discusses are the following:
As a result, these courses are designed to provide students with maximum exposure to different teaching and learning styles, and provide them with encouragement and support as they pursue their interests in teaching. The course emphasizes the benefits of a constructivist approach, and the merits of hands-on, project-based, collaborative work. All too many traditional education courses lecture to the students about the virtues of such hands-on constructivist approaches. Instead this course, in turn, takes a hands-on constructivist approach so that students may experience these methods while they learn about them. This approach sometimes confuses students who are not used to such methods. The second semester explicitly addresses these issues, and students consistently demonstrate understanding of this material in their own practice teaching.