Rethinking The Academy:

What Traditional Pedagogy Looks Like

At the current time, the traditional classroom appears very healthy. Teachers across the country are meeting with students in a face-to-face situation, are handing out syllabi and assignment descriptions directly to students, and are collecting assignments and tests from them in their classrooms.

Because the traditional classroom is so normative, teachers in such classrooms are very much left to their own devices, not having to justify their pedagogical practices, or to explore new ways of teaching. They can continue lecturing to large groups of students in even larger lecture halls, or can lead discussions in smaller classrooms.

There are, of course, a number of pedagogies that exist in the traditional classroom; it is (as I have mentioned elsewhere in this piece) possible for us to be radical teachers even in a traditional classroom; however, the tendency is for such classrooms to support more teacher-centered pedagogies in which teachers disseminate information to the students rather than guide the students in the creation of knowledge.

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Last Modified: August 2, 1996

Copyright 1996 by Keith Dorwick