Educational Philosophy, Concepts, Methods, and Skills in Teaching 13 Providing information. A lecture condenses information and can be used to introduce the discussion that will follow. Often, this kind of brief lecture takes place when the class is about to focus on a new topic. Organizing and integrating knowledge. Lectures supplement students’ own efforts to organize and solidify knowledge that they have gained through self-reflection and discussion. Placing the many bits and pieces of what students have been reading, dis- cussing, and experiencing into a systematic framework through a more struc- tured lecture format can aid in the students’ own efforts to integrate diverse content and perspectives. A brief lecture at the end of a unit of study, going beyond mere summarization, can weave together the various strands of a prac- tice-oriented discussion. This connects the students to practice concepts and principles that were previously identified and examined, or introduce new ones to be examined in greater depth in the next academic unit. Interpreting and illuminating knowledge. Often, there is a need to clarify con- fusion and contradictions that appear in the readings, such as shifting defini- tions of professional roles and ethical responsibilities or client stressors/needs. Occasional spontaneous lectures that reveal where instructors stand on a par- ticular issue model for students how they can share their opinions in a way that is respectful but also invites feedback and differing points of views. We frequently share our own viewpoints, but we clarify that our students need not agree with them, and we encourage them to provide us with feedback, particu- larly sharing views that differ from ours. Engaging students in lectures. Despite the necessity of lectures to comple- ment discussion, instructors run the risk of losing students to boredom and their inability to grasp more abstract and nuanced material. The following seven strategies decrease the likelihood that lectures fall flat and increase the likelihood that students will engage with the material: 1. Inform students in advance about what will be covered. 2. Provide—or ask students to provide—concrete examples that illustrate the concepts being presented. 3. Emphasize the main points through repetition and voice modulation. 4. Use visual aids like Microsoft PowerPoint or a blackboard or whiteboard to illustrate important concepts. 5. Make eye contact, invite students’ questions, and reach for nonverbal signals of confusion, boredom, or both. 6. Share practice experiences to personalize the presentation. 7. Use humor. A word about humor: both of us use humor often and quite intentionally in our teaching. Humor can break routine, provide a relaxing moment, mobilize
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