Thursday, May 1, 2014

What I Learned at Cambridge (by Geoffrey Botkin)

At Cambridge University in England the professors follow a system of teaching which has produced leaders for eight centuries. Last month I visited Cambridge and two questions have haunted me since then. How does Cambridge continue this impressive tradition? Why do other universities insist on following methods that produce weak followers, and not strong leaders?

The Cambridge method of teaching is easy to describe. In a word, it’s old fashioned discipleship. The method requires time. It demands personal supervision from the professors and lecturers, who must get to know individual students. It would be easy enough for other universities to employ this method if they could allocate time and wisdom to the process. But it is easier, cheaper, and more politically correct to line up masses of students to sit in rows, silently listening to a lecturer, regurgitating course notes, than it is to teach students how to think and how to defend what they think.

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