FEd August 1995 Newsletter - Stan Jones Responds

August 1995



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Stan Jones responds:

I am pleased that my editorial prompted letters from the membership.

To specifically reply to Drs. Cottle and Kaplan, let me first observe that they are doing -- or suggesting -- exactly what I urged: explore the reasons why students don't learn, and then develop strategies to overcome these barriers. That is teaching.

It is not solely our job to make the students learn, but it is not entirely their job, either. It is a shared responsibility, and the more we know about how students learn, the better we can succeed at our part of the job. I would include as part of "our share" of this responsibility the work that Paul Cottle is doing, namely to consider strategies to encourage students to work more outside class.

To address his work more specifically, it occurs to me that the primary motivation behind my own studying in freshman physics was the homework assignment that was collected and graded each week. I have started to do this in my calculus-based physics class, allowing groups to hand in a single set. I wonder how many universities still collect and grade homework. Remedial (non- credit) work as proposed by Kaplan for under-prepared students is also an option, one that is already used on many campuses, including my own.

Stan Jones
The University of Alabama