Tertiary Education LO29534

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/20/02

Replying to LO29503 --

Dear Organlearners,

Alan Cotterell <acotrel@cnl.com.au> writes:

>The first time I taught Labour Management at Dookie
>Agricultural College, I had a class of only four students.
>I was able to use my discussion papers effectively to
>promote a good level of participation.
>The second time I taught this subject I had fifteen students,
>and getting a reasonable level of participation was much
>more difficult. I believe this was due to peer group pressure.

Greetings dear Alan,

I began teaching as a high school teacher in Physical Science. Since they
are a rare species, i had to teach classes of between 30 and 40 pupils. I
did not mind teaching such huge classes, but what drove me up the wall is
that i had only 35 minutes to do so. It is impossible to make contact with
every learner in such a short time. This continued for four years.

I then taught for the next four years teachers an advanced course in
Physical Science. They were between 5 and 10 students per class. It was
like heaven, knowing exactly what goes on in the mind of every teacher,
helping them to learn and also to teach later what they were learning.

Afterwards i became a senior lecturer in chemistry at the university where
i am still employed. The classes had between 200 and 250 students. What a
shock. It was impossible to have contact with students on an individual
basis during lectures. I invited them to come to my office for such
contact, but less than 10% made use of it.

As for myself, i can harmonise individual learning and organisational
learning up to about 15 learners per class. A number less that 10 leaners
per class is a waste of resources and a number more than 20 learners is a
crime. 200 students per class is sheer madness making tertiary education a

>One subject I adressed in the classes was 'taking control
>of our own lives' (personal sovereignty), however some
>of the students still didn't understand the necessity of
>determining their own futures.

This "self-organisation" was also very dear to me. I quickly identified
the "self-organisers" in a class and used them as examples for the other
students, asking them how they did this and that. Some of them did not
like it and i had to leave them aside quickly. But the rest helped other
students to get going.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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