Three thoughts on active learning and self-teaching — from Robert Talbert
“The teacher isn’t teaching and I’m having to teach myself the material” has three embedded misconceptions that need to be addressed.


First: Learning is a process, not an action that one person performs on another.

But in the end, an outside person cannot cause you to learn. This isn’t how learning works. Learning instead is a process that moves back and forth, sometimes focused on an instructor but other times focused on the learner or a group of learners together.

Second: Not being lectured to all the time is not the same thing as having to teach yourself.

Third: In any event, the skill of self-teaching is essential in college and needs to be developed.

But in general, we need to see — and we have work to do in communicating this to students — that self-teaching is a feature, not a bug.