Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

It depends

We can criticize the model used for teaching at Universities and conclude it is inadequate to face today’s challenges, but how much it depends on the University?

People criticize the ”lecture model” and endorse the empowerment of learning back to students. I find those words compelling, but have they any practical meaning?

You may think I endorse lectures as they are for decades, but I honestly think that focusing our criticism of teaching and how Professors give their lectures misses the problem.

It depends on Professors to keep improving their explanations, including state-of-art research and knowledge to keep students updated on scientific and technological developments. However, maybe the problem with learning is not mainly in Professors, but students.

Every time I propose a new way of thinking, students resist. Every time I propose a new methodology, which research shows learning improvements, students resist. We may change the way the lecture is given, but if students don’t change the way they receive it, we miss the problem.

The problem is synchronicity. It’s not enough to empower students at the University if such empowerment is not part of their learning culture. We should synchronize improving teaching with improving learning. Unless we dedicate time to explore and experience the value of empowerment in the very act of learning, the effort becomes pointless.

Improving how we teach is intrinsically dependent on improving how students learn.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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