Lectures are Best

The type of labor demanded in the lecture hall — and the type of community it builds — still matters. Under an economic system that works to accelerate and divide us, institutions that carve out time and space to facilitate collectivity and reflection are needed more than ever.

– “In Defense of the Lecture” by Miya Tokumitsu in Jacobin

I love lectures. I have always loved lectures.

With the exception of labs and rehearsals, I can’t think of anything terribly useful I’ve ever learned in a non-lecture class. (Yeah, I’ve learned stuff reading books or doing projects, but that’s essentially independent study with occasional consultations and evaluations – not a class, per se.) Even with the labs, I’m stretching it, because I really just confirmed what I already knew from lectures. They were more like quizzes than classes.

Critically, I would always prefer a lecture by an expert to a small-group discussion with my peers. I mean good lord I can do that on my own time with the peers whose opinions I actually care about. And I really, really don’t want to co-homework. Really don’t.

If there isn’t somebody more knowledgeable than me telling me smart stuff, what am I doing there? What am I paying for?

There is a lot I don’t understand about current university trends. Possibly I am a stick in the mud. Hopefully somewhere nearby in the mud is a lecturer.