Where learning starts? A framework for thinking about lectures in university mathematics

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Lectures have been widely criticized as a method of teaching, but remain a standard component of most university mathematics courses. Does this necessarily harm students' education? This critical review contends that many arguments against lecturing are misconceived, at least when applied to mathematics. The effectiveness of lectures in carrying out various functions is discussed with reference to some recent educational research. There is evidence that lectures can be effective in communicating information, modelling reasoning and motivating students. Therefore, when supported appropriately by other activities, lectures provide an effective component of a mathematical education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-623
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • lectures
  • motivation
  • modelling
  • comunication
  • reflective practice
  • worked examples
  • higher education
  • mathematics

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