Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 22 Issue 01

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Volume 22, No. 1
Pages 234 - 237


THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM • Teaching Strategies that Hook Classroom Learners

By Robert J. Feller  and Christine R. Lotter  
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First Paragraph

It should not be a surprise to learn that most earth science/oceanography and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) faculty teach classes the same way they were taught, typically using lectures (Lortie, 1975; Mazur, 2008). If the class has a weekly laboratory, this portion of the course typically consists of confirmatory exercises (i.e., the outcome is known ahead of time, just follow the directions and you should get the answer). Don’t get us wrong—there is nothing particularly evil about good, fact-filled, solid lectures, nor are confirmatory lab exercises necessarily inappropriate ways to teach principles and concepts. It is just that using lecture and recipe-driven labs a majority of the time has been shown to result in poor student retention, less-than-adequate understanding, and an aversion on the part of the students to ask questions and think for themselves (Hammer, 1995; Bransford et al., 2000; Handelsman et al., 2004).


Feller, R.J., and C.R. Lotter. 2009. The oceanography classroom: Teaching strategies that hook classroom learners. Oceanography 22(1):234–237, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.28.

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