Sunday, 3 July 2011

Educational Crack Cocaine

Yesterday I gave two back-to-back lectures on my favorite topic, cardiac electrical activity and the genesis of the electrocardiogram.  During the lecture the students are extremely attentive and I face a sea of bright receptive faces.  Partly because I was teaching for two hours and partly because English is not the student’s first language, I built in frequent breaks where I invited the students to discuss in Nepali what I had just taught.  I often given students in Canada time to reflect on a difficult topics during my lectures, but here the second I make the offer “Nepali bolnus” the students virtually thrown themselves into discussion.  Drawings are pored over, rapid-fire gestures are made, differences in understanding are vigorously debated and the energy level is palpable.  It’s like a fire hose of clarification for the students.   For me, it’s educational crack cocaine.


  1. So interesting to see how you are adapting your teaching style to deal with language, culture and resources.

    I had a " Nepali bolnus" experience with a group of international students who came to McGill for short-term training -- some of whom spoke English and some who didn't. They initiated a "re-cap" session after each lecture where those who understood English summarized what had been presented and then they all looked at its applicability. An effective way to review and evaluate course content in their context.

  2. That sounds like a great learning experience for the international students. TIme to synthesize and also find personal relevance.