By Keerthana Vinod
Students learn in different ways. Some take notes, others prefer discussion, and still others like to sleep during the entirety of class. Regardless of how you prefer to learn, we’ve all probably encountered or heard about the lecture format. If you haven’t, here’s a basic definition: a teacher stands at the front of a classroom and talks about a subject for a certain amount of time. Pretty simple right? Well, yes and no. Though lectures can be a great tool for teachers, they can also be detriment to the students’ learning. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of teaching STEM classes using lectures.
As I mentioned before, lectures are very simple and straightforward in nature. This means that teachers can have immense control over what is taught in the classroom to avoid confusion among the students. For many STEM classes, this can be useful as STEM courses are mainly logic-based and don’t require much discussion. In addition, lectures can be extremely efficient. If planned correctly, teachers can present information in a timely manner to a large group while still following a set schedule. Finally, lectures can be pre-recorded and reused. These lecture videos allow for virtual learning as well as an easy way to catch students up on late work.
Though there are many pros in teaching in a lecture format, there are equally as many cons. Though it may be convenient for teachers to give lectures, it is very taxing on students. In order to learn during a lecture, a student must be able to take good notes. Though note-taking sounds straightforward, it’s much harder than it seems. Oftentimes, students miss what the main idea of the lecture is. This can be extremely detrimental in STEM courses. Subjects like science and math can be very complicated, so if students aren’t able to grasp important ideas early on, it can be very difficult for them to learn even trickier subjects in that field later. In addition, lectures are not very engaging and lack attention to individual needs. Because it is mainly the teacher doing the talking, students aren’t able to pitch in their ideas or have discussions that may help them learn the subject at hand. Because of this absence of personal connection in the students, they aren’t inclined to learn or have difficulty learning about the topic. This lack of interest can be very harmful to STEM fields because it causes young people to lose motivation to pursue STEM careers, causing an even greater shortage of workers in these areas.
The lecture format has many pros and cons. They can be a great asset for teachers to get ideas out quickly, yet can also be a roadblock to a student’s success. Regardless of what you think about them, I think we can all agree that listening to lectures are much better than snooze through class.
Kelly, Melissa. “Learn the Pros and Cons of Lectures.” ThoughtCo, 18 November 2019,
“Lecture Method of Teaching | Advantages, Disadvantages.” The Legal Info, 9 September