Why I Asked My Students to Stop Taking Notes

This article is by Deal W. Hudson, professor of Philosophy at Mercer University

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Their note-taking was getting in the way of learning. It was a substitute, a way of satisfying the requirement to attend class, but without being actually present to the class or to me, for that matter

Suddenly I realized I was the only one in class who was "into it," the other thirty souls were dutifully scribbling down what I said or whatever wisdom I could elicit from the students who dared to catch my eye.  Then I saw what was going on - a light went off in my head - my students were being dutiful, taking pages of notes, not sleeping, not staring out of the window, or at each other, just hearing words and writing them down. 

WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - Something was wrong, I could feel it. In my classroom at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, there were no empty seats, no backward baseball caps to irritate me, or tobacco chewing jocks spitting in styrofoam cups in the last row.  The assignment was to read and discuss a chapter from the great Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius.  Who can't get into the story of a man who is about to be put to death with a rope crushing his head?

Suddenly, I realized I was the only one in class who was "into it," the other thirty souls were dutifully scribbling down what I said or whatever wisdom I could elicit from the students who dared to catch my eye.  Then I saw what was going on - a light came on in my head - my students were being dutiful, taking pages of notes, not sleeping, not staring out the window or at each other, just hearing words and writing them down.

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