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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

2014-2015 Provost Lecture Series

Mick Charney

Reclaiming the Lecture: If We Tell Them, Will They Learn?

Friday, April 17, 2015
3:30 p.m.
Hemisphere Room
5th floor, Hale Library

Dr. Mick Charney
Associate Professor of Architecture
Kansas State University
2014-2015 Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Biographical Sketch

Wayne Michael "Mick" Charney is an associate professor of architecture at Kansas State University. He received both his B.Sc. and M.Arch. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University. He has been teaching some version of a large introductory architectural history survey class for nearly 37 years. A recipient of numerous teaching awards, including repeated nominations to Who's Who among America's Teachers, he was also a 2005 recipient of the Kansas State University Presidential Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. In addition to a number of published essays, his research into the scholarship of teaching and learning includes a combined total of more than 60 scholarly sessions chaired, workshops conducted, papers delivered, and posters presented at various regional, national, and international teaching and learning conferences. His other research interests include various aspects of modern architecture, especially the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright.


The time-honored lecture format, more than any other teaching format, remains the signature pedagogy of so many large introductory courses in so many disciplines just exactly because it has been the most efficient means by which to deliver foundational material. And yet, it has been roundly condemned for teaching students what to learn but not how to learn. Therein lays the rub. Indeed, so diminished is its reputation of late, that “large lecture” has become something of a meme for all that is wrong with education. Lecturers undoubtedly do face special challenges—among them, demands for pedagogical currency. However, are there instances when the large lecture course can and should be a bulwark against educational innovation. Can the large lecture be a place of respite in an otherwise dynamic academy overflowing with active learning, online learning, brain-based learning, and flipping the classroom? Is there still a place for the art of lecturing in the academy? If so, how do we reclaim it and reimagine it for a new age?