The SCALE-UP Project: A Teaching Revolution From the South
Have you heard of the work of Robert Beichner? This educator and physics professor at North Carolina State University is in the process of revolutionizing how we teach. This article explores the “Active Learning and 21st Century Classroom” movement launched by Beichner. A course inspired by Beichner’s SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) project is based on a socio-constructivist concept of learning, and relies on a collaborative approach in which interaction and cooperation play a sizeable role. All of this inspired Beichner to make significant changes to the classroom layout. The article discusses these changes in detail, as well as the SCALE-UP teaching philosophy, in particular the way in which teams are formed. For more than ten years now, Beichner and his team have been working on the SCALE-UP approach, measuring and analyzing outcomes in order to assess its efficacy. Early indications are extremely promising. The article also offers an overview of the adjustments made to SCALE-UP in Quebec colleges.
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