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Much debate has generated over the issue of Spoon-Feeding. What is spoon-feeding? Are we spoon-feeding our students? Do they expect us to do so? Is spoon-feeding necessarily harmful? Can we break away from it? These are some of the issues discussed at the CDTL workshop on spoon-feeding held on 30 October 1999. In this issue of CDTL Brief, we present several viewpoints on this topic and the concerns raised at the workshop.

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May 2000, Vol. 3 No. 2 Print Ready ArticlePrint-Ready
Professor K.P. Mohanan
Department of English Language & Literature/
Deputy Director, CDTL
What is spoon-feeding? It might be useful to begin with dictionary definitions of spoon-feeding as the first step towards an answer. Continue reading

Spoon-Feeding in ‘Do’ Disciplines
Associate Professor W.A.M. Alwis
Department of Civil Engineering
‘Do’ disciplines are those in which the main interest is in succeeding in and/or completing physical tasks. Examples are engineering, medicine and dentistry. Other activities such as driving motor vehicles, playing musical instruments and operating machines also fall into this category. Continue reading

Spoon-Feeding in Higher Education
Associate Professor Rethy K. Chhem
Department of Diagnostic Radiology
Many educational situations can be defined as ‘spoon-feeding’ and it occurs most commonly in traditional lectures, small-group teaching sessions or seminars when the teacher deliberately provides the answers to students’ questions, etc. In short, ‘spoon-feeding’ is the situation where the teacher acts as a knowledge dispenser for passive students. The teaching here is centred on the teacher at the expense of the students’ learning process. Continue reading

Avoiding Spoon-Feeding: The Creative Teaching of Geography
Assistant Professor T.C. Chang
Department of Geography
The discipline of Geography lends itself very ably to the training of student creativity and imagination. As a discipline which relies much on participant observation and fieldwork, students and researchers in Geography are always encouraged to hunt for answers of their own and collect data out in the ‘field’. Continue reading

Issues Discussed at the Q-&-A Session
(at the 30 October 1999 CDTL Workshop)
Spoon-feeding is not necessarily bad. In terms of skill acquisition, there is a need to go through the hard work and routine before one advances to a higher level. Continue reading