In our latest blog series International Development Professor Jean-Paul Faguet wants to know your thoughts on the subject of “Should lecture notes be circulated in advance?”

JPFaguetDevManagement-300x159Every year my MSc Development Management students ask for lecture notes to be circulated in advance. Every year I decline, waving my hands and invoking vague dangers.

This year’s group – a particularly energetic bunch – have prompted me to think more carefully. Rather than put my foot down, or give in meekly to stem the complaints, it seems a better idea to discuss the issues openly. Hence we will honour their request for the next couple of months, on condition that students join my colleagues and me in a debate of the underlying issues.

These issues are not just about note-taking, or when students receive lecture slides, but rather questions that are both deeper and broader about the nature of knowledge and the process of learning.

Such issues are likely to be interesting well beyond one programme, or even one department. The blog seems like a good forum in which to collect ideas and thrash them out. Not least because my own thoughts on the matter are rather fuzzy. I’d like to work out exactly what it is I find objectionable. I’m prepared to accept that it may be middle-aged grumpiness on my part, and open to being convinced I’m wrong.

I hope students, colleagues, and alumni will post their views here. Contributions from people with research expertise in pedagogy would be particularly welcome. It would be even better if the winning argument came from students.

LSE students attending a lecture

Should they have had their lecture notes in advance?