Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Jim GIbbons

Stanford Today 1996

One of his proudest personal accomplishments at Stanford was the so-called “tutored videotape instruction” notion, which began as a way to help some Hewlett-Packard engineers take graduate courses in engineering off site, through closed-circuit television. The 27-year-old Stanford Instructional Television Network remains a vibrant source of learning and provides income for the engineering school. As Hewlett-Packard and other companies began to expand to new facilities beyond the range of the transmitter, Gibbons developed a plan to use videotapes of the lectures along with a tutor (who could stop the tape when students had questions).

Gibbons showed that this form of teaching was as valuable as live lectures ­ in some cases even superior, because students quickly learn to reason out answers together and out loud. He has worked on the idea since the 1970s and has used the technique to teach poetry, help Eskimos with drug rehabilitation and teach migrant children. Today, Gibbons’ burning passion is to bring this method of instruction to bear on the problems of juvenile offenders and other so-called “at-risk” youth. Gibbons believes this form of teaching, refined at Stanford, can be used to launch troubled teenagers down more productive paths by teaching them to manage their anger, appreciate diversity and acquire other social skills.

tutored videotape instruction to troubled teenagers
in juvenile halls

His small staff is putting the finishing touches on a video-based course on anger management that they plan to roll out in several San Francisco high schools and juvenile halls in Santa Clara County. As the Sera staff updates him on their progress, Gibbons gives them his rapt attention. Sera is trying to break into highly political and bureaucratic schools and programs, where administrators are sometimes afraid to take a chance on%2

(lost a lot here)


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