The founder of the block teaching model says Victoria U is a “true inspiration”
David Helfand pioneered the block teaching model, where students take single units and study intensively with an academic for a month, but he has seen nothing like the way Victoria U has rolled it for first year in quick time, with the rest of the university to follow.
“It has been a true inspiration and a matter of complete wonderment to me that this institution has managed in the space of eight months to transform the education of 4500 students and is now eight months later doing it for the other 10 000 or 15 000. You have already by far a block programme with more students than all the other universities in the world combined that have block systems,” he told a VU audience earlier this month.
Professor Helfand introduced block teaching at Canadian private provider Quest U, which he led on leave from Columbia U. He argues, “we need to blow up universities and start again such that we can produce graduates worthy of the name,” and that the block-model is the way to do it.
“It is radically past the time when we need to completely re-think the role of the faculty member, the situation of the student and the purpose of education – opening their minds and leading them forth to a lifetime of learning so we have a chance of producing graduates that are going to be effective and have an impact on the world and are going 20 years from now to be happy and productive members of society.”