Imagine you have the opportunity to observe two professors as they start teaching a unit on engine operating principles. Professor X comes into the classroom and says, "Today I'm going to teach you about the internal combustion engine. The internal combustion engine generates power by utilizing the force created by burning a fuel and air mixture. This force is confined to a cylinder. The expanding gasses force the piston downward in the cylinder and turn a crank that powers the drive train." Professor X continues to give an explanation in this manner for the rest of the class period.

In a neighboring college. Professor Y drives a small gasoline powered garden tractor into the classroom as the period begins. The tractor engine is obviously not hitting on every cycle and is emitting a dark blue smoke from the exhaust pipe. The professor turns off the engine and gets off the tractor as class begins. Professor Y begins class in this manner. "This is my neighbor's tractor and the engine obviously needs some attention. Our job will be to identify the problems in each of the four systems of this type of internal combustion engine and repair the engine. After we complete this process, we will develop a routine maintenance list for my neighbor to use to help avoid future down-time. Let's begin today by studying this type of engine and try to understand the four systems that work together to make it run." Professor Y then asks what are the systems within the engine that work together to produce needed power. He records student discussion about the systems of the internal combustion engine on the chalk board and discusses each for the remainder of the period.



student motivation, effective teaching

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