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PanhandlegalPanhandlegal Registered User Posts: 574 Member
edited February 2008 in Parents Forum
Curious what a recitation class is. My friend's daughter has math and foreign language recitation once a week in addition to the regular classes. Is it for review only? Is this unique to LACs? Not familiar with the term. Believe she mentioned this was the only time a TA teaches at this particular school.
Post edited by Panhandlegal on

Replies to: Recitations??

  • Student615Student615 Registered User Posts: 1,885 Senior Member
    From http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060726080531AAGFtJL (to be taken, of course, with some salt):
    Basically, recitation classes are for courses with a large class size or complicated material (like math or science). Usually these classes will have 1 professor and several student teachers. The professor will teach the large class (also called the Lecture) and cover new material. The student teachers will teach the recitation classes and go over the week's material in more detail. Because there is often a lot of material to cover in the large class, there isn't a lot of time to go over specifics or answer questions. The recitation class gives you the opportunity to address any questions or issues in a smaller classroom environment. Also, quizzes and homework are frequently given &/or collected during the recitation class.

    I was going to say that this description is right in line with what I know firsthand, but it appears that this author gets her info from the same source I get the bulk of mine (Rutgers). Still, safe to assume that the idea is the same. It's a supplement to lectures (might be a chance for discussion, homework questions, deeper exploration of select material, conversation practice in a language, etc.).

    Recitations are definitely not unique to LAC's. In fact, I've never heard of them, at least not by this term, at a LAC...only at larger universities, which rely more heavily on grad student TA's. Still, no reason a LAC couldn't have undergrad TA's (or some sort of visiting fellows) running problems sessions and conversation groups...
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,977 Senior Member
    Recitations = sections.

    Same thing, different name.

    I think Princeton uses the term recitation.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Calculus sequences at my college have required or optional tutorial sessions, which are extra sessions to work on homework and get questions answered. They are led by the class TAs.

    Many languages have lector sessions, which are small-group conversation hours that meet weekly. These are required at my college.

    Classes here are pretty small to begin with. Calculus usually has 18-25 students, and language classes are kept under 18 students. My language class has 6 students, and my lector session has 4 (though they're different students than in my normal class; lector sessions are a mix of students from all sections). Lector sessions are led by grad students in that language. The purpose of the extra sessions is different than the purpose of normal class time.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,734 Senior Member
    Back when I took language classes in college - there were no lectures. There were multiple sections of the course with no more than 15 students or so. Teachers varied from TAs to professors. They also usually met daily or close to daily. I think my German class met M-Th.
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    I think Princeton uses the term recitation.

    Princeton actually uses the term 'preceptorial', or 'precept' for short.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,483 Senior Member
    Same as a discussion- small group often with a TA to discuss the material, go over problems assigned in math/science courses, take quizzes, etc. As opposed to the lecture where the professor gives the material to be covered on exams, the TA may clarify points, give help...
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    Recitations/sections/preceptorials can take different forms.
    In language classes, they can be drill and practice. In some classes, they can cover questions that were raised in lecture but which would benefit from further elaboration. This happens in both science and in social science or humanities classes. In the humanities or social sciences, sections can involve discussion of readings. In many cases, study questions are posted ahead of the sections as guides for doing the readings. At Harvard, many classes meet 2 or 3 times a week for lecture and once a week for section.
  • Beil1958Beil1958 Registered User Posts: 658 Member
    Are classes with recitations worth more credits? I'm thinking of a science class with a lab is often 4 credit hours rather than the traditional 3 hours.
  • ericatbucknellericatbucknell Registered User Posts: 758 Member
    just to show how much things can vary, some of the intro mathematics recitations (t or r) at my liberal arts college were actually LARGER than the classes (m w f) themselves. professors who taught calc1 through calc3 often taught two sections, which were combined for recitation. the typical things were done, however; quizzes, tests, review, occasionally new material if there had been a cancelled class, et cetera.
  • originaloogoriginaloog Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    marite as usual is spot on. Most of my intro classes at Ohio State were of the lecture/recitation variety. Lecture sections were large and met 2 or 3 times per week, with small recitation sections usually meeting twice per week.

    The recitation sections were a time when students could discuss the previous lecture, ask questions about assignments and expand upon material covered in the lectures. Lectures were taught by professors while recitations were led by TA's.

    I found the lecture/recitation classes to be quite good. It maximized the professor's time with us while offering us ample opportunity to get our questions and discuss areas related to the lecture material. In most cases it also increased the in-class time vs lecture and seminar style courses.
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    MIT also uses the term recitation. There are three kinds of class hours at MIT: lecture, lab, and recitation. The recitation leader is often, not always, a teaching assistant. Some courses don't have recitation sections--mostly it was for the big lectures.
  • smdur1970smdur1970 Registered User Posts: 887 Member
    In the late 60's I had recitations for selected classes at the Univ of Rochester. I mostly remember them for poli sci or the like--small groups led by a TA and usually covering whatever he or she wanted to talk about.
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