Like everything, the role of professoriate has been evolving in the 21st century and it will further keep on changing. Gone are the days when professors lectured large classes and students carefully listened to them while taking notes in their notebooks. Technology has brought about a major shift in how we learn. At the same time, there has been a lot of push from education researchers to implement learner-centered pedagogy in classrooms. And finally, academia has started to realize the inherent discrimination and exclusion that is propagated by the current education system and there is a need to impart education that is not only inclusive but also geared toward raising critical consciousness in students. The following paragraphs elaborate these points in details.
Use of technology: Students in the current times live in a digital world. They are connected to the Internet most of their day, are avid gamers, have shorter attention-span, and are experts in multi-tasking. They can get the same information being conveyed to them by the instructor in a classroom on the internet using their phones and hence do not necessarily need to pay attention to a lecture being delivered to them. The educators of the 21st century need to make use of the Internet and other technological advancements to engage students in the learning process and help them learn better.
Learner-centric pedagogy: Education research suggests that students learn and retain the content better if they are actively engaged in the learning process. At the same time, student-centric approaches increase student motivation to learn, build on students’ prior knowledge, help improve the transfer of learning from classroom to the real-life situations, and increase student metacognition. Hence, educators should move away from the lecture-based model of teaching to project-based and problem-based approach to learning which are student-centric.
Inclusive and critical education: Critical education aims to raise social and political awareness among students, help them recognize authoritarian tendencies in the classroom and the society, and empower them to raise voices against injustice and discrimination. Such an educational approach departs from the "baking system" of education which teats students as passive receivers of knowledge. Instead, critical education treats students as active agents in the process of knowledge construction. The teachers, instead of acting as "dispensers of knowledge" act as "transformative agents" who help students transform reality by constantly interacting with it. The present day education should aim at promoting critical consciousness in students. Also, education should be inclusive in that it provides opportunity to all the students irrespective of their class, race, gender, nationality, sexuality, and other identities to learn and thrive without discrimination and prejudice of any kind.
As the future educators, it becomes our responsibility to keep up with the changes in the nature of teaching and learning. We need to devise teaching strategies that effectively use the technology around us to foster students’ learning, use approaches that are centered on the students instead of being focused on the teachers, and, most importantly, get rid of the banking model of education. We need to create a learning environment that empowers students from all backgrounds and identities, and raises critical awareness in them.
TECHNOLOGY. This semester I learned from many sources how integrated all levels of academia have become, especially in grade school. I believe technology may be an important piece of the puzzle for pushing students to be more innovative, but at the same time, I'm not sure how it would be done properly. However, since technology has only recently be integrated (in the past 6 yrs), I'm fairly certain there may be many more years before certain kinks can be worked out of the method.ReplyDelete
Yes, yes, and yes! I think this gets straight to the heart of three essential dynamics that should shape future practices and concerns. I would also suggest that Parker Palmer's ideas deserve integration into this framework as well. His insistence that good pedagogy depends on emotional intelligence, and that we take the "intelligence" in emotional intelligence seriously offers powerful perspective on the importance of affective knowledge to the education and well-being of the "new professional" and, by extension the whole person.ReplyDelete
Oh, I totally agree with you, Amy. We need to move beyond the narrow conceptions of intelligence, learning, education, and academic success. We need to acknowledge that one needs to have EQ as well as IQ in order to live a meaningful life. We need to look as academic success in terms of how well the graduates are doing in life instead of measuring how much money they are making or what grade they are getting in classes. We need to see if student and graduates have the ability and the will to take actions for the good of all.Delete
Great post! Teaching in the 21st century is encompassing a multitude of elements and with the rapid advances of technology and various ways to cross collaborate with one another locally as well as globally is changing everything and conversations are going beyond the classroom setting. The post nailed it in capturing the evolving nature of education and teaching and learning. Technology has permitted up with multiple ways to connect and collaborate as well as afforded various pathways or lines to reach our students and utilize technology as a tool to engage students success. I enjoyed your post, thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
I like how you brought up the expectations for education to keep evolving. I don't think evolving education needs to be put only in the context of changes in technology, but I think it needs to be consider in the changes of the world. Every generation brings something different and we need to be able to understand that learning isn't static. Individuals who become educators are just as much students as their actual students. We have a lot to learn from each other as long as we are open to learning. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Agreed! Students need to be socially, globally, and politically aware. They should also be willing to collaborate with others and be able to integrate the diverse viewpoints brought by others with their own. And yes, teachers should not act as the 'dispensers of knowledge' but they should enter a classroom with an inquisitive mind to learn something in the process of teaching.Delete