New Trends in Education
Greetings from The Progressive Teacher.
You all must have got back to school after the refreshing summer vacation ready to tackle the challenges of the new term.
Do not confine your children to your own learning for they were born in another time. This Hebrew proverb very aptly sums up what ails our education system.
Unfortunately, today we find most schools and education per se stuck in a time warp. Where the developed world has moved forward, we are living and working in the Victorian/ industrial age as far as teaching-learning is concerned. As teachers, we must accept the fact we are not The Boss anymore in the classroom, but we play the role of a coach, a mentor, a facilitator; someone who is guiding the students in their way of learning and showing them how to learn and how to deal with knowledge and information available to them at the click of a button. We no longer teach in a silent, walled classroom where students sit straight in neat rows and hang on to every word uttered by the teacher. It is a classroom where learners sit together in groups, brainstorming and working collaboratively to solve problems creatively through critical thinking, using the skills they acquired in the previous lesson. The focus has shifted from the teacher to the learner. The traditional stand and deliver mode is being pushed out by the guide on the side approach and the old classroom is being replaced with creative, comfortable learning places. We are headed towards a time when the Cs are more important than the traditional three Rs.
With the slowly changing role of the teacher, arises the need for continuous professional development which should include research. In countries like Finland, teachers believe in the dictum – we teach what we research and we research what we teach. Thus, the educators not only remain abreast of the latest developments in the field of education, but also a step ahead of their tech-savvy students.
Technology is ubiquitous. Currently, it is touching almost every part of our lives, our communities and our homes. Today, even 4 – 5 year olds can navigate smartphones better than their parents. These are not the same 21st century learners, we came across at the beginning of the millennium. For this generation of students, listening to the teacher is no longer enough. They demand a whole new level of engaging learning. With the world, having become a global village, teachers and administrators need to rethink on the importance of technology in the classroom. Technology should be used as an instructional tool. The economy has shifted to a technological knowledge-based economy, and it is therefore important to impart this knowledge to students.
The new-age classroom needs to provide a conducive learning atmosphere. This should include –
- An atmosphere of love to cast out fear from the students’ minds and provide them with a platform to develop their true potential, free from any prejudice.
- An atmosphere of patience to ensure balanced emphasis on knowledge and the opportunity to think instead of being rushed.
- An atmosphere of understanding the students’ needs.
In this issue of The Progressive Teacher, you will come across diverse views regarding New Trends in Education today. These views spawn a gamut of opinions – from Steve Heisler advocating that learning makes one smart to Trending Towards Value Education by Geeta Gujral, Importance of Theatre in Education by Mathew Panamkat, Creative Movement in Education by Preeti Sunderajan, Copying in Examinations by Jeny Raphael, Effective Feedback by Abhijeet Mandve, New Trends in Education by A S Guleria, P Ajitha, Rupsi Chauhan, Ragini Kaul and others. Plus there are many other articles catering to varied interests of the readers by our regular columnists Dr Shayama Chona, Rashmi Prabha, Payal Adhikari and others.
I would like to invite you to share your experiences and views on Instructional Tools in the new century with the teaching fraternity through the pages of the next issue of The Progressive Teacher. I look forward to your contribution to The Progressive Teacher.
With best wishes
Rita Wilson has over 40 years of rich experience as educationist including over 30 years of experience in school leadership positions. She is the former Chief Executive and Secretary Council for the ICSE, New Delhi. She is a consultant to a number of corporate houses and educational institutions. She is serving as a Member of the Board of Governors/Managing Committees of some of the most prestigious schools and colleges of the country. She has vast exposure to the education systems of Japan, Germany, England, Thailand, Singapore, Sharjah, Dubai and Finland. She has initiated, conducted and organised workshops for school teachers and principals all over India With a B.A. (Hons) English Literature, M.A., M.Phil. (English Literature), B.Ed. to her credit, she has edited three series of English readers and work-books for school children.