Reckoning with classroom dynamics for progressive education
The classroom is the centre of every student’s learning journey. Ensuring that it is brimming with creativity – both physically and through the activities taught in it – is one of the many privileges of being a teacher -Anna Guerrero
Educating and inspiring learners creatively requires a learning environment that can be flexible and collaborative, reflecting the way in which facilitators relate to learners and learners relate to each other. This shift has already begun to reform the way we design the modern day classroom. Today, the facilitators need to realize the fact that only by reinventing the classroom can they bring about reformation and revolution in the teaching-learning process.
And what should be the goal of redesigning classroom dynamics for Progressive Education? In my opinion, the goal of redesigning classroom dynamics is to enrich and enhance the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual growth of the learner. It should be devoid of any sort of behaviour that is rigid and limiting for facilitators and learners so that the creative and dynamic learning space will augment learners’ engagement, facilitators’ commitment, foster creative teaching and inspired learning. It can empower the learners towards holistic development, inspire them to become active learners and entrepreneurs, and enable both the learners and facilitators get enriched in the teaching-learning process.
Innovation in classroom dynamics is about revamping the teaching methodologies, rethinking the teaching strategies, creating innovative and interactive learning environment, fostering a positive and constructive interaction, providing learner-friendly furniture and redesigning quality learning spaces that are predominantly cooperative, dynamic and comfortable in their nature and substance. Therefore, redesigning classrooms for progressive education is a radical shift: a shift from the conventional methods to progressive methods. It is a stepping away from the so called conventional teacher-centred classrooms to stepping into learning spaces that are primarily learner-centred and learner-directed. Such classroom dynamics will be able to accomplish a high quality and highly beneficial teaching-learning process that is harmonious and learner-friendly.
It is a fact that dynamic classrooms help the learners to involve themselves actively in their learning and take responsibility for making it an enriching experience. Good and creative facilitators will design their learning spaces in such a way that they nurture a positive, dynamic, constructive and conducive learning environment. By providing their learners a learner-friendly and interactive learning environment, the facilitators are able to influence their learners positively and eventually their learning outcomes too. They also succeed in keeping the minds of the learners focused and away from all sorts of distractions that obstruct their learning and their intellectual growth.
Every facilitator needs to be convinced of the fact that learning spaces that are attractive, pleasant, flexible, creative and amicable will greatly influence the learners and the quality of their learning. It has been observed when classroom dynamics are incorporated with a fair amount of flexibility and inclusiveness, they positively encourage learners’ interaction and engagement. Ultimately, they promote an education that is truly progressive and holistic and learners become active partners in the entire teaching-learning process.
Innovative classroom dynamics must add an element of surprise for the learners in order to sustain their active involvement and positive interaction in their learning process. Classroom dynamics will not only make learning active and dynamic but will make it an enjoyable and pleasant experience for both learners and facilitators. Smart facilitators know the benefit of smart use of their learning spaces and the creative integration of technology for providing collaborative and productive learning experiences for their learners.
Good and creative classroom dynamics enable the learners and the facilitators to create a spontaneous, positive, mutually beneficial learning environment which encourages, enables and empowers the learners to enjoy their learning, widen their horizon, sharpen their thinking, kindle their imagination, develop their creativity and give them the liberty to expand their novel ideas. They also help them develop life skills by providing an engaging, encouraging and interactive learning environment to experiment and innovate, to discover and explore. They make the entire teaching-learning process a great and worthwhile adventure to be undertaken by the learners as well as the facilitators.
Anna Guerrero opines that ‘creative classrooms don’t just look different, they feel different. They provide an environment where students are more likely to express their ideas, think outside the box, challenge problems with innovative solutions and most importantly – learn faster and more effectively’.
For me learning is all about inspiring learners to become passionate, curious, innovative, critical and positive.Passion tops the chart always because ‘Passion is the greatest gift of self-discovery. It is a source of interest and excitement, and is unique to each child.’ Each individual person is creative by nature. Therefore, classrooms should be designed with the prime objective of enabling the learners to discover their passion, thus making them creative.
Inspired and passionate facilitators together with smart classroom dynamics are the key to successful and industrious learners. They inspire the learners to develop naturally and empower them to excel in their lives. They cater to individual learning styles, developmental needs and intellectual interests of the learners with the help of individual learning plans for every individual learner. Creative classroom dynamics integrate a good number of innovative and effective learning methodologies such as learning by doing, theme based learning, entrepreneurship, collaborative and cooperative learning methods, individual learning plans, self-directed and personalized learning. By this effective integration of various learning methodologies, facilitators are well equipped to meet successfully the challenges of creating a learning environment that is engaging, enriching and empowering.
According to Albert Einstein, ‘it is the supreme art of the Teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’ Therefore, schools and facilitators need to reinvent the learning spaces and classroom dynamics with flexibility and creativity with the objective of encouraging and inspiring the learners to develop and augment their intellectual curiosity and creative imagination.
As the world we live in grows ever more complex and challenging, I firmly believe that progressive education with smart and creative classroom dynamics will succeed in empowering the learners how to think critically and creatively rather than filling their minds with a lot of unnecessary data and facts. This will eventually provide them with sufficient life skills to thrive on their own in this beautiful world.
Let Us Celebrate Learning!
M Alfred William is the Principal of Wisdom Wealth International School (Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu), a Progressive School that strives to mould and shape Global Leaders through a life-oriented and personalized learning.
He has served as a Teacher, Sports Secretary, Cultural Secretary, Vice-Principal, Principal and Manager in five different schools in India since 2006. He has a great passion for teaching and learning and enjoys the responsibility of being a school administrator. He is a voracious reader and loves sports and games. He holds master’s degrees in English, Computer Science, Education and Business Administration. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Sciences. He firmly believes that EDUCATION can change one’s destiny by changing one’s mental attitude. Therefore, he strives to become a great educator in order to bring revolution and innovation in the field of education.