Paradigm Shift from Teaching to Learning
Paradigm Shift from Teaching to Learning
The teachers job under these environments has become more difficult wherein he has to ensure that learning takes place when he teaches for most of the students who come from diverse backgrounds. The attitude that our task is to teach and they will learn only if they want to is a negative approach to my mind.
The Missing Links
What has largely been considered classroom teaching and learning process traditionally has got certain missing links to my mind. I consider following to be the complete cycle of teaching learning process and I have tried to stretch it beyond learning to achieving proficiencies and developing competencies. The complete cycle is as shown below: -
(a)Teaching may lead to…
What is the difference?
I always thought that if I teach and they (students) understand. I think I have done my Job well. Is that sufficient? Probably not! Let us take an example: -
I was trying to teach my daughter how to dance I taught her to my level best, put on the best music, told all the steps to perfection and gave enough time and attention and what not BUT It came out to be total failure. She probably understood dancing but could not dance the way I wanted. What did go wrong?
Reason is very simple she was only a toddler and was in no position to dance, though probably she became aware and up to some extent understood also. But was that enough? Please remember that the very first essential step to ensure that the students learn what you teach is to ensure that you are coming to their standards, this becomes the first essential step to bring them to your standards.
That could be one reason but there can be many more … What is needed?
For making teaching learning process to be successful a change in teachers attitude and approach is required following can be tried out:-
1. Paradigm shift from “Catch me if you can” to “catch them if you can”. Speak the language which they understand and in the manner that they understand.
2. Not only that! make sure that they don’t abandon you in between. You could devise mean to make sure that they stay with you. One technique is to ask the students to repeat part of the teaching of the previous class and you should be able to identify the students who are falling behind for what ever may be reasons. Target such students for your questions very often and let it be known by them after all it is for their own good.
How do you Ensure Learning
1. Generate interest in whatever you teach. Test their knowledge, which they gain by way of discussions and question answers. You could also ask some good students to give answers to the questions raised by other students in the class.
2. Force them to come prepared you could take frequent class tests. Let sword be hanging on their heads you could also ask some students at random to come on the stage and just give the brief of what was discussed during previous lecture.
3. Strike a good rapport with students. Your attitude towards them is very important and they read it correctly always and every time. Be sympathetic but firm in your approach. Your approach could be almost fatherly. They should be able to sense that you mean their good and that should b by your actions rather than you talking about it.
4. Read their mind and Eyes. You should be able to read question marks in their eyes. It is not difficult. Do look in their eyes and you will be amazed to see them speaking. Do not ignore that as if you do that they would soon loose interest and also the track of what you are teaching
5. Why wait take feedback for yourself in the very second week. Talk to them frankly and openly and try changing your style if required. After all what you teach is not important, what they learn is more important isn’t it?
6. Keep them on toes, if they do not put question bombard them with questions basically your approach should be to ensure that they listen to you and are mentally alert.
7. Use students as resource to clarify doubts. It is not at all necessary that you have to talk all the time. They will be more attentive if they are to speak. Make your classes interactive with involvement of students in clarifying basic doubts raised by other students. This will give them confidence as well as improve their communication skills.
8. Show your genuine concern for their welfare. Do not only talk just do it the best you can. Even accompanying some student to hospital in emergencies.
9. Earn respect by your behavior and knowledge. Even how you stand how you talk and how you dress up does matter. Do you remember your school/College days? Try to look back into those days and you will realize as to what needs to be done.
10. Do your homework thoroughly. There can never be any short cut for depth of knowledge. Each lecture has to be prepared thoroughly as if you are going to teach it for the first time.
Why Limit ourselves? Learning cannot be limited to classroom
Classroom teaching could well be just less than 50% of the total learning involved or PUT it otherwise it could be gateway leading to learning experiences. Use every opportunity presented to you to make them learn. Other Opportunities to Enhance Teaching Learning process could be following:-
Make use of this time to fullest advantage. Demonstrate the equipment in lab sessions and during industry visits and couple this with classroom teaching. Same way projects, seminars and tutorial time can be used to a great advantage. Invoke the interest in the students by taking practical systems and examples from the visits, which you had undertaken to enhance the learning.
Food for thoughts
Does Serving the food means that it has been eaten and digested? Even if it has been digested completed, has justice been done? Be careful in choosing what you serve. Do you get me ? Yes the setting of the syllabus is what I am talking about. It is one of the most important things for a teacher. I will go to an extent of saying that it is much more important than the teaching itself. What you teach does matter a lot so be careful to choose should you get a chance to draft a syllabus. It should meet the tomorrow’s requirement and not that of yesterday.
I think that is about all we can do for the students.
BUT WAIT! IS THAT ENOUGH ?
Haven’t you heard about Self Learning? Just mark my words end of studies in the college is going to be beginning of the actual learning about the real world where continuous updating will be required.
Where we fit in as teachers?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author has 28 years of experience in the field of Telecommunications. He is M.Sc(Physics) and has M. Tech from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. He has worked in different capacities including Signal corps Indian Army, Regional Manager of one of leading Telecom company. Currently he is Associate Professor with Institute of Technology and Management at Gurgaon, Haryana, India which is rated as the best Engineering colleges of North India