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Jul-Sep-2018 Pedagogies

Latest Pedagogies Adopted by Schools to Improve Learning Outcomes

Mrs Roshni Rachel George
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BLENDED LEARNING, FLIPPED CLASSROOMS AND REFLECTIVE LEARNING. THERE IS A HUGE ARRAY OF TECHNIQUES THAT CAN BE UTILISED TO ENHANCE LEARNING OUTCOMES.

Since the beginning of time, man has been in the quest for learning. His evolution is marked by what he learned and used. In the Stone Age, he learned to use rocks and stones; the Iron Age brought about an understanding of metals, and the Bronze Age was defined by the learning and understanding of alloys.

There has been a constant interaction and interchange of knowledge in various ways since time immemorial. This exchange of knowledge has been dependent on the instructor, the learner and the learning outcomes. The strategies and techniques of how content should be disseminated, changes with time and circumstances. Pedagogy, therefore, can be defined as the way knowledge is disseminated to others.

Over the years, great strides have been made in the development of new pedagogies. The requirements of education have also changed with the transformation in the roles of the learner and the teacher.

In a traditional setting, the teacher plays a central role in planning content, designing methods of dissemination of content, assessment and remedial measures, whereas the learner is passive. However, the past few years have witnessed a reversal in these roles. Today’s students are active learners rather than mere spectators, while teachers are facilitators. The coming years will observe further developments in the process of self-learning.

From the traditional, teacher-centred chalk-and-talk methods to the modern learner-centred methods, such as blended learning, flipped classrooms and reflective learning, there is a huge array of techniques that can be utilised to enhance learning outcomes.

In blended learning, students learn via both traditional and digital classroom activities. This is essentially a method of self-learning, which inculcates a sense of responsibility and control in the students’ mind regarding their education. It also puts the learners at ease by giving them the freedom to learn at their own pace.

Experiential learning is the key to student-centred learning for a sustainable future. It is the process of learning through experience, that is, learning through reflection. Students learn the practical applications of what they learn in the classroom through workshops, cultural exchange programmes and field visits. It engages students in critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making in contexts that are personally relevant to them.

Problem-based learning is another student-centred pedagogy in which students learn by solving open-ended problems in groups. Students get to learn collaborative thinking strategies and implement domain knowledge in a meaningful way. Today, the learning outcome is not just gaining theoretical knowledge, but also the ability to use the acquired knowledge and skills in real-life situations.

A flipped classroom is another instructional strategy that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content before the introduction of a concept. The classroom time is managed with the teach er facilitating a deeper understanding of the concepts via discussions and activities. It promotes self-learning and active learning through online resources, and enhances the cognitive skills of the learner. Digital education promotes the flipped classroom model by providing content that aids the basic understanding of concepts that can be applied in the class, thus ensuring time management, especially in higher grades.

These advanced pedagogies help educators instill the skills and competencies that students require to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

More than technological expertise, our students, as the future workforce of our nation, need adeptness in communication skills and collaborative efforts to collect, decipher and assimilate information. They need the capabilities of critical thinking and creativity to be resourceful and solve any problems that might come their way. These latest pedagogies will ensure that our students are skilled enough to anticipate, decipher and evaluate the challenges of tomorrow.

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Mrs Roshni Rachel George
Mrs Roshni Rachel George

Roshni Rachel George, currently the Principal of Dr. Mar Theophilus School, Dhanori, has 31 years of experience in the field of education. She has received several awards, distinctions and accolades such as National Ideal Principal Award from Student Development Society in 2017 and a certificate of appreciation from Malankara Orthodox Church Council of Bombay (MOCCB) education board in 2018.

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