Being Open to New Perspectives

EDS 111 – Module 4: Teaching Perspectives and Approaches

The teacher is seen as the authority in class.  Traditionally, classrooms are teacher centered, that is, the teacher is the source of knowledge, doing most of the talking, spoon feeding students and just transferring knowledge to students.  Along with knowledge is the culture, principles and beliefs of the teacher that should be imposed.  Over time, different perspectives have arisen which in a nutshell views students to not merely be passive participants in the learning process but rather are active collaborators in learning.  Is this good and feasible or are just idealistic perspectives?

Having my education in the ‘80s and ‘90s, my education can be described as belonging to the traditional type of teaching.  This made me develop attitudes and behaviors to help me survive and finish my education.  This entails behaviors to cope up with summative assessments and viewing and relying on my teachers as the source of knowledge as another factor then was the lack of technology compared to the present time.  I viewed assessments done by my teachers as tests to assess my memory and viewed learning as having passing grades.  After college, I did not know what to do.  Well, as one can see, this is not an ideal way of teaching and learning.

Now, times have changed.  Resources in this module provided a basis to change my way of looking at teaching and learning.  It widened my thinking on what can be called a more productive way of teaching and learning.  As stated above, my not knowing what to do after college made me realize if the education I had contributed to this uncertainty.  Well, maybe as if analyzed, I became dependent on my teacher for my learning.  I adapted myself on the way of teaching that was given to me and was not really able to think for myself what I am capable of doing and what I really want to do.

Going through this module, I realized that there is more to teaching and learning other than knowing all the facts about the different disciplines.  It dawned on me that school should not just impart knowledge but also the skills, behaviors and attitudes one needs to deal with real-like problems and situations.  I went through what one might call as “learning the hard way” in terms of being unprepared to face the real life in terms of working and dealing with everyday life.  This is the reason why I think my learning in this module will be a big help when I become an educator one day.

Change is hard and there will be a lot of challenges to face transitioning from traditional to contemporary ways of teaching.  However, the main goal should be not to finish the syllabus or the course guide but more on making sure that students learn what they need to to prepare them for the future.  The perspective of making the student the center is the guide that I would want to keep in mind always.  I think having this in mind, I will be able to design instructions that take into consideration the differences in the learners that will be given to me and to create activities to promote active engagement.  It is by this guideline that I will be able to play more roles other than just a lecturer, that is, I can be a learning coach, a guide or a collaborator, among others.  I can help students personalize their learning and help them be more accountable for their learning.  This perspective also made me realize that in helping learners to know how to learn, I also will have to continuously learn.

a

To sum it up, the quote “no man is an island” can be applied even here in education.  To be an effective teacher, I should make sure that my students have a deeper learning.  To be good at what I do, I should be open to change and to other perspectives and be able to choose which one will I think will help me in achieving my goals to produce students with real-life and life-long learning.  There is the propensity to stay within my comfort zone especially if a teaching style worked once or twice but if I aim to be an effective teacher, I should always be alert to not fall for challenges including the one-size-fits-all teaching method tendency.  This is where collaboration with colleagues, students and the community is very important as it will improve my creativity and innovation.  Being open to technology and communication can aid me in being an effective teacher and effecting optimum learning.  All in all, these new perspectives are both an eye opener and a validation of what I believe will work to achieve my goal to help students succeed.

Reference:

Peterson, P. & Wilson, Suzanne.  (2006, July).  Theories of Learning and Teaching What Do They Mean for Educators?  Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED495823.pdf

Scott, Cynthia Luna.  (2015, December 15).  The Futures of Learning 3: What Kind of Pedagogies for the 21st Century?  Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002431/243126e.pdf