Not too long ago, educators are expected to teach students about what they know. Students, on the other hand, are expected to listen, absorb the information and transform them into knowledge.
This style of teaching or rather, educating the young, is changing.
Both educators and students are both beginning to realise that something is missing from this style of teaching. There are many factors that have emerged in recent years that seem to reinforce this belief, as follows:
- Self-directed Learners: While educators act as the filter when it comes to the dissemination of knowledge, many of us - be it parents, educators or even the students themselves - are beginning to realise that control should best be placed in the hands of the learners themselves rather than educators. There's been a realisation that every students is different in their learning styles and hence the responsibility should be on the students to carve out their own learning paths.
- Independent and Lifelong Learners: Besides being self-directed when it comes to learning, students are also expected to continue learning throughout their lives. Hence, having the students be independent throughout the learning process is also vital in their personal learning journey.
- Student-centred Learning: While the flexibility has always been given to the educators when it comes to conducting lessons in class (which is good), educators should also have an awareness that it's very important that they relate the context of the lessons to the life experiences of the students. While the diverse background of the students might make this endeavour rather challenging, I feel that - as educators - we should still make the effort to do so.
- Focus on the learning process: Rather than focusing on the content of the lessons by having students memorise the details of the various topics, it will be more effective for educators to shift their emphasis from content to the students' learning processes. Ultimately, it's often not the content that students bring away from the classroom but the way they go about learning new things. It is interesting to note at this point that the identification of the learning styles of the students (be it by themselves or by the educators) is also important when it comes to their personal learning development.
- Online Learning: In the past, students often do research by accessing text-based resources from the library. In recent years, there's been an emphasis on online learning, or e-learning for short. Educators are therefore required to coach or guide students in their learning processes using digital technology while still enabling them to appreciate traditional text-based resources such as books.
The abovementioned factors are among the recent developments that have taken place in the educational sector in recent years. Many educators and educational institutions are beginning to notice these trends and making efforts to adapt to them.
I believe that students in the future generations will benefit more from their learning as traditional learning resources and modern technology converge.
For more of my thoughts on education and communication, you can read them at my blog (http://www.patricktay.wordpress.com)