By Anthony Hubbard
As it is happening with the majority of professions today, one can witness rapid growth and development in the field of teaching too. The developments are primarily driven by technological and social changes.
Teachers working in the modern classroom environment are gradually acknowledging and accepting that there is in fact a need to make changes to the traditional teaching approach. They are now looking at students as eager participants who wish to be actively involved in the process of attaining knowledge. The teacher is no longer a mere source of information or someone who demonstrates “correct solutions”.
All over the world, teachers are placing an increased emphasis on making learning a well-structured process. This means including a range of different student-oriented activities, such as project work, in the teaching plan so that the classroom inhabitants can enjoy greater autonomy.
One of the preferred modern teaching methods, often termed as ‘engagement’, is designed to encourage students to interact with the real world. This means analyzing what happens in different spheres of life, i.e. social sphere, economical, sphere, business sphere etc. As opposed to traditional teaching techniques which are restricted to the classroom space, students are taken for visits to local businesses. Here, they get an opportunity to see the actual application of concepts which they learnt in the classroom.
Open classroom discussions
Modern teaching practices are centered on having open classroom discussions as well as collaborations. This helps encourage the students to come up with their own ideas and makes it easier to implement new teaching methods. Teachers are suggested to allow their students to ask questions and really make an effort to listen to them.
Personal dialogue with the students is a very important part of modern teaching. Students don’t always like getting answers from textbooks or the Internet. They enjoy having healthy, intriguing discussions on various subjects as it allows them to develop their own perspectives and opinions.
Technology and Innovation vs. Emotional and Mental Development
While on the one hand, it is true that modern teachers should be willing to try new and innovative concepts and teaching skills (educational apps, electronic teaching devices etc.); it does have its downside too. The youth is becoming more and more tech-oriented and though it is good to retain the essence of classroom teaching, it might be helpful to bring in some technology so that there is greater alignment with the modern learning styles.
But the concern regarding the use of computers and modern technology, especially at a younger age is that it could not only have a negative impact on the child’s physical health, but also his/her intellectual and emotional well-being.
A greater number of students are complaining of serious physical ailments affecting their spine, neck, eyes etc. due to the excessive amount of time spent working on computers and other electronic devices. Whether its research or project work, technology does end up affecting the health of the youth. It also leaves minimal time for human interaction and creative play. This in turn has a negative impact on their intellectual, emotional and social well-being.