Besides the advancement of technology as mentioned in my previous post, the shift in teaching pedagogy from content-based learning to process-based learning also implies that the approaches adopted by teacher are changing as well. From the direction that it is now heading, it is reasonable for educationists to call themselves “facilitators” rather than “teachers”, the reason of which I will explain below:
- Responsibility of learning: In contemporary times, the onus of learning has shifted from the teachers / educators to the students. This does not mean that the students are entirely independent in their learning. They will still require educationists to provide them with the direction but not the content. With technologies such as the internet, the students have more than enough content. It’s how they digest the information that matters and how it is applicable to their lives that is of the essence to their learning now.
- Drawing out prior knowledge and abilities within the students: All students have the potential to learn and to do well academically. However, when content-based learning is still dominant in the past years, information and knowledge are given to them by the teacher, leaving the students no room for exploration when it comes to learning. All they are able to do is to receive the information and transform them into knowledge. In the context of process-based learning, the educationists are focusing more on the process in which students learn and less on the content. This will free up the space that students require to do well in their studies. And this should be the right way to educate students in the first place. Students usually do not retain academic materials well and often can’t recall much of what they have learnt in the workplace. However, if given an opportunity to collaborate with others in a real-life environment, students will often do better in the workplace.
- Reflective journals: Students should be encouraged to write journals on a daily basis because ultimately, it’s how much they understand themselves that matter. Each of us has our own working and communication style. Should a teacher impose his or her own style on the students, it might not be very productive. Reflective journals are especially useful when students are asked not only on what their learning experiences are but also self-reflect on specific issues specified by the facilitators or of their own choosing (but should be related to the issues raised in the lesson).
- Research: Unlike previous years where students are fed with information by the teachers as well as given textbooks, most student in current times acquire information from the internet as well as textbooks of their own choosing. They have learnt to assimilate information using their prior knowledge and in the process, strike a balance between academic and reflective learning.
All the abovementioned points involve process-based learning, the direction that education is currently moving towards and this is something that educationists should be aware of.