EDUCATIONAL METHODOLOGIES. EVOLVING OR GOING BACKWARDS
Both education and society have the same objective, always be evolving and for this reason many tools have been created or improved. In the field of education, one of the issues that have evolved over time is the models of education used in schools. We can see a clear example with the change that the “new school” made in order to renew the ideas that “traditional school” had. This was because with the traditional model students were not acquiring knowledge they were just memorizing. “The teacher controls the instructional process, the content is delivered to the entire class and the teacher tends to emphasize factual knowledge. In other words, the teacher delivers the lecture content and the students listen to the lecture” (Damodharan. S.f. p.3). So the idea was that students were able to build knowledge. On the other hand, technology has also created elements that support student´s learning process, as it gives them tools that allow easier access to any kind of information. In that way, in this essay we are going to emphasize in the duty teachers have to use those technologies and methods in a good way in order to let students build their own knowledge and reality.
To begin, we will discuss the use of pedagogical models in the classroom. Many teachers choose a single method which they follow as rules; teachers don’t look if that method supports the learning process of their students. It is important that teachers learn to use a variety of teaching methodologies in order to supply the learning needs and requirements that are present within most class environments. It depends on each teacher to define how he or she will perform the important task of teaching, knowing that the intrapersonal relationship is the basis for communication with the student.
The progression of education and education technology should follow the progression of time. The traditional teaching methods may have been successful in the past, but the minds of the current generation vary from those of the previous generation. This calls for new innovative teaching models that cater specially to the students of today. Of course it is not wise to throw away all of the models that the past teachers have painstakingly created. These commonly used models are popular for a reason and that reason is that they were once incredibly successful. This is why it is recommended to use these models as a basis for the new ones. If there is a way to transfer the advantages of these teaching methods to the new concepts then the teachers should do everything in their power to merge the past and the present into one innovative teaching method.
Technology is around us, from our work, our community, our family, our home, so everything related to daily life. However, in the educational sector, we see that many schools today do not have the resources to integrate technology into the learning environment. With a proper use, the technology helps students to acquire the skills and to encourage knowledge. However, some teachers think that technology is just a distractor for the students and reject this element.
High tech tools can also be used in the advancement of education technology. Using tools like software programs in the teaching methods of instructors can help instructors attract and keep the attention of their students. However, if the computers aren’t regulated then the students can get distracted by the very tools that were made to prevent them from being distracted. Using technology in teaching can be a double edged sword because of the tendency of modern technology to be inclined on leisure instead of work. “Emergent technologies provide students a voice in addressing economic, environmental, political, and social challenges of the time, as they learn academic and 21st Century Skills through authentic, interactive, participatory activities.” (Cheryl Lemke and Barbara Lesley, 2011, p. 5)
Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and hand held devices. The constructivist environment and activities involved in learning can be supported with computer technology based tools. Foremost among them, discussion lists and e-mail, because these tools allow exchange and assembling individual points of view, in the production of shared knowledge. It also facilitates sensory evaluation constructivist learning objectives for each of the participants and for the group (Jonassen, Peck, Wilson, 1999).
When an institution has the benefits of the innovation in the methodology of its teaching, these benefits not only help students but also teachers. Because teachers will have the possibility to make their class more interesting and striking, so they do not waste time trying to catch student´s attention. According to Sharif (2010), language teachers have always been concerned about the inadequacy of conventional methods of language teaching in education systems. It means that professors are also conscious that the innovation is a tool that improves the education for everyone. “The work of the teacher consists in the integration of theoretical knowledge and a variety of dynamics that will be in constantly evolving,” (Mata, L. 2007. P. 513).
Carless (2012, p. 01) states that, the management of innovation is a critically important tool because the development of education, rests in the hands of government and schools administrators”. The principal statements in the innovation have to be developed in community and have to cover all the necessities students, teachers and others could have. All of the entities in charge of education want to make education more effective for students. In this way, innovations may help schools to keep up-to-date with the latest developments or research endings, and can also be a force to encourage educational equity and fairer opportunities for diverse sections of society. There are projects that create a teacher’s guide covering theory, methods and curriculum materials, activities and worksheets. Thus, innovation is a tool that needs to be developed in order to fulfill both theoretical and practice activities. It is the case of a program in Europe called Lifelong learning program, which manages different phases for creating a program, where the evolution and innovation are part of the learning process.
The implementation of new methods and tools in the English teaching is a big concern for both teachers and students. However, the responsibility to solve this “problem” is in the hands of those who want to give quality education and likewise for those who want to receive it. So teachers have the responsibility to choose the most useful and powerful way of teaching; using the new tools that society gives them to support the development of students´ skills.
· Jonassen, D. H., Howland, J. L., Moore, J. L., & Marra, R. M. (2003). Learning to Solve Problems with Technology: A Constructivist Perspective.
· Mata, L. (2007) Key Factors of Curriculum Innovation in Language Teacher Education. Recuperated of: http://www.waset.org/journals/waset/v66/v66-95.pdf.
· Carless, D. (2012) Innovation in language teaching and learning. Recuperated of: http://web.edu.hku.hk/staff/dcarless/Carless_2013_innovation.pdf.
· Dede, C., Honan, J.P., Peters, C. (2005). Scaling up success: Lessons learned from technology-based educational improvement. Jossey-bass: San Franscico.
Dr. Damodharan. (s.f.). Innovative methods of teaching. Recuperated from: http://math.arizona.edu/~atp-mena/conference/proceedings/Damodharan_Innovative_Methods.pdf