A Review of Relevant Articles on Teaching Practices

Image credits to The Freire Project

  • Trigwell, Keith, Martin, Elaine, Benjamin, Joan & Prosser, Michael (n.d.) Scholarship of Teaching: A Model. The Australian Scholarship in Teaching Project. Retrieved from www.clt.uts.edu.au This paper is a study of the merits of scholarly teaching in universities. The authors believe that the banking method of education no longer contributes to the learning of post-secondary students, considering the maturation of their cognitive capacities and faculties for learning. The authors believe that through providing a transparent medium to transmit how learning is made possible, educators could gain insights and modify their teaching strategies in order to achieve not only learning, but its useful application to everyday life. Through the praxis method, action-reflection-action, relevant aspects of the subject matter are further explored, and the students could gain fruitful experiences in the process of reflection, inquiry, evaluation, documentation, and communication.

    I share the authors’ belief in this paradigm. A student must not be regarded as a mere vessel for which information and ideas are conveyed – but rather, as a being with an advanced cognition and critical thinking skills. I believe that a student should be allowed to determine the purpose of his/her subject area and become an active participant in the development of the lesson, rather than a mere recipient of knowledge. However, it is also necessary for the teacher to be equipped with various theoretical perspectives of the subject matter that he/she is teaching. He/she must also possess an open mind for him/her to effectively facilitate the flow of discussion in class.
    For scholarly teaching to succeed, one must consider not only the information, but the implication of such to other disciplines, the teaching approach adopted, and the way concrete facts are communicated.
    Nonetheless, the study was yet inconclusive. Thus, the focus of continuing research must go along with evaluating teaching outcomes and the short-term and long-term impact of scholarly teaching on the students’ learning.

    White, Connie. (18 September 2007). Technology and Best Teaching Practices. Lakeview Academy. Accessed 20 January 2010 from www.aategroup.wikispaces.com 

    The paper talked about the “Ten Best Teaching Practices” by Donna Walker Tileston and how technology could be harnessed in collaboration with these teaching practices in order to maximize learning. Like the first article, this paper reveals that conceptual learning has been long gone and that students are no longer benefiting from rote memorizations of time, dates, and places, all of which do not relate to their everyday lives. White (2007) added that re-teaching should be done in the preferred modality of the learner — that is, in the modern times, through the use of information technology.
    The approaches that the author has expounded upon may be applicable for elementary and high school students, whose attention spans cannot hold so much lecture and discussion for subjects that they may not have sufficient interest in, particularly in the areas of literature or history. However, I believe that there is a need to re-examine the method in the context of university learning, as the use of information technology may tend to limit interactive person to person spheres, where experiential learning takes place, and where students get to become active participants in the development of the subject being discussed.
    It is perhaps already high time for educators to explore the facilities of e-learning and strive to replicate what has been achieved by online games that receive the dedication and commitment of several students. Though this may not be an easy feat, a further analysis of the reasons why children become hooked on online games could be done and the resultant principles used in the practice of teaching. Through the purposeful combination of work and play, children would gain further insights on the subject area being taught, which would probably benefit them in the long-term and not just on the coming exams.

    Thomas, Carolyn M. & Thomas, Matthew A.M. (2009) Early Childhood Care and Education in Zambia: An Integral Part of Educational Provision? Early Childhood Care and Education: Worldwide Challenges and Progresses, Volume 11. Accessed 20 January 2010 from www.tc.columbia.edu

    The paper talked about the “ironic adoption” of the global pursuit of Education for All of the Zambian government, which incorporates Early Childhood Care and Education for pre-primary school students in the face of gross budgetary deficits in providing accessible and quality education for those in elementary and high school. The authors maintained that Zambia should not have embraced the early childhood education reform movement without the necessary evaluation of the current educational provision to which it is already committed.

    While this is true, I believe that the paper has neglected to consider that the adoption of the ECCE program in Zambia is in fact not the problem. Rather, the issue lies in the lack of state’s commitment to uphold the quality of education for the Zambians. It is rather unfortunate that the Zambian children would not be able to enjoy pre-primary education because of budgetary deficits when several pedagogical methods and teaching strategies could have made pre-school education an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience for Zambian children of pre-school age without necessarily incurring the “exorbitant cost of education.”

    I believe that the authors based their assumptions on certain measurable indicators that are used in other progressive nations and not within the context of Zambian communities. I sought to include a review of this article even if it did not directly discuss teaching practices in order to emphasize the significance of such pedagogical methods in communities with poor resource conditions. Indeed, pre-school education could be undertaken with the community’s involvement with only a meager amount of assistance from the national government. Communities could be able to adopt a pre-school and participate in the decision-making, administration, and employment of teachers in their own community. Apart from this, the teaching strategies need not be based on Western methods, but rather on traditional and indigenous practices, using native languages to maximize learning on the part of the children. Pedagogical practices are a crucial part of the students’ learning — one that does not need expensive budgets but creativity and resourcefulness on the part of the educator and the promotion of joint responsibility between the government and the people. In this way, Zambia would not have to deprive itself of the right to Early Childhood Care and Education and suffer the dire consequences of ignorance.

    Drummond, Tom. (2002). A Brief Summary of the Best Practices in Teaching: Intended to Challenge the Professional Development of All Teachers. Accessed 20 January 2010 from www.webshares.northseattle.edu

    Drummond (2002) summarized the best teaching practices for university learners in this paper. The best teaching practices include lecture practices, group discussions, thoughtful questions, reflective responses to learners, rewarding learners’ participation, active learning strategies, cooperative group assignments, establishing goals to grade connections, modeling, double loop feedback, and fostering learners’ responsibility.

    Like the previous articles, Drummond espoused that the best learning method is one that creates a healthy sense of atmosphere of communication and interaction among the learners and the educator. Apart from this, Drummond further emphasized the need to foster the learner’s responsibility in order to make him/her understand that his/her personal development would be the prime benefactor of the subject matter being discussed.

    As a future educator, I believe that I must be able to gain full cognizance — not only of the subjects that I would be teaching but also the methods for which ideas and knowledge would be best conveyed. After all, the goal of education is not just to merely transmit knowledge but also to impart to the learners a sense of responsibility for the body of knowledge that has been obtained. Through the aforementioned teaching methods, the learners would become the central character of the teacher-student relationship instead of the educator. In this way, there would be an active pursuit of knowledge and meanings could be ascribed to relevant themes and concepts. Hence, these relevant themes and concepts would not be treated as mere pieces of information to be placed in one’s memory but as a vital piece of wisdom that is inculcated on one’s understanding and awareness. Educators have a big responsibility in the molding of the consciousness of youth. Because of this, they must be able to formulate innovative and critical strategies directed toward human development and personal growth.

    References 

    Drummond, Tom. (2002). A brief summary of the best practices in teaching: intended to challenge the professional development of all teachers. Retrieved January 20, 2010 from http://www.webshares.northseattle.edu

    Thomas, Carolyn M. & Thomas, Matthew A.M. (2009). Early childhood care and education in Zambia: An integral part of educational provision? Early Childhood Care and Education: Worldwide Challenges and Progresses, Volume 11. Retrieved January 20, 2010 from http://www.tc.columbia.edu

    Trigwell, Keith, Martin, Elaine, Benjamin, Joan & Prosser, Michael (n.d.) Scholarship of teaching: A model. The Australian Scholarship in Teaching Project. Retrieved January 20, 2010 from http://www.clt.uts.edu.au

    White, Connie. (18 September 2007). Technology and Best Teaching Practices. Lakeview Academy. Retrieved January 20, 2010 from http://www.aategroup.wikispaces.com

Islamic Education in the Philippines: A Short Situation Analysis

credits to the South East Asia Collection Blog for the image

Lock-step uniformity is not a main feature of an Islamic education. For a system of faith that is hinged on the attainment of beneficial forms of knowledge for an individual’s success here and the afterlife, Islam recognizes the teeming plurality of actors, institutions and ideas in its given environmental context. It therefore gears its educational system on “the balanced growth of the total personality of man (sic) through the training of man’s (sic) spirit intellect, the rational self, feelings and bodily senses” (Recommendations of the First World Conference on Muslim Education, Mekkah). Through this, the Madrasah education finds itself in the mainstream schools of many Muslim communities throughout the world. The child is equipped with the knowledge of the dynamics of his/ her faith, his/ her roles and responsibilities toward Allah and all his/ her fellow Muslims, and the things s/he must do in order to ensure the continuity of his/ her existence even upon his/ her death.

However, the Muslim people do not only recognize these needs, but also the challenges posed by the modern times, the secularization of things deemed sacred, and the need to ensure survival and sustainability without losing one’s adherence to one’s faith. In these things, we anchor this proposed project.

Striking a balance between religious conservatism and relevance has not always been easy.  In the context of education and transformation, knowledge should be foregrounded, established to benefit the pragmatic and the aesthetic needs of the people, and be in accordance with the desired social ends of the communities.

While the Philippines is a democratic and free country, Muslims remain to be in the marginalized sectors of the social stratum. This is particularly due to the peace and order situation in Mindanao, the stereotypes placed by most well-meaning but misinformed Christians to the ordinary Muslim in the streets, and the rampant prevalence of rural poverty in most Muslim communities in Mindanao. Coupled with the absence of decent leaders and the proliferation of patronage politics, most Muslim Filipinos are doomed to a life of poverty, which cuts across future generations, given the inaccessibility of basic social services to the far-flung and neglected communities of the South.

Given this backdrop, education plays a key function in bridging the gap of survival and sustainability, and of inaccessibility and integration to the local economy. The provision of support is  a key to support educational institutions that can satisfy the resource requirement of a system of pedagogy which integrates technical concepts and skills to the basic values and philosophies of Islam.

Reference:

Adebayo, R.I. (2007). The Influence of the World Conferences on Muslim Education. Accessed from www.unilorin.edu.ng