The third state-level conference for school heads held in Old Goa at the St Joseph Vaz Spiritual Renewal Centre emphasised the need to reimagine traditional teaching-learning methods.
It was undoubtedly a forum for educational leaders to exchange their knowledge, wisdom and creative suggestions for enhancing and changing the way that education is provided in schools.
The discussion topics covered by the attendees included pedagogical strategies, curriculum design, technology integration in the classroom, student-centred learning, assessment techniques and teacher professional development to improve educational quality and better prepare students for the difficulties of the modern world.
Apart from this, what is missing in the Goan educational system is personalised learning. Each student has his/her own pace of learning, which needs to be taken into consideration. Therefore, utilising adaptive learning platforms that help modify speed according to the capability of the student must be encouraged.
Along with this, there is also a dire need to make learning more interesting and useful. Practical projects, group discussions, simulations and real-world applications need to be encouraged.
As an alumnus of Parvatibai Chowgule College, Margao, I am proud to state that the institution had a very encouraging model ie the flipped classroom model, which helps students to read and equip themselves on a given topic outside of a classroom through videos, books and online modules, and then have discussions with one another in the classroom, sharing information that perhaps one might have not considered important to the topic being discussed.
One tends to also remember well when a certain idea is discussed among peers, making teaching and learning interesting and fun. This would also encourage peer-to-peer teaching-learning methodology.
Another creative teaching methodology is problem-based learning. Designing learning experiences around resolving practical issues or producing tangible projects is known as problem-based learning. Collaboration, creativity and critical thinking are encouraged by problem-based learning.
Most often than not, teachers fail to retain the attention of students in the class. Thus, we need to think in the way our students would think. And our students think in the manner of games.
Although it would mean restructuring a lot of our teaching material to gamification, nevertheless, it is worth a try. Integrating gaming elements in teaching and learning will challenge the students while they learn.
Given the digital age we are in, it is also required that we encourage blended and online learning, that is combining in-person instruction with online resources to provide flexibility and accessibility, and using multimedia, interactive quizzes, and discussion boards to enhance online learning experiences.
We are also at a time when attention spans have drastically shrunk and, therefore, microlearning must be utilised. In microlearning, we break down lessons into bite-sized, focused modules that can be easily consumed and retained.
For quite a long time now, we have had only the written form of assessment, which assesses the retention capacity of our students, forgetting that there is also a need to check whether our students have understood what they have learnt.
Thus, a data-driven insight methodology could help teachers analyse students' progress and identify areas of improvement and also adjust teaching strategies. Predictive analytics can offer early intervention and assist in the prevention of learning gaps.
Students must also develop critical thinking abilities if they are to succeed in their academic pursuits and gain future employment.
To make educated decisions and tackle complicated challenges, one needs critical skills, commonly referred to as critical thinking skills. These abilities include the capacity to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information.
We are living in a global age, and we have gone past the global village terminologies.
But, we are still local when it comes to education. Thus, utilising technology to link children with classmates around the world for collaborative projects and cultural exchange, could improve cross-cultural understanding and prepare pupils for a globalised future.
We have also proceeded further from the digital age to an age of artificial intelligence and virtual assistants.
Why not carefully use these advancements to our benefit? AI-powered tools can provide instant feedback, answer questions and adapt content to individual learning styles. Virtual assistants can support both students and teachers by automating administrative tasks.
We may have all of these great ideas to implement, but if these ideas are not carefully worked upon, they will just remain ideas and would be of no use at all.
But if taken into consideration, our teaching-learning process could deliver us a wonderful outcome in the coming years.
Thus, we ought to remember that both educators and institutions must be willing to change and provide support for the successful implementation of new teaching techniques.
The objective is to develop a diverse, effective learning environment that fits the demands of students in the 21st century.