Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Keeping pace with modern teaching skills

Published:Sunday | September 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrittany Singh Williams

The field of education is a living, breathing movement of stakeholders invested in learning. Those of us with the passion and heart for this profession are inspired by change and intrigued by the challenges to deliver and to meet higher standards, curate new experiences, and "ignite future leaders".

In today's dynamic classroom, there have been necessary changes to the curriculum and assessment modalities. It is imperative for educators to recognise and acknowledge evolving trends and to keep pace with the flow of the learning process.

Now, more than ever, we are being stretched as we manoeuvre the modern times and effectively play our part in building a modern society. To keep a competitive edge in a knowledge-based economy, the learning journey for stakeholders demands a shift to becoming self-directed professional learners.

As the educational context changes we all have to accept responsibility for our own growth. Like other professionals, educators must find the time to practise lifelong learning and continue to develop sensory awareness, creativity, and social intelligence. These are the cornerstones for today's education. How many of us are actively developing these skills?

Individually, we have to re-imagine our roles and spend more time following our curiosity, exploring, creating, sharing, and experimenting with our ideas. We put our children and students at a disadvantage when we ourselves are reluctant to change.

 

Re-imagining learning

 

Certainly we can't expect them to be proficient in the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity) and other requisite skills without us modelling these behaviours. To promote new standards, we ourselves must practise new standards.

Re-imagining the learning process in this new era should start with us asking ourselves these key questions: Are we digitally literate? Have we fully grasped the advancements in technology? Have we taken responsibility to be collaborative learners?

As we move to adapt, here are some points to ponder as parents and as leaders in the classroom: How can I ...?

- Develop creative problem-solving skills?

- Adopt a growth mindset?

- Be and encourage self-motivated learners?

- Actively learn new things and rely less on the formal education system?

- Spend time exploring and exercising in the natural environment?

- Develop creative gifts and talents?

- Recognise and value inner genius and resist conformity of mass culture?

- Use 'failure' as a tool?

When we are willing to shift into the now, our imaginations become more creative and we are able to achieve more. Collaborative learning is yet another way to keep us innovative and interactive.

At SPARK Education, we offer personalised learning solutions that capitalise on the strengths and interests of the students, both children and adults.

Join us at re-imagining teaching and learning at the SPARK Lyme and Learn on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, at 8 Hillcrest Avenue.

For more information, log on to www.spark-education.com.

- Brittany Singh Williams is founder of SPARK Education Ltd, and senior adviser to the minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.