Thursday, June 13, 2024

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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

How innovative teaching can shape up tomorrow's classrooms

The need for innovative teaching approaches is critical in today’s dynamic environment

Update : 07 Jun 2024, 12:49 PM

Many of the students of our generation had struggled in comprehending “class lectures” due to general lack of proper method of teaching. That situation affected not just schooling but also education at the next level. Despite being meritorious, those students could not learn in a joyous environment.

 

I as a student was eager to learn and explore. One particular memory has stayed with me for all these years -- every time our principal walked the corridors of the school, the entire class would immediately become more focused and attentive while a pin-drop silence prevailed in the room. My teacher’s demeanour would change as soon as she caught sight of the principal. Her voice would become more refined and articulate, and she would start asking us questions in English, a language that was not commonly spoken in our classroom. And once the principal left, the classroom dynamics returned to its usual state.

 

Now, as a principal myself, I understand the importance of those moments of observation. This scenario is a common experience in many schools where teachers lack proper training and resources to conduct effective learning experiences in classrooms. And so, when the authority figures are around, they suddenly become more cautious and extra careful. This behaviour can hinder the authenticity of the classroom environment and limit the opportunities for meaningful observation and feedback.

 

Hence, it is crucial to establish a culture of continuous improvement and support, by making teachers feel comfortable and empowered to experiment with new teaching strategies as well as receive constructive feedback.

 

As Bangladesh transitions to a new curriculum, it will require significant investment for teachers’ professional development to ensure successful implementation. Challenges, such as ensuring that teachers in hard-to-reach areas have access to technology-enabled teacher professional development (TPD) programs, must be addressed. Training programs and sessions need to be introduced with a focus on enhancing teachers' competence and skills to effectively foster advanced learning experiences.

 

These programs need to be designed in such a way that teachers can equip themselves with learning and teaching techniques, through intensive training, observation, monitoring, and mentoring to acquire the necessary teaching skills. The effectiveness of the training programs is crucial to ensuring that teachers are well-prepared to deliver quality education and facilitate learning effectively. 

 

Back in 2020, I began a research project to analyze teacher effectiveness in K-12 schools, reviewing the research annually considering the data gathered after more than 2500 lesson observations. The research proved that with objective lesson observation criteria, schools can offer actionable feedback promoting teachers’ fast-paced development. The research shows evidence of rapid skill development when schools set measurable goals for each teacher, provided they receive customized training support.

 

One of the key research findings highlighted the need for differentiation to achieve high learning outcomes. Learning differentiation means customizing teaching-learning methods according to each student’s learning pace and learning style.

 

In Bangladesh, a limited number of teachers possess expertise in implementing differentiated instruction. Differentiation in learning involves tailoring teaching methods to suit each student’s learning pace and style.

 

For example, a student who learns at a slower pace and comprehends only fundamental knowledge-based queries should not be evaluated using advanced, higher-order questions initially. Instead, this student requires assistance in grasping basic concepts, and the teacher should employ a progression of easy, moderate, and challenging assessment techniques to help the student gradually enhance their conceptual understanding and progress to higher levels of learning.

 

The need for innovative teaching approaches is critical in today’s dynamic environment, where needs for education are changing and must be continuously adapted. To face the challenges of contemporary education and make sure that students have the information and skills necessary for success in a world that is changing quickly, it is imperative that educators embrace innovative teaching methods.

 

Innovative teaching strategies can improve student engagement, stimulate creativity, and encourage critical thinking, all of which will improve learning outcomes and better equip students for the challenges of the future. It is necessary for educators to introduce innovative techniques in the classroom in order to remain relevant and productive, in a setting that thrives on progress and adaptation.

 

Dr Shivananda CS is the Principal at DPS STS School Dhaka.

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