Our take on the subject revolves around a single question - Does a single method of teaching really cater to all the learning needs of students?
A lot of research has gone into the subject and continues to be done. However, at eSchool we believe that prior to defining a set method of teaching it is essential to understand that the teaching/learning experience is dependent on the complex minds of all individuals involved in the process(the teachers and the students). We believe, different approaches need to be mixed and matched to enhance the teaching/learning experience in a classroom.
OUR PEDAGOGY - Shift from Rote learning to Concept Clarity
A teacher has to deal with multiple students with different mind-sets. An inquiry based style of teaching/learning might come naturally to some while a reflective or a collaborative style might suit some others. So , probably just one style of teaching might not suffice for all. To top it the teachers have their own individual style of teaching. Drawing from this it becomes imperative that the teacher incorporates different teaching styles in the class to cater to all the students.
This might appear difficult to teachers and that is where the 'Blended Teaching Program' becomes useful. It provides the teachers interesting audio-visual aids explaining the same topic in different ways thus catering to all types of students at all levels within a class.
The focus of the program, proven through our experience, is that interesting “VISUAL” content provides a good starting point to pique the interest of all students. There is no dearth of teaching styles developed by the best of educationists and there is no dearth of material available on the net based on these styles developed by the best of intellectual minds.
The role of the teachers becomes paramount in trying to create a cocktail of such content that is best suited to each classroom such that there is a shift from ‘rote’ learning to ‘concept clarity’.
The e-library and e-classroom have a mix of content handpicked by subject matter experts to ensure teachers are exposed to the best of content available. Depending on the teachers comfort level and the need of the class , the teachers can access this content through the user-friendly e-library and e-classroom. These have been so designed that teachers could use it as an aid for their classroom teaching and if required, encourage students to check the content out themselves. Considering the constraints of time and duration, syllabus completion and student-results that continuously stress out the teachers, it is unfair to expect them to incorporate a multitude of learning styles while teaching. The e-library and e-classroom comes to their aid such that they can easily incorporate this in their regular classroom teaching.
The challenge is to motivate the teachers and make them understand that
- The aim of the program is not to ‘replace’ them but to ‘strengthen’ their teaching
- It saves a lot of time for lesson planning and identifying resources in the long run
- It helps to maintain a vibrant class environment focused on “learning” vis-a-vis “knowing”
- Using technology is just a starting point to develop enriched classroom learning environment
In short our pedagogy may be defined in the following simple steps
- Generate interest in students right from the beginning, using different methods
- Identify best method/methods for teaching depending on the subject, topics , class duration , class-size and most importantly the mix of students in the class
- Cater to all students by incorporating different styles of teaching such that all students benefit
- Ensure the right mix of theory and practicals for all subjects
- Ensure students do not become stressed while being assessed. The assessment should be a continuous process and used as a tool by the teachers to ascertain what has been grasped by the students and what else needs to be explained
Ensure students learn to observe and absorb by encouraging them to consider practical life situations with respect to the topic