Technology is certainly a major factor in this change but it is not the only one, and certainly not the silver lining for education. External environmental factors have a say in what happens in the education sector. Think of the current pandemic and the seismic impact it is having on education, an effect whose ripples still reverberate across the educational spectrum.
School closures and the widespread disruption caused by the outbreak prompted the education community to put emergency and crisis management in place where improvisation prevailed, at least during the first few weeks of the outbreak.
Teachers were suddenly faced with an unprecedented situation where they had to adopt new strategies and adapt their teaching practices to a new environment, one very different from the pre-pandemic environment. Virtual teaching has become the new normal.
As the pandemic has taught us, nothing should be taken for granted. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow hence the importance of cultivating a growth mindset, a mindset that is fiercely open to new ideas and expansion.
2- I teach a magazine or portfolio
Maintaining an educational file is an effective professional development practice. Besides enhancing teachers’ sense of accountability to their education, it also provides them with a treasure trove of data to use to track their progress, analyze their performance over the years, determine what works and what doesn’t and why, and design new strategies to meet emerging educational needs.
Reflexive writing is an important component of the teacher’s portfolio. It is a metacognitive work that allows educators to develop an increased sense of awareness about “their ways of knowing not only their students but also themselves and their beliefs” (Roe & Vukelich, 1997, p. 16).
3- Formative calendar
Taking frequent formative assessments in class is a great way to keep a constant check on the effectiveness of your teaching. Like reflective writing, student feedback can provide you with valuable insights regarding your teaching practices.
Surveys, questionnaires, exit tickets, open-ended questions, and game-based tests, among others, are all forms of questions that you can use to design formative assessment activities in your class. In fact, I’m always amazed at how much insight the two questions below generate when asked at the end of the semester:
- what did you learn?
- What do you find difficult to learn?
4- Hybrid teaching
Nowadays, mixed teaching methods are the hype in education. Digitality is now a major player in the pos-pandemic classroom and is asking teachers to break out of their comfort zone and start experimenting with new ways to bring their education into pace with rapidly changing conditions.
5- Enable students’ voice
At the core of student-centered pedagogy is student voice empowerment, that is, the practice of providing students with the freedom (and associated responsibility) to express their opinions and participate in the decision-making process regarding their learning within and outside of a class. Students love it when they know that their voice is valuable and that they have a say in their learning.
With the freedom to express their opinions comes the responsibility of taking charge of their learning. I see that voice and accountability go hand in hand and are intricately linked to each other.
2- Jenny Hall (2017) Developing Best Teaching Practices – Pedagogy, Preferences, and Professional Development, International Information and Library Review, 49:1, 59-64, DOI: 10.1080/10572317.2017.1270692
4- Mary F. Roe & Carol Vukelich (1997) That was then and This now: A Longitudinal Study of Teachers Portfolio Practition Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 12:1, 16-26, DOI: 10.1080/02568549709594712.
This post was last updated in December 2021.