The Human Touch is amiss in Teaching in the Technology Age
I was immensely impressed with the way Barry White Junior teaches students at Ashley Park School in the aforementioned video link (already 44,716,057 views on Facebook Page, 82,619 views on YouTube and counting…).
He is an inspiration.
He is making a difference.
As I keep exploring the schools for my business engagement and keep meeting teachers and students across India, the one question that keeps haunting me is how to break the age-old conventional mode of teaching in school, and how to break away from the confinement of classroom teaching and make newer ways for creative learning outside the classroom.
Technology is taking away the personal touch and it is creating the unbridgeable chasm. Click To Tweet
Barry White Junior stands out and has created the missing human touch through a mere mode of handshaking and playing with the creative “design of dance” to define each student’s personality is particularly so intriguing and interesting that he makes us to sit down and reflect on the way teacher teach and student learn in schools…I was no exception and I was forced to re-frame my thoughts and I’m glad to have seen this video to voice my opinion. And we all need to change the way we confine our teaching in classrooms and define our means to learning in schools.
The fun in the school is grossly missing and the joy of learning is certainly lost in the juggernaut of technology jargon and lack of personal touch to teaching. Click To Tweet
Teaching in schools has become so mechanical, we have forgotten the chemistry and ignoring the biology, the relationship between teacher and student is robotized. The teaching follows a regimented timetable, though it has to, but the regime has become skewed, it has stymied the different ways to learn and teach in schools, it is more or less mirroring the routine of a factory schedule where standard goods get produced and the worker does it as per the production schedule. It is the number that counts for the manager in the factory and it is the mark that matters for the teacher in the school. With massive and rapid infusion of technology into the classroom, teacher merely acts like a supervisor and not a true guide, and everything is on a click and content is there but the context is missing, and the teacher just moderates the lesson and manages the modes of learning.
Classroom is supposed to be an alive place where there is a lively space between the instructor and the learner. The engagement is dead. It is not a one-way communication and nor it is a room for confinement. It is the place is to provide the space to exchange different ideas, explore new ways of thinking and experiment with different means to manage the generation of knowledge. Not just hoarding and loading of existing set of knowledge. Both the instructor and learner are suppose to learn from each other and this very two-way engagement is the essence of expanding the horizon of learning in school. The instructor has to learn from the feedback they get from the learners and the learners have to feel connected with the instructor to clarify their basic doubts and build on their advanced concepts that matters.
Interactive boards, interactive tabs, volumes of multi-media content and unfathomable amount of information on the web…there is no dearth of content and the deadly influx of information makes the process of teaching highly challenging as there is a lurking danger of fitting the right content in the given time schedule and adhering to the prescribed lesson plan. The instructor gets lost in the wilderness of wide range of content on the given subject, and attempts to collect and collate the subject that matters inadvertently ignoring the grey matters that really matters.
The cognitive thinking to creative learning that makes the teaching process and the learning outcomes more meaningful is grossly muddled in the “cacophony of digital disruption” that is rampantly invading the pious place of teaching and learning in school between the teacher and the student.
There is a digital divide.
Ironically, that is destroying the human bridge that was so vital to this process of teaching and learning in school. Everybody in the school is getting dragged into the vortex of completion of lesson plan on time and confining to the content prescribed in the school board syllabus. The question mark, has the syllabus evolved and school board aligned to the new requirements of the rapidly changing world?
There is a widening gap.
There is little that is done in experimenting and expanding the process of conventional teaching and learning so as to constantly introduce inspiring modes and innovate methods of teaching and learning.
We are today living in a fast changing dynamic world, where rigidity has lost its relevance and it is the flexibility to adopt that is essential to successful system. Teaching and learning can no more be restricted to the four walls of the classroom; it is breaking the barriers of boundaries and going beyond the classroom. There is an imperative need for both i.e discovering and innovating new ways to make teaching and learning exciting and making it ubiquitous. The fundamental to teaching is about learning how to become a good human being and learning the ways to face the world confidently, confront the challenges and make the required space to create value for the society.
The content has become so predominate that the context of why we are teaching and what for we are learning is lost in the background.
The foreground is distorted.
The moot question remains whether the teachers have lost the freedom to teach and are forcefully fitting to the schedule and to the prescribed teaching methods. The ability to take risk by teachers has drastically diminished and trying different ways for teaching and making learning more engaging and exciting has become the outright casualty.
If the teachers themselves are bored in teaching, how do we expect the students to be excited for learning?
The sufferers are the learners.
There is a direct relationship between the risk-taking ability and ability to be creative by teacher’s in teaching and the way the students perform. The student’s performance has a direct bearing to the teacher’s creative way of delivery. Unless the school management provides the space to experiment and explore new ways of teaching, the teachers are loosing the critical connect with the students.
Today, the learners have become smart and they have becoming smarter with the rapid use of digital technology that is empowering them. The school management and the instructors have to keep re-inventing and have to keep themselves ahead of the way they learn to think and think to learn. The students are no more the silent lot and they are ready to speak out and are already vocal in their demand and they are equipped with new tools and newer knowledge to question, debate and validate their assumptions and thoughts before accepting anything that is written in the book or stated by the teacher as gospel truth.
The quintessential to learning in any sphere is the ability to question and question the assumptions that limits our thinking. Click To Tweet
With the enhanced ability to expand their thinking and the courage to contest the assumptions, the students are changing the way school should be functioning and the way teachers should be teaching. The students are giving the conventional mode of teaching a challenge and building new norms for a better way to learn and apply their learning in a more productive and meaningful way in their daily life.
The students now are hyperactive and highly creative. They need new challenge on a regular basis and the class cannot just go through a motion. Each class has to be different for them to be creatively engaged and there has to be a human touch in teaching rather than a mechanized technology to learn what is meant to be taught, and expects the student to just take what is given on his/her platter. Not the case any more. Ultimately, it is the human touch and the trust that matters in any relationship and the teacher-student relationship is such a pious one, it just cannot ignore the significance of such powerful engagement of teachers for empowering the students.
We need more Barry White in schools to rekindle the interest of students attending schools and bringing back the fun of learning and the joy of teaching. It is time to change.
Technology is just an enabler and it just cannot disable the significant role of human relationship between the instructor and the learner. Click To Tweet
This very source of inspiration for changing the way teacher teach and student learn needs to be shared and it is a contagious content for a better engagement and brighter experience for different stakeholders in school. It is definitely changing the context…
Barry White is “Breaking the Barriers and Making a Difference”…