It is unquestionable that each individual requires idiosyncratic conditions to nourish a growth and development that will turn them into the person they become. These conditions are provided through the institute of education through comprehensive knowledge of the educational infrastructure and the requirements and variety of qualities that each student presents. Looking at myself, I can say that my learning environment was the most crucial part of my life, encouraging me to step into the world and pursue a career I enjoy. It proved efficient in establishing personal competence, social and qualitative skills, as well as allowing proficient gains in knowledge and autonomy. Since learning is a continuous process in an individual’s life, the qualities carried influence following stages and hence the importance of methods of teaching and evaluation is consequential.
The contribution of learning to economic growth is one of many challenges in our society today. Teachers have a large impact on the skills and developmental skills student’s carry with them to aspire to a career into that sector. It is crucial to provide student with more than just facts but the tools that will ‘increase aspirations and awareness of the value of skills to them’ (Leitch Review of Skills Final Report, 2006). As study shows that our out-of-class experiences are just as important as the ones we learn in class (George D. Kuh, 1995). They have an increasing influence on the way things are viewed in the curriculum and that leads me to the conclusion that students with less social ability may be at a higher risk of employing a career in which they are less defined compared to those with higher sociability that would pursue careers that are suitable to their defined characteristic’s and abilities. Therefore, treating each student individually will encourage those individuals that are unable to flourish within their environments to identify themselves and accept achievements and skills in pursuit of specific careers.
Furthermore, Dewey provides an understanding on reflection on such experiences and its importance in promoting a more complex and interrelated mental schema (Wertenbroch & Nabeth, 2000). It generally helps to sum up knowledge from experiences and education and construct it mentally and use it in professional practice and to understand the world. To guide persons into higher order thinking through the skills learned in class is a significant target. Lack of it can be a result of environment, learning and reduced tasks of reflection. As an educator I believe reflection is integral in the lifelong learning process and to encourage it is to encourage promotion in economical growth. By adding depth to the meanings of observations and descriptions made in class it is possible to relate to the individual and reach the acquired goal in this specific area.
The methods employed in class will improve personal development and enhance the interest in learning as a whole. Using descriptive writing reports, which allow the students to reason based on their personal judgment and encourage problem solving, is an essential. As to the facts, Hatton & Smith reported four activities that aid the process of reflection: Action research projects, case and cultural studies, practical experiences, structured curriculum tasks like reading fiction and non-fiction as well as oral interviews and keeping journals. Community regeneration can be made through advancements in the institute of education and better teachers with a more rounded understanding of the world.
Waves of change have been implemented in the educational sector and our perception of it and the ability to cope with it have proved difficult. Policy can be viewed as the method of bettering and increasing the opportunities for learners in order for them to acquire qualifications and improve their capabilities. However, it has been a challenge for the sector to mend the system in a way that is equally beneficial to both the staff and the students. Some say: “Changing the way things are done … does not necessarily change either the ultimate outputs of the system or the underlying principles that characterize the sector. These principles lie in the cultural and professional values and the societal expectations that underpin the system at the macro-scale.” (Lumby and Foskett, 2005:27). On the other hand, some believe it can destroy the system: “Commitment to the learners may not, however, be enough to help staff cope with the pressures of further waves of change.”(Paper, 2005) Agreeably, it is a large responsibility that the teaching staff must take on but it is nevertheless a high target to attain especially when it is constantly changing.
Having said this, it is obvious in the current educational society, reforms made have a strong impact on the teaching staff and eventually trickling down to the students. To maintain the principles previously mentioned you must diligently teach without forgetting the “why” and “which” questions that strongly affect a minority of students whilst teaching a group for example. So it can be said that these fluctuations effect students and the teachers, which seems somewhat counterproductive to achieve a more efficient educational system. The major problem now is that because of funding cuts, schools and their staff are unable to further use equipment and facilities to achieve new and exciting methods of teaching younger student, which limits student interest and inevitably lack of interest in education as a whole. The effects that educational reform have on the learning circle produces different repercussions with the younger ones with comparison to the older students it has been seen through some studies that adjustments in examination style or just general curriculum changes proves difficult to adjust to. Therefore it is wise to take extra caution in primary school classes in order to guide the children appropriately and through educational standards allow them to feel stable. To further enforce, it is the responsibility of the teaching staff to not let reforms affect the teaching in the classroom.
Furthermore, it is mandatory to view the way changes in the past have allowed us to cope with the changes that will come in the future. Currently, the educational climate has been continually changing to establish a more equipped foundation for each current climate and the challenges they face. The advantage of this is that it has given teachers and staff of today a better understanding of how to prepare and acclimatize to change without major impact on teaching and student. Past teaching experiences have shown that during changes in the system, there is a great deal of confusion in curriculum and teaching, which has made the transition to the new system harder for teachers to cope with and ultimately effect the students learning. Under initiative leadership, all staff members are expected to take responsibility for the successes of the teaching and implementation, which by definition portray a high priority on improving and maintaining an effective educational system. Leadership in a participative group will be matched to the tasks identified by the group, and leaders will emerge with sanction from the group.
Thanks to past generations of teaching faculty we have consciously learnt that all levels of education in this country are primarily about teaching without recognizing what is required to develop a highly functional group. Students don’t have a primary role in what is to be taught. Students wait to be told what to do and how this is to be achieved. Teaching, instigated by the authorities, places the student in a strict relationship with the teacher and their teachers only. Fortunately there are some good teachers who encourage and facilitate learning, but we have mostly teachers who tell their students what has been decided they need to study and learn in the classroom. Finally, constructive learning is a personal journey, resulting from the maintenance of a steady practice and of personal motivation. Learning that is the way forward in education and an adventure essentially under the control of the individual, encircled by the developmental capabilities that are encountered throughout the course, and with time and maturation is constricted somewhat by the method and course of experiences open to the teacher and student.
Evaluation has always been a key and a significant role in successfully maintaining a constructive and adherent learning environment. It allows the teacher and the teaching staff to better understand the fluctuations of student understanding and of specific subjects at specific times during the educational year. It allows for struggling students to understand their difficulties and with the teachers help better their understanding, it allows for exceeding students to push their learning capacity and achieve higher than expectations. Evaluation has always been, and always will be a key, decisive and imperative pillar in education.
However some faculties in the educational society believe that by early evaluation of students since the age of 6 in their first year of primary school have many downfalls to it including stress, teacher’s favouritism and students not enjoying the time they have in school which ultimately defies the concept of learning and teaching as a whole. Although this may be true in some instances, because of early evaluation we have been able to identify students at an early age who have learning difficulties and attend to their needs, we have also been able to aspire students to achieve great thing with a knowing understanding of what needs to be accomplished leading to a great deal of increase in applications for university in the past few years.
Having said this, evaluation has also been a significant and key way of better understanding the curriculum and changes in the curriculum and most importantly how the staff has taught this curriculum. This has proved as a very useful tool during educational reform when evaluating teachers has helped to better orientate themselves during implementation of new curriculum. It has also provided an outline as to how faculties are able to organize their teaching plans, class schedules, extra curricula activities and many other vital and important issues concerned in school.
Moreover this has been in some way a guideline to the educational society in the government as to whether or not different syllabi have proved effective enough and consequences of these results. This has been done in a very constructive method to provide goals and targets for both students and teachers in order to create a more efficient and opportunity giving educational climate. This having been said evaluation of teachers and students in particular especially from GCSE’s until university and further education learning has proved troublesome and in some instances farfetched. University and colleges entrance requirements have increased significantly as have grading systems in college, so much so that a new great boundary has been created for the top achievers. This can be said to increase the gap between students in the same classes and often provide teachers difficulty in assessing how to teach a wide range of students with different understandings of the specific subject.
Part 3, 4
In my teaching area, learners’ feedback and views are crucially important in determining what’s needed to improve their learning and therefore successfully reaching their goals in education. But I also highly value colleagues and head teacher opinions as this would help me improve my teaching methods and provide a high standard of education as well as following a set of quality assurance policies by which the work is continually monitored, which include self-assessments, reviews meetings by colleagues, recording data regarding success rate, attendance, in year retention…
Leitch Review of Skills: Prosperity for all in the global economy-world class skills, Dec 2006-Page 17.
The Other Curriculum: Out-of-Class Experiences Associated with Student Learning and Personal Development Author(s): George D. Kuh. The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 66, No. 2 (Mar. – Apr., 1995), pp. 123-155
Lumby and Foskett, 2005:27
10. Reflective Practice in the lifelong learning sector, Jodi Roffey-Barensten R.Malthouse