The main objective of education is providing assistance to learners that enable them to achieve levels of development of personal quality that they would not be able to achieve by themselves. Thus, the most challenging factor for education is creating effective learning environment and resources.
How educators help the learners to obtain a high personal quality? What is a personal quality actually? How to create effective learning environment and resources? This essay will outline the paradigm shifting of teaching to enhance the personal quality of the learners.
Personal quality is the degree to which an individual expresses positive personal attributes, practices good human relations and exhibits superior work performance. The following attributes are the positive personal attributes by Malhi (2004):
- Having high self-esteem
- Practising self-responsibility
- Being action-oriented
- Being self-disciplined
- Being persistent
- Practising what you preach
- Maintaining high integrity
- Being receptive to constructive criticism
- Being flexible and adaptable to change
- Managing time successfully
- Being a good communicator
- Being well-groomed and well-dressed
- Keeping fit and healthy
- Leading a balanced life
- Seeking continuous self-improvement
In order to help the learners to obtain those high personal qualities, educators must be a quality people also. As quality people do quality work, educators should create effective learning environment and resources starting from themselves.
- Are themselves good learners – resulting in teaching that is dynamic, reflective and constantly evolving as they learn more and more about teaching;
They continually improve their teaching by monitoring their skills.
- Display enthusiasm for their subject and the desire to share it with their students;
- Recognize the importance of context and adjust their teaching accordingly;
The educators can adapt their materials to different learning situations.
- Encourage deep learning approaches and are concerned the developing their students’ critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills and problem-approach behaviours;
They are interested in developing the students as learners.
- Demonstrate an ability to transform and extend knowledge, rather than merely transmit it;
- Recognize individual differences in their students and take advantage of these;
- Set clear goals, use valid assessment techniques and provide high quality feedback to their students;
They assist students to understand the aims of the course.
- Show respect for, and interest in, their students and sustain high expectations of them.
They treat their students with dignity and concern.
In addition to aiming to engage learners in the learning process, there is also a need to address the changing needs of marketplace. Because in many academic disciplines the body of relevant knowledge is growing at an exponential rate, it is no longer possible, or even desireable, for an individual to have a complete knowledge base. Rather, it is preferable that he or she should have an understanding to new situations and have the wherewithal to seek out the information that is needed.
As the world continues to increase in complexity, university graduates will need to be equipped to cope with rapid changes in technology and to enter careers that may not yet be envisaged, with chance of profession being commonplace. To produce graduates equipped for this workforce, it is essential that educators teach in ways that encourage learners to engage in deep learning which may be built upon in the later years of their course, and also be transferred to the workplace.
Paradigm Shifting of Teaching
The new role of the university teacher, then, is one that focuses on the students’ learning rather than the instructor’s teaching. The syllabus is more likely to move from being a set of learning materials made up of lecture notes, to a set of learning materials made up of print, cassettes, videos, disks and computer programs. Class contact hours will cease to be the major determinant of an academic workload. The teacher will then be released from being the sole source of information transmission and will become instead more a learning manager, able to pay attention to the development and delivery of education instead of to content.
Student-centred learning activities will also require innovative assessment strategies. Traditional assessment and reporting has aimed to produce a single mark or grade for each student. The mark is intended to indicate three things: the extent to which the learned materials was mastered or understood; the level at which certain skills were performed, and the degree to which certain attitudes were displayed.
A deep learning approach would test a student’s ability to identify and tackle new and unfamiliar ‘real world’ problems. A major assessment goal will be to increase the size and complexity of assignments and minimize what can be achieved by memorizing or reproducing content. Wherever possible, students will be involved in the assessment process to assist them to learn how to make judgement about themselves and their work.