Teaching for the 21st Century – Connecting the Dots

Creativity and creation lead to student learning and outcomes. However current educational systems tend to impede these essential components to successful and fun learning.  Awareness of ways in which students meaningfully learn is not enough. Educators must apply strategies within/outside of the classroom in order to facilitate student learning that fosters the critical thinking skills needed to solve real world, complex issues.

Creating better learning systems starts with practice. Will it be enough if educational changes are not broadly made?  These readings helped to frame concepts and issues that we have been discussing in GEDI 2018 throughout the semester. As informed educators we must become activists for changing policies that are in favor of creativity and creation rather than memorization and dissemination. Without policy changes our minor, individual efforts are unlikely to be enough to make a structural difference. However, policies and social environments take a long time to change and successes at the individual and interpersonal (among peers) levels are equally important. Ultimately utilizing tools available to us in order to evolve as educators or coaches is a critical component for future success in order to combat the inevitable discouragement of failure.

Thus, I am excited although realistic with regard to the challenges and benefits to applying student-centered learning outcomes within future classrooms.

6 Replies to “Teaching for the 21st Century – Connecting the Dots”

  1. Thank you Bailey for sharing. As you said we really need instructors who try to get out of the box to motivate students for being creative and improving their critical thinking skills. Complacent teachers, optimistically, would not add anything to the student knowledge and awareness.
    Thanks again,

  2. Thank you for your blog Bailey. I’m excited to read it and I agree with you is that upcoming educators need to practicing the changes we need and advocating for those changes. Maybe engaging in research efforts that show what works and what doesn’t would also help with that advocacy part.

  3. I’m a bit of a pessimist and I don’t see much change happening. It’s easy for use to sit here now and blog away about how awesome we are going to be, which is true that we are awesome. However, once reality strikes I see us having to choose between parts of our careers. How easy is it to sacrifice teaching in order to maintain those other aspects? I witnessed a professor teach an entire semester from “lesson plans” made about an hour before class. It was a crappy class, but the professor was still able to maintain their productivity with research. This particular class has tons of potential, but it takes time to develop that. That time is something this pre-tenure professor did not seem interested in investing. One example doesn’t make it always true, but I foresee that happening a lot.

    1. This is what happens when tenure-track professors are pressured to aggressively publish and apply for grants. The underlying thinking is that enrollments would never take a hit from “clumsy teaching”. There will always be students to fill the classes with. It is an environment where course development is considered wasting time.
      As for making change happen. I am not sure. But if somehow the students ( = undergrads) decide they want more than what is offered, it creates a great change in the power dynamics and will definitely lead to actual change.

  4. Thanks for the post, Bailey. I totally agree what you said here, but I am not sure if the reality would be the same as Chris said. Yeah, if students cannot apply whatever they learned in the classroom to real-world problems, we cannot say that learning process was successful enough. Students should find some new ways to solve those problems or create some solutions to solve them, instead of bringing up some memorized information. And we are the people who can make that difference in the education system as educators as you said.

  5. Thank you for your post! I totally agree that several points you made here. Particularly, our efforts might not be enough to reshape the educational system we have, but in a long term, I strongly believe that we can see some changes as much as we put our efforts in it. Like you mentioned here, one thing we need to remember is to make changes, it needs to be done in collaboration with each individuals as well as its society. Thanks!

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