When I started thinking about this week’s post, a few things came to mind, however, I chose to write about something more timely and global. The change I would like to see in higher education in the *near* future is adapting digital transformation to their educational model.
What I mean by digital transformation isn’t the same as shifting classes to online, as you may already know. Adopting digital pedagogical practices is the future of learning and teaching. This topic is more relevant today in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though, digital transformation goes way beyond online classes but it presented an opportunity for higher education institutes to re-evaluate their readiness and their infrastructure. I am a supporter of digital transformation because of a couple of reasons:
- It provides solutions for equal opportunity to lower-income students and to members of disadvantaged minorities
- It is more resilient in the case of unexpected events such as pandemics
- It allows for a more individualized learning experience for each student that suits where they are in their learning journey
The readings for this week’s topic made me think deeply about the teaching journey, particularly about it being a choice of how we carry our teaching practices. When we choose democratic, open-minded practices, there is always a risk involved. I reflected on the acceptance of students evaluation and how I think I should be committed to using it to improve myself, however, without obsessing over it. I like this quote from Paulo Freire’s “Teaching is a human act”:
After all, our teaching space is a text that has to be constantly read, interpreted, written and re-written.
Who you are becoming compared to who you seem to be is a key balancing act. It is extremely important to develop inner sense of security, that sense doesn’t mean that I will have all the answers, but it comes from knowing what I know and what I don’t know. This inner security will allow me as a teacher to be open with my students which inevitably is a source of risk that one takes when teaching with an open-minded and democratic approach as mentioned above.
Some of the important aspects of the teaching-learning dynamics that cannot be separated include: the respect for the teacher and respect for students, authority and freedom, knowledge and not knowing the answers to all questions, teaching and learning. The last point is extremely important and beautifully described in the “Banking Concept of Education” piece by Freire as reconciling the student-teacher contradiction by both being students and teachers at the same time.
I think that I am going to hold on to these concepts to use them to inform my teaching process in the future as I do the best I can to be the best teacher I can!