August 19, 2016

Paradoxes of pedagogical approaches

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in an educational seminar on pedagogy in Nay Pyi Taw two days ago, attached importance to the use of the learner-centred teaching in brightening the future of the country, alerting all the education practitioners to the need to be imaginative about how to promote the country’s education standard.
In the past six years, the Ministry of Education has attempted to introduce the Child-Centred Approach (CCA) in the education setting across the country, but to be frank, the attempt still remains a failure. The problem seems to arise from a misunderstanding about the interpretation and application of this approach. In fact, this practice of teaching and learning is not a methodology but a philosophy. This does not necessarily mean that learner-centred teaching must focus on a single teaching method.
It is, therefore, absolutely vital for the authorities in the field of education to consider what barriers there are to the use of this approach in our classrooms. To some confusing extent, the phrases of the learner-centred teaching, the learning-centred teaching and the student-centred learning are in common use in the teaching and learning context. On the whole, these phrases are all variations of one approach.
One critical point to ponder is that traditional teaching approaches still reign supreme in the field of education, making some eager teachers feel reluctant to adopt the learner-centred approach. Another issue is concerned with large class sizes and inadequate infrastructure with a result that teachers have to emphasise group goals over the needs of individual students. Despite the difficulties, teachers have the responsibility to transform their students into self-driven lifelong learners.
All things considered, the reform in the education system involves the reform in teaching and learning, which in turn should come up with necessary changes in the assessment system across the curriculum.


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