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LISTENING TO THE STUDENTS’ NEED – CONTINUED

09/17/2012

My last reflection on teaching was about listening to the student’s need. I still left the question open to the reader: How do we will implement this idea in the classroom? This writing will give some ideas how to listen to the need of the student in our teaching and learning processes. I will start with the current practice of teaching in the classroom. Then, it will examine what the students nowadays need to learn and to master in order to participate well in this unending change of the society. Practical suggestions for teachers to implement in the classroom will be discussed.

Our curriculum today is still content based curriculum, where students have to master the prescribed material in the curriculum. It is often that teacher should teach a subject which is not used in the daily life. The materials or the theory has been out of date and not applicable in the daily life because of the rapid changes which happen in the context. This happens especially in the developing countries. Though new approach to curriculum design and new methods of teaching has been introduced, the practice in the classroom doesn’t change much. The content based teaching still dominates the classroom practice. Teacher centered teaching strategies still dominate the classroom practices. Of course there are some schools who have develop more to answer the need of the time, but majority school still stick in the traditional practices. It needs ample time to change the teaching and learning practices in the classroom.
However, we need to try from our limited sources to initiate change in the classroom practices. It is for the future of our students and our next generation. But how do we do it? First of all we need to understand what our students nowadays are experiencing in the daily life. In my observation, our students are exposed with rapid changes in the society because of the development in Information and Technology. They are exposed with unlimited information through the internet and gadgets such as Ipad, Computer, hand phone etc. The information is just on the tip of their fingers. They can access the information easily and in unlimited manner. Students have more information than those in our time. Another observation is that our students nowadays become more independent and individualized in learning, they do not rely themselves on the teachers. They can update the information from many different sources they can find in the internet and in the gadget in their hands.

Then what do our students actually need? According to http://www.21stcenturyschools.com there are some skills that students in the twenty first century need to master. The skills are: collaboration skills, critical thinking skills, written communication skills, Technology literacy, and civilization. Collaboration skills refer to the ability to work in team. The critical thinking skills refer to the ability to solve the complex problem. Written communication refers to the ability to express ideas in good quality writing. The technology literacy means the ability to use the technology well. The civilization refers to the ability to take part in the global society issues and the ability to serve the need of the society.
How do we can start the changes in our teaching and learning processes? In my opinion, the teachers should first realize the need to change and realize the current and the future world of the students. Within the teachers’ life there should be sense of urgency to serve the need of the students. This will motivate the teachers to do the changes. With this in mind, we can start to initiate changes in our learning processes. We need to plan our lesson plan which will encourage students to work together in team, to search and evaluate critically the information they find in the newspaper, internet, books etc, which involve them in the use of technology. Encourage them to develop self confidence through the public speaking practices. Etc. It is not easy as it is said here, but we can do it based on our limited sources.
We should encourage students to work in team and encourage them to discuss with their fellow students. Maximize the use of technology which has been existed in the school and encourage them to share their skills with others during the learning processes. This is some simple ideas that we can practice so that our students could master some basic skills they need in the future.

Resurce
http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/What_is_21st_Century_Education.htm

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