I Wish to Provide Students with a Thirst for Knowledge

I Wish to Provide Students with a Thirst for Knowledge
The different philosophies on education are complex yet necessary for implementation of some type of educational structure in the classroom. The utilization of a variety of methods seems to be the most effective alternative to not only be an effective teacher, but also maintain an adherence to discipline and create an effective learning environment.
The idea of linear seating is too confining for the students and doesn?t allow for much freedom of movement either for the teacher or the students. Therefore, ?pod? or ?group? seating could be implemented. This arrangement would allow for more individualized attention. Group learning has its place in the classroom, but allowing individuals to grow and learn at their own pace is not without merit as well. Reference information, magazines, books, and colorful yet informative bulletin boards should fill the room. Information relevant to what we are studying and perhaps what the students think of a particular subject or idea would enhance the learning environment.

As the classroom facilitator, an effective approach to discipline would perhaps be to allow the students to expand and/or design their own disciplinary procedures. If they are allowed to prescribe the penalties they must pay for inappropriate behavior, they might be more likely to embrace these penalties rather than rebel against teacher/school policies.

The teacher should still be the center of instructional guidance, disseminating knowledge to the students. A teacher who takes it one step further, and becomes a facilitator rather than a dictator, however, allows the students to think for themselves, and design effective solutions and results (progressive). Effective facilitation reinforces in the students? minds they are capable of creative, yet sound reasoning, which is of paramount importance in the realm of self-assurance. Far too many of our youth have been caught up in the games teachers play with them, and are destined to be clones of the teachers they have in class. They are not allowed to think for themselves, but are forced to regurgitate what their teacher says on tests/essays.

Many insights, learned over the centuries, can easily be related to the challenges faced by the student of today; therefore, teachers should incorporate the great classics in the classroom at every opportunity. The majority of today?s students are neither analytical nor creative in their thinking, however, if a teacher skillfully introduces these masterpieces into the curriculum, and facilitates discussion surrounding them, students could quite possibly find themselves drawing from the wisdom of the authors and applying these tenets to their daily lives. Exposure to the classics, and the ensuing discussions between student/teacher and student/student, will allow students to search within themselves, and make cognizant decisions pertaining to their academic progress as well as their maturation.

Effective schools are not an impossibility, but without educational reform, effectiveness can never be achieved. A new way to view education is imperative, as many educators have become almost parochial in their teaching methodology. They are stagnant, reluctant if not vehemently opposed to change, and are causing our children irreparable damage. Humans are, by nature, not receptive of change. They fight and bicker, taking potshots at new methods of instruction saying, ?This way has worked for years, and I see no valid reason to change!? Are they right? Possibly so, but the changes necessary do not entail throwing out old methods, merely amending them into viable instructional practices by which our children gain a fuller, more robust education. The role of an educator in this implementation is easily stated: ?Learn to be an effective facilitator, guiding the students along the path to discovery, while still maintaining a degree of control in the classroom.?

Continuous learning can be achieved in many ways: continuing education seminars performed during faculty-senate days, professional development classes taught by leading educators in one?s particular field, periodicals, magazines, and participating in a Master?s program of study. Change is a constant, therefore, teachers must be readily adaptable to whatever changes are necessary to ensure their students have a well-rounded education.

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