3 aspects that control the teaching-learning process in Creative Teaching

Introduction

The learners have varied interests, motivation levels, and have different learning styles and the fact remains that unless the teacher understands the learner completely, the process of learning will not be authentic.


It is akin to a mother teaching a child to walk. The teacher is like the mother understanding the needs of the child. The teacher has to come down to the level of the learner, analyse what he/she can do, and provide the required support with respect to making the content simple and understandable in an age-appropriate manner, selecting the correct resources, and managing the classroom for purposeful learning.

Related: 9 Creative Teaching Techniques for Teachers and Trainers

A teacher has to know intuitively what is needed for a child. Like a mother bending down, reaching out to the child, and providing firm guidance but without being too forceful, the teacher also has to steer the child in the right direction.

The three aspects that control the teaching-learning process in Creative Teaching:

1. Content:

The school curriculum is structured in such a way that the content is limited and the focus is more on rote learning and preparing for the examination rather than on an understanding of concepts. The personal connection between teachers and the taught disappears, there is more content and in-depth exploration which demands well-developed and refined study skills and independent study habits. A few learners are ready for this challenge; but most are not prepared for the emotional, social, and intellectual skills they have to develop in order to cope with the demands made on them.

The content is enhanced, they are exposed to different ways of learning they learn newer concepts, and the quantum of knowledge is very high. One of the reasons why most teachers adopt the lecture method is the belief that they can cover the content in the prescribed time period and thus "finish the portions." The teachers mostly do not make an effort to understand the learners' previous knowledge and if there are any misconceptions. The prescribed syllabus is delivered without considering the learning needs of the learners. It is not just important to complete the syllabus but also to make it interesting and deliver it to match the needs of the learners. The model stresses the need for thorough and in-depth analysis of content, identify the previous learning, identify aspects that are new, identify concepts and skills which can be learned easily by the learners, which ideas will take more time, which concepts need to be reinforced, which areas can be taken up for further study and other such curricular considerations.

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2. The Balance of Power

We have been used to teacher-centric approaches to coverage of content. The teacher uses didactic approaches where learners are passive and do not have any role in the classroom except as listeners. The power and the control rest with the teacher. Creative teaching advocates the active involvement of the learner in the teaching-learning process. The use of active learning strategies such as role-plays, quiz, mindmaps, discussions, seminars mandates the involvement of the learner, his positive engagement with the content, and a stake in the learning. The learner is pushed to read, make sense of the concepts, understand the idea, and seek doubts. The learner is thus empowered to be self-reliant. The power and the responsibility are shared with the learners and they are involved in decision making.

3. The Responsibility for Learning

The teacher thus will be in the driver's seat while planning, but the lesson's delivery is through activities and experiences. The learner does not get readymade knowledge but has to build his/her knowledge. The learner has to be active in acquiring this knowledge. He/She is involved in decision-making and what transpires in the classroom. The teacher does not make all the decisions but the learner also makes a few decisions in what they learn, how they learn, and why they learn something. The teacher thus shares both power and responsibility with the learners.

The teacher could use open-ended questioning, surveys, dramatisation, and brainstorming to make learners think out of the box, develop creativity, and other leadership and life skills such as communication, conflict resolution, decision making, empathy, understanding of Indian cultural ethos. The learners could be mentored with affection, encouraged to be curious, and also dealt with firmly but consistently to inculcate values and ethics. The assessment of learning can be regular and it focuses on the process of learning rather than the product of learning. a number of tools can be used such as projects, journal entries, pen and paper tests, simulations, reports, and presentations. It is the learner who drives learning. Each child will develop his learning goal and thus individualised instruction will take place. The learner ultimately has more responsibility for learning than the teacher alone.


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