Individualized, customizable, learner-centred approaches are becoming the new norm. Traditionally, education has been about developing a curriculum and teaching to students in a prescriptive manner. That made education easy for teachers because they could essentially teach the same thing, year in and year out.
That was not only boring for students, it’s ineffective.
It is said that one month after final examinations, students have lost 90% of the “knowledge” they had on the day of their final. That’s not learning. It’s stuffing information into a brain for it to be regurgitated on a test. And once it’s been puked out onto a test paper, it’s gone forever, it seems. Not exactly ideal, is it?
The good news is: learning is becoming more individualized and focused on the students and their needs.
Teachers of tomorrow will need to shift their thinking, stop thinking about how to get students to learn the curriculum and instead, make the curriculum work for the students.
We don’t have time to wait for a new generation of teachers to understand that learning is about the students, not the textbooks, not the curriculum and most definitely not about standardized testing. Teachers of today need to learn that.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.