Innovation in pedagogy

The development of communication technology has had a huge impact on all areas of the world. Also, technology has had a great impact on education, and e-learning is a typical example. It is revolutionary to be able to get the education when we want and where we want, even if we are not in a certain place at a specific time. This makes it easier for more people to reach education. Beyond the limits of education, creating explosive demand can be considered a demand-side approach.
Open pedagogy, on the other hand, can be regarded as a supply-side approach that allows for diverse, participatory and living education. The concept of open pedagogy is not really new or imaginative. However, Open Educational Resources (OERs) make this possible. In some respects, the characteristics of OERs indicate the difference in the supply of education. OERs are educational materials that are openly-licensed, usually with Creative Commons licenses, and they are generally characterized by the Rs: they can be reused, retained, redistributed, revised, and remixed. The most important feature is that not only teachers can access educational materials, but all people who can participate in education can access them. If it is the first educational innovation that has enabled anyone to receive education through Internet technology, open education is the second innovation that has made everyone a provider of education. As Rajiv said, everyone can act as a provider.
But change and innovation are accompanied by side effects. Anyone who can participate means that anyone can distort information. From a traditional point of view, the person who supplies education must be qualified. We could easily trust them because educators had to be tested to a certain level of academic personality. However, the current OER is intentionally distorted or alterable by someone. Even if purification is done, I think that it is not easy to cleanse anyone who has an evil intention. It is important for educators to be prepared for side effects so that complete innovation can be achieved.

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Educational reality and critical pedagogy

I was quite shocked when I learned of Critical Pedagogy through this lesson. I have been worried for a long time (just this week) why I did not receive such education. In my country, people who learn a lot of knowledge, and the think based on that knowledge called “smart”. Under such an educational reality, it was impossible to imagine a suspicious act of knowledge from teachers and books. If I have been suspicious and critical in my knowledge, it would not have been natural for knowledge to be forgotten.

Through Paulo Freire’s belief in education, I deeply wondered how to teach my students if I become a teacher.

“Critical pedagogy is teaching approach which attempts to help students question and challenge domination, and the beliefs and practices that dominate them. It tries to help students become critically conscious.”

So how can we make students critically conscious?

Ira Shor defines “critically conscious” in Empowering Education (1992):

“A student can be critically conscious by thinking, reading, writing, and speaking while going beneath the surface meaning. A student must go beyond myths, clichés, received wisdom, and mere opinions. Most importantly, students must understand the deep meaning, root causes, social contexts, and personal consequences of any action, events objects, process, organization, experience, text, subject matter, policy mass media and discourse.”

It is not a simple thing to go beyond the generally recognized dominant opinion. Creating a student who thinks, “Maybe not,” feels curious and rethinking without accepting things and knowledge, but it feels like a very difficult task. Educating students to accept my opinions critically can sound like a contradiction. My conclusion is that the ultimate goal is critical pedagogy, but it is rather radical when considering the reality of education. In the middle of it, I believe that mindful learning/teaching and inclusive pedagogy give students experiences to find happiness and find something they like and value, rather than conveying knowledge. I think that critical pedagogy is probably the next step after these are accepted.

Diversity; an opportunity to leap or a seed of tragedy

All of the characters in Disney cartoon movies I enjoyed when I was a kid were all in good shape and kindness, and the villains were like monsters and vicious. These scenes bring unconscious prejudices to young children. This makes children more likely to prefer Barbie dolls with long blonde hair and makes a person appraised only by appearance. This is not the fault of children at all. This is one of the leading cases in which children are unconsciously biased.

People have different thoughts about white people, black people and Asian people. It is formed from your limited experience or from the stories you hear from people around you. When we see the skin color of a person, we are going to treat people with the prejudice of “This kind of people acts like ~” Actions or languages ​​that come from this prejudice are called racial discrimination or racism. It is racism not only to use racist language but also to treat people unequally (For example, black people are more likely to undergo ID testing in areas with high crime rates).  I felt very tired when I realized there were so many kinds of racism in America. This is because Korea, which I have been living in, is composed of a single race and the ratio of foreigners is extremely low. The funny thing is that this tired variety makes us more creative and diligent. In fact, there are several studies that show that the more diversity there is, the better. There are also studies that social mix makes a community better in the housing sector which is my research area. Various income classes and various races/ethnicity can lead to various problems, but it implies that a better society can be achieved by solving the conflicts. Diversity is a seed of tragedy and can be described as an opportunity to leap.

How should we educate children and young people about diversity? Is diversity an unconditional goal to pursue? Pedagogy should also develop. I do not know exactly what kind of education method can make a positive effect. But I will finish by introducing the example that my prejudice has fallen in childhood. I remember the movie Shrek was the first movie to challenge my prejudice. Shrek’s story of a monster-like appearance and timid character showed that anyone could be the protagonist of life, and I realized that I had an unconscious bias. I thought it might be more important to identify the prejudices inherent before creating various experiences.

Own way to teach

There are various types of teachers in the world and students have their own preferences. If someone wants to know which is the best way to teach or how can I be a good teacher, the answer is “it depends on ..”

I have taught high school mathematics for almost 10 years. High school students have a strong desire to study and excellent concentration. Providing appropriate examples with easy explanations has made me the best teacher for high school students. For difficult problem solving, if I share strategies for how I find this problem solving, they have the same ability as me in a year. Until I taught elementary school, I thought I found the way to be a good teacher. Teaching young children was completely new. It was more important to not lose interest than to convey a lot of knowledge. The children needed another way of teaching because it was impossible to concentrate for a long time.

As the teaching method is different according to who is taught, education can be changed according to who teaches. While uniform education can guarantee quality above a certain level, not all students need to receive the same education, so the teacher must have a way to maximize his or her merits. Most people will try to teach based on what they have been taught. However, as the best teachers have different ways of teaching, there are different ways of teaching that I can do well. It will be the first step to becoming a good teacher, not only to learn teaching skills and prepare classes hard, but also to find effective ways to communicate with students based on my personality.

 

The effect of grading

In order to enter a good university and graduate school you want to go, we have to get a better score than others. We can have as many choices as we want to get good grades across all areas as well as our favorite subjects. If you do not get good grades at the moment when you realize that ‘good grades = many and various opportunities’, you feel like you are a bad student. Nevertheless, teachers cannot give up grading. There are many reasons for this ironic educational situation. Based on my experience, I would like to write down my thoughts on the effect of grading introduced by Alfie Kohn.

  1. Grades tend to diminish students’ interest in whatever they’re learning.

Sometimes the interest is diminished, but when students solve problems of high difficulty, they feel a strong joy and it gives them a deeper level of interest. But basically it is only valid for the subjects they like and do well.

2. Grades create a preference for the easiest possible task

I agree with this opinion. If students set goals for high grades, they try to find a way to get the most effective way. In fact, learning methods to obtain deep knowledge and study methods to receive good grades are different. It is easy to get good grades by getting a well-organized reference book or previous tests.

3.  Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking.

I think it depends on the exam questions. If there are more descriptive test items than multiple choice, students will have many thoughts and thoughts during the test. Particularly well-organized step-by-step narrative test items can enhance quality of students’ thinking through testing.

Invitation to a world full of raw materials

Considering the education I had received up to high school, teachers taught me knowledge that has been proven for a long time and without much controversy. They confidently taught the students what they had learned and this activity is still ongoing.

The development of ICT(Information, communication and technology) has revolutionized all areas of politics, society, economy, sports, etc., but I do not think that education takes full advantage of new technologies. The representative product of the combination of ICT and education is distance learning (often called e-learning) Anyone can receive education without time and space limitations. But this is not an interactive communication. Teachers can conduct remote lectures to all students around the world, and there is no system for students to express their opinions to all teachers and colleagues. I understand Gardner Campbell’s “digitally mediated networked learning” in that context. In addition, Dough Belshaw’s “working openly on the web” is also understood as a world where two-way communication is possible.

However, networked learning is not simply interactive communication, but “invitation to a world full of raw materials”. It is a state in which the huge and false information, unethical things, etc. In fact, what we call knowledge is a real knowledge through a long process of purification, and we have not made much sense of the process itself. The new educational meaning of networked learning is to accept the whole thing, but to learn the process of discovering real knowledge by establishing and cleansing your own selection process through experience. At first, you might just feel that networked learning is awesome and it is beneficial to everyone when you listen to someone who has benefited from blogging like Seth Godin and Tom Peters. However, it is only one advantage, not all network activities are beneficial.

I sometimes drink beer with my 3 roommates and talk about various topics. The main topic is about movies, and their interpretation is different, which is very interesting because of the variety of blogs for which each person has obtained information. After watching the movie, you may have searched Google for “Avengers Ending Interpretation” for a scene that you don’t understand or miss. Sometimes, however, there are cases where there are interpretations that are opposed to interpretation from a variety of perspectives. Sometimes I see that there are not only diverse interpretations but also opposing interpretations. I think that people who have seen only one opinion can have highly biased opinions. Learning to acquire information should not be learning but learning to obtain balanced information.

Networked learning should include a way of learning to avoid being unintentionally biased. In a world full of raw materials, I think studying the process of looking into the virtual world and discovering the gemstone through your own standards is a real learning.

 

References:

Gardner Campbell, “Networked Learning as Experiential Learning” (2016)
Doug Belshaw “Working Openly On the Web” (2014)
Tim Hitchcock “Twitter and Blogs are Not Just Add-ons To Academic Research” (2014)