DNA of new Education

DNA of new Education

DNA of new Education

As educators, aren’t we all are guilty of ‘old school’ approaches? We force upon students regulated, constrained classroom learning, driven by theories and models of learning styles that limit development of higher intellect.

Here are some observations…

  • Witness the conventional transmittal of “knowledge”, where a hundred pairs of eyes stare at projected material, listening to a narrative that tries to contextualise the listerners minds’ eye, and when interaction is called upon, the resulting outcome is normally as engaging as a brick.
  • Exam times are another useful insight… notice the bowed heads in buses, some with scribble and scrawls on scrap paper, others more organised with notes and folders, all hoping to cram in to their last memory space a piece of information that makes or breaks their career path, nevermind their day.
  • Homework is the bugbear to students and indeed to parents as well. News from the grapevine suggest a good percentage (~50%) of parents are either flummoxed by the work or attempt to  complete it on behalf of their child.
  • News from the corridors are even more revealing. Dr Sandi Mann a senior lecturer in occupational psychology at the University of Central Lancashire has some useful findings on strategies adopted by students to cope with boring lectures: Daydreaming (75% of students admitted doing this); Doodling (66%); Chatting to friends (50%); Texting (45%); Note passing to friends (38%). Over 25% of students leave the lecture at the mid-session break.

The last point is poignant since its consequence is disengagement, leading to poor grades, even dropping out. From the learners’ perspective this defeats the purpose of education, i.e. the development of both horizontal growth (knowledge acquisition, building competence) and vertical growth (interllectual and personel development, the maturing of the mind). From the institutions perspective, poor retention is not a favourable business model.

We acknowledge the stalwarts of Kolb, Dewey, Juch, etc but also recoginse the impact of “digitisation in education”. The role of digital technologies is the new kid on the block – and BEACONING can become instrumental to unravelling and repackaging the of DNA of education, driving a change in social learning and development.

Let’s start with facilitating a digital coach, supported with disruptive content that is engaging across the learner, their parents, friends and yes, including the educator. Now let’s change the role of the educator to become a coach. There is a distinct difference here. Teachers are generally knowledge repositories, imparting knowledge to assist in assignments or projects. They are equivalent to a tell and show fair. Coaches are more interactive. They guide, motivate, encourage, and support interactions through reflective questions, involving the student in processing what needs to be done and how to do it. It empowers the leaner yet builds responsibility. This forms the building blocks of a new community of practice, a more holistic approach that brings learning and development to the forefront in equal measures.

Really, one might ask?! Let’s think about this for a moment. Compared to teaching, coaching is about bringing out the potenial (what ever that may be) in individuals, to understand each own (or others) weaknesses and take advantage of opportunities. Nobody’s perfect but opportunities are always present. Development, be it knowledge, skillsets and behaviours are personel. By providing the right environment, individuals can cultivate and empower themselves to make the most of their opportunities. This is the DNA of BEACONING’s educational technology. Stay tuned!