Are you an innovative educator? I know that this is a tough question to answer since innovation is not anything that simply happens or is possible to make it happen using a formula. It is not exactly a matter of will either. Just like other things that are tough to create, there are several critical ingredients to being an innovative educator. However, there are a few qualities in the innovative educators that are not very hard to develop.
Regardless of whether you are making a curriculum or bringing about changes in an already existing strategy of instruction, innovation is must if you want to go along with the trends and developments ushered in the education industry.
Modern classrooms are very different from the traditional classrooms. It is no longer easy to reach out to the students planning the curriculum a day in advance and imparting the information in a monotonous tone.
What is to be done?
You need to be an innovative educator. What qualities do you require to be one?
Here is an overview of some of the improvisations you can add to your teaching style to be an innovative educator.
To be an innovative educator, you must be open. You can ask your students what strategies they would like you to implement while teaching them. They are experts on their own learning style and thus can guide you best. Believe me, they will be great sources of information for you.
Make sure you are all ears to your students' needs. Listen to them and ask for their feedback. Use the feedback to change your teaching strategy. This will help you to engage your students better. However, it is better not to use this approach for teaching the very young students. This strategy proves best for the secondary and the post-secondary level students.
The very idea of cooperating with the students while imparting knowledge is scary to some. We have grown up looking at the teachers as a director, orator and a sage. We expect the students to have a similar view of us.
You need to â€˜co-construct' knowledge. While co-constructing knowledge, you need to forget the distinction between teachers and students and instead, undertake the journey of completing a curriculum together.
Just take the pain of sitting in one class through the day, taking in lectures on different subjects. You are bound to get bored. The educators need students to get engaged with the curriculum rather than get bored. You can offer the students a few choices. By choices, I don't mean giving the students a set of 6 questions from where they can answer 5. You need to give them real options.
You can assume the role of a guide and an instructor, only if required. Here are some steps you can take.
- Ask students to list items they want more information on
- Form a few teams and ask the teams to select the topics they want to be addressed first
- While you analyze a text, allow the students an opportunity to do the same
You can ask the students to make a few slides based on the chapter you are working on. In case you teach History or Geography, you can take them on an educational trip and ask them to use pictures clicked by them to be used on the slides. This will inspire and motivate the students to learn the curriculum better.
Infuse Different Ideas
Learning together is really fun. Education is an industry where sharing takes up a prominent position and the classroom livens if given more scope to innovate. When the teachers work together sharing the burden of the students, the students are bound to perform better. Share your knowledge with not just the students but the other educators as well. Blend the ideas. You need to gather concepts and ideas from other domains and infuse them in your teaching strategy.
The idea blenders use their expertise, blend it other ideas outside the industry and then create solutions, challenging the status quo.
This list is not exhaustive. Don't limit yourself to using only these standards in innovative teaching. You can use these standards as a way to create creative lessons and projects, promoting an innovative learning experience. But make sure you introduce new ideas and measures to make classes more interesting for the students.
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