Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions out there, many teachers know that to be true. Not only do we get to help kids grow and learn about the wonders of the world, we get to also help change the world, one kid at a time. There is a lot of learning to be done in and outside the classroom. However, I believe that in order to keep kids engaged, we need to change the idea that teachers are being viewed as a “fountain of information” to teachers being viewed as “learning facilitators”.
A lot of students often become disengaged in their learning because traditional teaching have become very boring and very stressful for students as kids are expected to sit in classes for 75 minutes per period in a classroom listening to a teacher lecturing them on topics as prescribed by the curriculum without any breaks in between for them to calm down to absorb more information. From my experience during my practicum block, I’ve observed students’ interactions with their teachers and found that having lectures longer than half an hour causes students to become completely disengaged from the lesson. However, if students are able to do their exercises and then have short lessons in between, their level of engagement rises because they are able to immediately practice what they have been taught to reinforce their learning.
One of the greatest things about technological education is that it’s a very hands on program which offers tech education teachers to custom tailor their courses so that they can experiment with different teaching styles which are not found in classes teaching traditional subjects such as math, English, history and etc. Teachers in technological education programs have been removed from the centre of learning to the side often guiding students to learn the materials presented by the teacher. Students also get the opportunity in learning how to teach new skills to themselves and most importantly able to solve problems by themselves or with peers. This is crucial in a students’ learning development as problem solving is a transferable asset that can be proven useful later in life. Thus, the material becomes centre stage to what students are learning in class and the teacher is there to merely facilitate the learning and answer any questions or concerns that the students may have or to clarify what they don’t understand. With this method, differentiated learning flourishes as students have both the choice of how they want to tackle the assignments and be able to work at their own pace.
Based on the observations I have made during my practicum block, by having teachers as facilitators, students have become a lot more engaged in their workload and teachers have been able to engage one-on-one with students that may be struggling with the work assigned to them. Without this method, students would be dragged along during the course and those who don’t understand would fall behind and become disengaged from the material completely and will likely fail out of class. Thus, being able to do this in a technological education course, it has been highly beneficial to both the teachers and the students.