Tech Task # 3 “Why schools?”

The ECMP 355 session “Why school?” with Will Richardson enlightened me. As I come from a different country with different school culture, I was able to get the picture of Canadian school culture. The session was thought provoking and every word he said kept resonating in my mind.

When I did my Bachelors of Education in India, I was taught all about teaching (Traditional ways) but when I started teaching I figured that I was not even putting in use those traditional ways because somewhere I felt those methods were not helping me to kindle the spark, to engage or to create interest in the students. So I started trying out new ways to engage students and get the maximum output. These methods were totally opposite of the traditional approaches which are deeply embedded in our school culture. Soon enough parents and teachers started questioning my methods, even though the students were learning in real sense then. I tried my level best to put up my point but it was in vain. It was disheartening for me! Finally I had to give up!

During the session with Will Richardson, the only thing that came to my mind was “Wish I had not given up!”.

“Many of our schools are good schools, if only this were 1965.”-Louise Stoll & Dean Fink

The irony of this quote is not the fact that our educational system is antiquated, but that most new initiatives and programs are still focused on perfecting the antiquated school of 1965 rather than transforming formal education to be relevant in the world of today.

The Age of Technology has moved us into an era of instant information. The world of information is literally at our finger tips. Earlier, when Information was a sparse commodity, it was the teacher who held the keys to knowledge but today this no longer holds true. Today when students have access to technology, they no longer depend on teachers for information. This has changed the role of teachers entirely.

The most important aspect of teaching today lies in the ability to engage students. As far as learning the subject matter goes, students can very well do that through Educational sites such as Khan Academy, Knewton or any other resources available on internet. But this “Khanification of Knowledge” cannot connect to students which is a very important to make them remember the concept all through their lives. It is only a teacher who can understand the importance of connecting the concepts to their daily lives. By doing so, the teacher not only engage them in the process but also prepare them for the future.

The important role of teachers today is to help students to look for the resources and filter the relevant information from the vast ocean. We as teachers need to expose students to new ideas and inculcate in them the skills so that they can monitor their own learning. Teacher are required to teach students how to be metacognitively aware of themselves as learners. We need to prepare students for the future and make them capable of analyzing any situation. But in the process it is very important for teachers to be learner themselves.

Teachers need to develop warm and trusting relationships with students to understand their specific needs and lead them into right direction. It is our job as teachers to create environment for students to learn and find their passion. Our new role is just not to teach but to encourage, connect, monitor, share and learn as well.


Effective teacher today is not the one who follows the methods of traditional schools but one who is not afraid to learn, is able to adapt to the ever changing world of Technology and can connect to the students thereby helping them to look out for useable resources that can be used to foster learning.

There is still one questions in my mind :

What should we do if people do not welcome us with our new roles and instead want to stick to the traditional method???”


8 thoughts on “Tech Task # 3 “Why schools?”

  1. You have asked: What should we do if people do not welcome us with our new roles and instead want to stick to the traditional method?

    This is such a difficult question to answer – I don’t think there really is one good answer. However, I would like to give my opinion.

    There are so many teachers who want to stick to the traditional method, be it teachers who have been teaching for thirty years or ones who are just finishing up their first year of teaching. On the other hand, we also have a growing number of teachers, both old and new, who are looking to make a shift in the way we teach our students. I think all that we can do is start small. Maybe one lesson per week or one lesson per day. Whatever is enough to introduce it, but not too much that it becomes overwhelming. I believe that if we start small and work our way up, more and more other teachers will join us and administration will begin to support us. If we try to start too big, others will be overwhelmed and not want to join us.

    • I don’t know how it works here, but in India if parents complain about something, the teacher is suppose to answer the management and if the management feels they can suspend the teacher. As in my case, If I had continued using my new teaching approaches I would have got suspended.
      I know starting small is the key but without some support can this be possible??

  2. This is such a well thought out response. Your initial challenge of sticking with it is where many people are at right now. The irony is many think that in an age of information, allowing kids to follow their interests and develop expertise in areas they choose is somehow the easy way out when in fact if we do this right, it’s more challenging for teachers and yet much more rewarding and meaningful.

    • That is the main problem! Parents just don’t understand how much hard work a teacher has to put in to make students follow their passion. They just feel the best way to teach is by sticking to the traditional – bookish approach 😦

  3. I have to agree with Nicole that starting small is the key to doing this successfully. I think one of the most important things though it to get your students and their parents on board with you. If you have their support I believe that you have won half the “battle.”

    • Hey Henry,

      Most parents, who are advocates of the traditional approaches, are conditioned so by their own experience during their schooling. They are unaware that the traditional teaching approach is developmentally inappropriate and does not look into the overall developmental aspect of students. The first step for teachers should be to make them realize this fact.

      Thanks for commenting! Looking forward for many more feedback from you 🙂

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