UNBIASED TEACHING

Reality Check For Teaching – Accept Your Students What they Are..

“Our job is to teach and guide the students we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not those which we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them.” – Dr. Kevin Maxwell

You might have heard this from your fellows who are into teaching profession or have said this – “ Today’s college students are absolutely different from what they use to be a decade ago.”

A change which is standing out cultivating many aspects positives as well as negative. People today, understand the utter importance of education after high school and graduation.

In order to achieve the positive outcomes, it is very necessary to have broader participation of not only the teachers but the students as well. One of the important aspects which are very difficult to achieve is to convert the available knowledge, skills, time, energy, and money into quality learning and education. Teaching according to the old patterns and norms is not going to prove helpful in today’s time as there is a lot of competition everywhere.

According to Dr. Kevin Maxwell,   “Our job is to teach and guide the students we have. Not the ones we would wish to have. Not those we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them.”

We can never choose specific students that we want to teach or the ones which we don’t want to teach. It is certainly not in our hands. An ideal teacher should take all the students together even if they are so different from each other, or even if they do not fit into the teaching patterns. Not all students are born intelligent or possess only good qualities. The present students should be focused on and not compared to the students in the past or the ones which the particular teacher would like to have.

Challenges to Face in the Path

There are lots of challenges and problems in colleges today, well, the sad part is that they are generally ignored and not taken care of. According to one of the essays by Nancy Bunge, it is not only the teachers who get hurt if the students evaluate them but the students as well. Passive and somewhat arrogant students are produced if the undeserved aloofness is encouraged by the heavy reliance on student evaluations. This eventually leads to lowering the quality of the spirit of the class and in the teachings as well for everyone.

According to the teachers and professors, they say that students these days are harder to teach. If the new teaching patterns are no adapted there will be a non-filling gap amongst the teachers and the students. This will affect the performance of the students overall as they might be less interactive in the classroom and also distracted.  At times, it is also observed that there is favoritism in the class amongst the students by the teachers, and yes they do prefer some students over others. It not only hurts the students mentally but also demotivates them for performing better.

Learning and teaching is a two-way path, and yes efforts are needed to be put from both sides. Teachers should be humble even if the students are not getting good grades and on the other hand, students should engage with the teachers more. This will improve mutual understanding and the process of teaching will be much easier and interactive.

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The college students of today’s times are generally considered to be the rebel type. In India, one of the major issues in the education system is that worthy students do not get the opportunity according to their abilities and caliber. Many of the students are either disinterested in studying after graduation or they don’t have the needed funds. Even though, a great population of today’s youth believe in higher education, and are growing with their careers; many of them are also moving out of the country in search of latest and upgraded education, which somewhere lacks in India.

Changes Necessary to Be Made

With the changing times, it is a natural tendency for students to grow fast, many students in any college hold more knowledge than the teachers, and; this aspect is constantly being neglected by our education system including the teachers. The age-old patterns and curriculum are being followed in many of the colleges and universities in India, which is certainly harmful to the students as they ultimately, have to face this fast and competing world. New teaching plans and patterns should be crafted for the betterment of both the teachers and the students.

Quality education is a key requirement of a prospering country, like India as it aims to build sustained growth. But, the current situation of the Indian education system is extremely poor. Even though efforts are being made nationwide to improve the present situation, it is accurate to say that different complications ail different Indian states and the teaching patterns they follow. Some states have an extremely high student-teacher ratio, while others suffer from a poor gross enrollment ratio. All of this entirely depends on the perceptive the teachers hold for their students.

In higher education institutions; the procedure followed to assess student’s needs to change steadily. In many institutes, student assessment is carried out as a single standardized exam at the end of the academic year till today. The basis of this assessment is this one test that the subject knowledge and clarity of concepts in students are judged, and they take forward that mark sheet and certificate to penetrate the job industry. If the features of the current generation-the Millennials are taken into consideration, this assessment procedure is quite ineffective in understanding the true potential, caliber, knowledge retention and its applicability amongst today’s students.

In today’s world, more ways to listen for the voices of students demonstrating on education are needed. More ways to include students in conversations related to the future of teaching and learning patterns in colleges and universities are needed. Certainly, these conversations cannot begin by sending a signal to students that their voices don’t matter.

Conclusively, we as educators have the responsibility to serve our educational system in a way that everyone has a chance to gain, grow, and learn. This has to begin with a sense of respect for the students. Students should be accepted the way they are and not the way we wish or want them to be. Students are human first. And so are their teachers. Students are not robots or analytical data or information.

Leading the way of designing the pedagogical approaches for the students we have, not the students we wish we had is all that is needed.

Responsive, inclusive, flexible, challenging, and benevolent approaches are required to achieve this. Discovery of more creative ways to reinforce teachers and brace them for the work of teaching is required to be done by the educational institutions. It’s a practical exercise, not a theoretical one.

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