eThe cycle of learning as we education professionals understand it has changed, but have we changed with it or have we remained static? Is our paradigm frozen from fear? Terrorized by the unknown chaotic vision of discovery based student-centric learning facilities, education professionals elect to remain locked in the comfort of sage staging. At the risk of sounding cliché it seems appropriate to mention the notion that if we don’t stay in front we will no doubt fall behind. Is it finally time to melt history and recast the future? Is it finally time to shift our historically myopic view of education toward an vastly expanded view of discovery, problem-solving, and digigogy?
Historically classroom instruction was teacher-centric. An adult information possessor stood in the front of a room filled with desks set in distinct rows and provided information for young people to copy down because it would be on the mystical test. Those same young people were trained to sit in robotic fashion. Quiet. Calm. Respectful. Serious. Input was everything. We now refer to this as, “sit and get.” No disrespect is meant to this style. It fit the time, place, and world however, even the sightless can decipher that the world has changed and has become increasingly inter-connected and wiser. So why are educators still using this style? Why are any educators still standing in front of a room of endless rows of children speaking at them for extended lengths of time? The common complaint then becomes that the end result is not the same as it once was. Sages everywhere have found that children no longer have a robotic response to their lecture. Change is often born out of frustration, so will the labor pains of disengaged youth force the issue? Perhaps the short attention span of these more modern learners give birth to the paradigm shift from instruction to learning? Will those with a growth mindset move forward while those with fixed mindsets remain bogged in the mire?
Over the last several years emphasis has indeed migrated from a teacher-centric learning environment to a slightly more student-centric one. Simultaneously educators have been asked to increase their attention on learning as the focus of instruction as opposed to the mechanical rote regurgitation of knowledge, many shifted their efforts to learning instead of instruction. Signifying a new era that the learners’ needs are more crucial and trump educators’ need to instruct in a particular manner has become evident in some classrooms. The comprehension of educators in the art of assessment steadily becomes more widespread with the increased awareness of data as a source of direction. Formative assessment has buzzed into the vernacular of many education circles. Unfortunately curious and adventurous education professionals can be left feeling overly stressed with time constraints and increased demands on their instructional craft citing expansive curriculum and standardized testing as the source of paralysis. It seems educators spin with a barrage from all angles. Will growth mindsets be enough to satiate these relentless learner-sensitive educators? Will their desire for reflection and challenge drive education forward straight into innovative learners in innovative settings?
Those educators that do successfully manage to navigate the winds, and alight on the tree of growth will undoubtedly enjoy the fruits of their endurance, while others continue to grow more curious in their current reality. Those in the innovative mindset will seek to engage learners in inquiry and discovery. With the realization that in the age of digital native youth, education professionals must take note that they are no longer the sage they once were. It takes literally seconds for any human to find a piece of information on internet search engines. If this is the case then why would young people be content to sit robotically for any length of time? Learners no longer need knowledge presented to them since they can find it themselves. They have it all at their fingertips. So in what capacity do educators now serve? Learners need a discovery coach to lead them through the pitfalls of inquiry. Learners need education professionals to be tour guides on the journey from their own analysis, decoding, and formation of information and discoveries into usable outputs. They need educators to provide them with authentic situations and real problems to solve. Discovery coaches need to shift the focus from input to output. It is time for education professionals to accept that the modern age demands that they act as an encourager of discoverers and metacognitive assistant, instead sage on the stage. The era of educator withitness, mind framing, and innovation has never been more essential. It is time for discovery coaches to spread their wings and help our children fly.
HawkLearns says it is time for the migration to begin.