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Sabtu, 21 April 2012

Rethinking pedagogy


Rethinking pedagogy

An education system that emphasises rote learning rather than understanding has no place in a world that demands students to be equipped with reasoning, analytical and problem-solving skills.
Are education systems across the world still relevant to the needs of our society and future? One expert from the United States (US) is not afraid to say that the system – in the US, at least – is obsolete.
According to Tony Wagner’s book, The Global Achievement Gap, there is a huge chasm that divides what Americans are teaching and testing in their schools versus the actual skills students need to further their studies and pursue their careers.
Wagner is co-director of Change Leadership Group (CLG) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which is a research and development centre charged with helping teams to be effective leaders in schools and districts throughout the US.
To keep up with the pace of information and technology, students must be taught how to process and analyse the information. — File photo
“Wagner points out that the relevant skills needed for the 21st century is no longer taught in classrooms and lecture halls,” said Victoria University vice-chancellor Prof Peter Dawkins.
In his lecture, a part of the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers series held at Sunway University, Prof Dawkins uses Wagner’s book to discuss the skills required for employment in the new workforce.
“Today, employers are not just looking for ‘domain skills’ and knowledge relevant to their field in a potential employee.
“They are also looking for ‘generic skills’ like problem-solving and teamwork. Focus on these skills is lacking in our education systems,” said Prof Dawkins.
Even when the study is transposed onto the Australian education system, it points to many areas where changes can be made to better prepare students for transitions – from school to college, then to work, said Prof Dawkins.
In the book, Wagner noted that there was no curricula or teaching method in place to teach students how to reason, analyse and write well.
He explained how the American education system was on the verge of crisis as most of the tests it uses for accountability comprise multiple choice assessments, which require more memorising than thinking.
      A teacher playing a board game with her students to give them a practical understanding of accounting. —File photo

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