Undertaking this course allowed me to acquire deep and valuable knowledge about the education system and teachers’ jobs. Before taking this course, I assumed that educators’ job prioritizes transferring knowledge to students, but it turned out that the learning environment also plays a big role in students’ development. This essay will explore the important ideas, theories, and concepts about teachers’ work, the role of students’ learning experience in education, and the significance of the curriculum I learned after taking the course.
Firstly, it is necessary to mention that the course structure favored the gradual accumulation of knowledge by exploring different themes and subtopics for each week of the course. I find that this approach reflects the complex structure of issues of modern education and its quality, such as cultural diversity in classrooms and teaching in urban schools. Even though some topics seemed more interesting to me, I did not experience misunderstandings or a lack of attention to a particular topic in the course.
The initial segment about quality of teaching focused on defining the areas for improvements in education. An article by Gore (2007) provided a model of components of Quality Teaching and defined the meaning of its essential elements. For example, deep knowledge focuses on students’ ability to connect and organize different concepts, and deep understanding refers to students’ ability to display their understanding of main ideas. Reading the article allowed me to understand the role of educators in students’ intellectual development and acknowledge the efforts teachers put into improving the students’ learning experience.
Furthermore, a more innovative insight into the learning environments was presented by Bradbeer et al. (2017) in an examination of the ILETC project. The authors suggested that flexible learning environments such as more open plans of learning spaces are better suited for modern students’ needs. Even though the research did not find significant evidence about the impact of flexibility on the learning environment, the presence of the learning environment influence on academic progress became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing policies and lockdown pressured schools to switch to online learning, which affected students’ academic performance, demonstrating the importance of the learning environment (Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021). This part of the course allowed me to understand the multifaceted nature of the teacher’s work and the critical role of the learning environment in students’ academic progress.
Furthermore, in defining a topic that interested me more than other materials in the course, I would choose the part about social and cultural elements of teaching. In the article about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on education, the authors emphasized how online learning aggravated economic disparities in developing countries because of the limited accessibility of internet technology (Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021). Culture and economy present essential components of education; therefore, to ensure the establishment of a learning environment which favors students’ development, teachers should pay attention to multicultural education. Teachers can implement multicultural education practices and strategies to avoid unfair treatment of students by racial, ethnic, or religious attributes. The strategies focus on providing students with the necessary knowledge and conveying life values that favor their development in a culturally diverse environment (Forrest et al., 2017). Thus, teachers play an important role in determining the development of future society and the elimination of racism and discrimination by promoting cultural diversity.
Furthermore, the course focused on the role of education in students’ cultural and social development. After reading the article on the pedagogy of poverty written by Haberman (1994), I have learned that when teachers and students participate in learning activities without focusing on common goals, it affects students’ academic progress. Thus, current education systems must utilize progressive approaches to ensure an effective process of students’ intellectual development. Reformation of outdated ideas about the learning process involves many different areas. The technological era requires constructing a sophisticated curriculum that will include different areas for students’ development, such as cultural awareness, citizenship, and entrepreneurship (Twining et al., 2021). For example, according to Apple (2018), the school curriculum should be more progressive and provide knowledge for students about existing social problems to promote social change in the future. The notion was also accompanied by the suggestion that more subordinated teaching reduces students’ freedom and produces adults without self-reflection and critical thinking skills (Giroux, 2010). Therefore, teachers indirectly but extensively influence the further development of society and the state.
In conclusion, this course provided me with substantial information about the importance of innovations implementation for quality education, the role of students’ learning environment. and the significance of curriculum and its development process. After taking the course, I understand that learning is a complex process involving efforts from both teachers’ and students’ sides; thus, teachers should use the best available learning methods to improve students’ progress. Lastly, because many areas of education are based on the foundation of old practices, teachers also play the role of pioneers in improving the comprehensive development of students.
Apple, M. W. (2018). The critical divide: Knowledge about the curriculum and the concrete problems of curriculum policy and practice. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 4(2), 63-66. Web.
Bradbeer, C., Mahat, M., Byers, T., Cleveland, B., Kvan, T., & Imms, W. (2017). The ‘state of play’ concerning New Zealand’s transition to innovative learning environments: Preliminary results from phase one of the ILETC project. Journal of Educational Leadership Policy and Practice, 32(1), 22 – 38. Web.
Forrest, J., Lean, G., & Dunn, K. (2017). Attitudes of classroom teachers to cultural diversity and multicultural education in country New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(5), 17-34. Web.
Giroux, H. A. (2010). Rethinking education as the practice of freedom: Paulo Freire and the promise of critical pedagogy. Policy Futures in Education, 8(6), 715-721. Web.
Gore, J. (2007). Improving pedagogy: The challenges of moving teachers toward higher levels of quality teaching. In J, Butcher & L. McDonald (Eds.), Making a difference: Challenges for teachers, teaching and teacher education (pp. 15-33). Sense Publishers.
Haberman, M. (1994). The pedagogy of poverty versus good teaching. In E. Hatton (Ed.), Understanding teaching: Curriculum and the social context of schooling (pp. 17-25). Harcourt Brace.
Pokhrel, S., & Chhetri, R. (2021). A literature review on impact of COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning. Higher Education for the Future, 8(1), 133–141. Web.
Twining, P., Butler, D., Fisser, P., Leahy, M., Shelton, C., Forget-Dubois, N., & Lacasse, M. (2021). Developing a quality curriculum in a technological era. Educational Technology Research and Development, 69, 2285–2308. Web.