By Deepika Sharma
Principal, DPSG Palam Vihar
The evolved 21st century classroom is a productive environment in which students can develop the skills they will require in the workplace with teachers as facilitators of their learning. The focus of a 21st century classroom is on students experiencing the environment they will enter as modern day workers thus developing their higher order thinking skills, effective communication skills, collaboration skills, making them adept netizens.
Classrooms should be student centric and teachers should take the role of facilitators and guides .They must ensure that they engage their students in learning and provide effective instruction following different pedagogical approaches aided with technology. They should be active participants in their own learning and must seek out professional development to improve their performance and their students’ learning.
Teachers these days should help students think critically and learn by doing and act as a resource while their students discover and master new concepts. Student centric classroom environments put students’ interests first and are focused on each student’s needs, abilities and learning styles.
Computers should be readily available in modern classrooms, since they are essential tools for 21st century students and replace the utilities of pen and paper. They not only give students the means to conduct online research and master the technology skills they need, but they also give teachers an opportunity to enhance their lessons.
In modern classrooms, students ought to be actively engaged in what they learn. Students can learn actively by talking and listening, writing, reading and reflecting. When students are encouraged to take an active interest in learning, they are more likely to retain the knowledge they’ve accumulated. Any classroom will always have students of different types of learning abilities in it which often makes it difficult for teachers to make sure that all of them understand the concepts.
The modern approach of adaptive learning gives students the freedom to learn at their own pace and in the way they are most comfortable with. There are various kinds of software available for adaptive learning that teachers can use to enhance the learning of their students.
The classrooms should not be cramped or overcrowded. Modern classrooms should have the basic material required for teaching, such as interactive whiteboards and LCD projectors. The Bring-Your-Own-Device approach can be adopted, so that students can bring their laptops or tablets to the classroom for better personalized learning. Teaching with technological material is more effective, stimulates student engagement, eases the work of teachers and helps students to focus on learning
Teachers and students should always have respect for each other. The role of teachers is no longer to be the sage on the stage but students should not undermine their value as they will always receive guidance from them. Likewise, teachers should encourage students to speak with confidence and value their opinions. In a well-disciplined environment, students should co-operate with and respect their classmates. In addition, teachers should promote responsible decision-making and create self-reliant students.
Regular performance-based assessments should be carried out by teachers through various methods like quizzes and polls which are not restricted to tests. Teachers can utilize projects as well as other products and performances as assessments to determine student achievements and needs. Assessments should be tailored to the abilities and needs of the students.
Teaching and learning in isolation are very restrictive and hinder progress. Learning in groups enhances the scope of learning and develops critical thinking. Collaborative learning activities include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates and more. Collaborative learning redefines traditional student-teacher relationship in the classroom.
The learning environment should be carefully planned and well-organized. Class rules, procedures, and notices of upcoming activities must be posted in convenient places to help students stay on track. They follow class routines and understand what they are expected to achieve each day and how they are to go about it.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and does not reflect the views of IDA. The article is published as is and we bear no responsibility for any errors in the content of the article.