There are significant issues in teaching and learning news this week. They all have implications for instructional designers, instructors, and administrators.
Learner-centered pedagogy is designed to empower students to become more involved in decision-making in their learning communities and to engage in more active participation in class. It’s a popular approach. UNESCO and the World Bank, among other international bodies, have advocated for its use. According to a study published in the International Journal of Educational Development, pedagogical philosophy can have positive results. Still, there needs to be a comprehensive body of evidence to show how its implementation affects student learning outcomes.
The researchers have called for more, larger scale, more objective, and rigorous research on the effectiveness of learner-centered pedagogy over time.
Some studies report on teachers’ and students’ feedback. Those studies say that the teaching style helped to boost motivation, confidence, and enhanced relationships in the learning community. Still, there needs to be more proof it is more effective than other pedagogies.
“Existing evidence has shown learner-centered pedagogy can have a positive impact, but not enough to justify such a massive policy emphasis worldwide,” said Nicholas Bremner of the University of Exeter, one of the study’s authors. “Much of the evidence is too thin and simplistic to recommend either schools either abandon it or embrace it. On the basis of current evidence, there is a real gap in hard data to prove or disprove the value of LCP, especially given its continued prominence in worldwide policy discourses. Many policies have been introduced with good intentions, but they could be implemented in a more thoughtful way which allows teachers to make sensible decisions about using different methods and approaches at different times.”
Re-thinking how professional development, education, and training are delivered is not limited to higher ed or K-12. Even preschools are engaged in reform.
Early learning programs are still facing post-pandemic staffing shortages. Many experienced early childhood educators (ECEs) left the profession when faced with the additional challenges of COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions, and the implementation of practices to lower infection risk.
To address the shortages, Teaching Strategies, a provider of early education tools, announced the creation of an online boot camp for early childhood educators adjusting to post-pandemic learning environments.
The Teacher Acceleration Program is centered around live coaching, a weekly synchronous class, and sample lesson plans and curriculum. The program covers classroom management techniques, the importance of play in pedagogy, observation-based approaches for individualized instruction, and personal mental health strategies.
“As a team of former educators, we have so much compassion for what programs are experiencing right now and wanted to play a role in helping administrators intentionally train and support new educators joining their teams staff at a moment when job stress and burnout is at an all-time high. The Teacher Acceleration Program was born out of a sense of urgency to ensure all educators have the confidence and professional foundation they need to be excellent teachers,” said Breeyn Mack, former preschool educator and Senior Vice President of Education at Teaching Strategies.
Colleges and universities are facing dropping enrollment due to several factors, including an ongoing affordability crisis. Even when affordability is not the issue, students question whether a degree is worth the time and money they invest.
According to a recent report from Multiverse, students are often motivated to attend college by parental expectations. Regarding students, 50% of the young adults surveyed don’t believe a college degree is worth the cost.
The survey also found that while 48% of young adults said they were expected to attend college, 76% would have skipped it if their dream job was attainable post-high school.
“While the majority of American adults still see a degree as necessary, they know it’s not sufficient to prepare them for a great career. Given rising costs and a growing conversation about the return on investment the average student experiences, it’s essential we update our assumptions about education to include a wider range of pathways for young people,” said Sophie Ruddock, VP, and GM of Multiverse.
Press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/multiverse-survey-finds-72-believe-college-degrees-do-not-equip-adults-with-everything-needed-for-their-careers-301677196.html
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