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Education General Languages Learning

5 Revolutionary Teachers Who Changed Education

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Teachers have always been the driving force in inspiring students to make a difference. Still one amongst a million is a teacher that envisions a different route than the one prevailing. These teachers see education as what it truly is, a means to learn.

Such teachers, better termed as revolutionaries, institutionalize the system in their reign. They are responsible for encouraging students who are yet to discover the potential in themselves; someone who turns the ordinary into extraordinary. The world has seen multiple such revolutionary teachers who are responsible for bringing out a change in their time and inscribing their names into the very history books they teach from.

Amongst thousands of such names peppered over history, here are five-

Confucius- The oldest teacher to bring education revolution

Confucius, a Chinese educator and philosopher, is one of the oldest known teachers to have brought about a progressive change in the methods of traditional education. He was a legend of the Chinese golden age. His teaching and philosophies have become a paragon for much of east Asian culture and society and poses relevance even today.

His popularity rose to such heights and accumulated under Confucianism. Confucius was responsible for teaching a lot of everyday social and political teaching to the Chinese society. His lessons circled around justice, freedom, kindness, governmental morality, human relationships etc.

Confucius not only devised theories for education for the Chinese, but also gave importance to promoting education to the poor and underprivileged. The general public, during his time, lacked access to education. Therefore, to break the shackles of this feudalism, he opened private institutions for the people, which was open for all irrespective of their caste or social standing.

He was one of the pragmatic revolutionary teachers of his time and revolutionized education through his philosophies. Alongside, he also strived hard to purge the feudal mentality from the elites of his era. Moreover, his Meritocracy system, which designed exams for each important official position, allowed candidates from any class or background to apply for these posts.

The system gained worldwide recognition and has been inculcated since. Thus, Confucius is one of the earliest philosophers and educators who have managed to stay relevant thousands of years after their life. His philosophies and methods of teachings manage to give valuable lessons to educators and teachers till date.   

Maria Montessori- Self discovery in revolutionary education

Revolutionary teachers: Maria Montessori
Wikimedia

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori, a famous Italian educator, changed the system of education as we know today. She believed in the system of education through self-discovery. She theorized through her observations that children were smart enough to learn on their own if their teachers provide them a suitable environment for it. Her education theory, named after her, is still implemented in a wide number of private schools and institutions.

Montessori’s designed coursework was developed on the basis of her everyday observations of young children. Her theories suggest using small furniture for young children’s classrooms. It also encourages students to learn the habit of greeting their teachers and doing little tasks on their own. These tasks could be arranging their own chairs or cleaning up after themselves, putting back their toys etc.

Classroom inspired by the Montessori method
Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

As a child develops and progresses in school, different such techniques are implemented for them to develop and grow on their own. She felt that students could learn independence and self-motivation in early stages through such methods. A skill much essential after they grow up.

Revolutionary teachers like her were inspired through her techniques. Her teaching methods allow children free choice of choosing activities, freedom of movement and uninterrupted work. Teachers are mere observers who are supposed to ensure that no student stays passive, while directing the students’ innate psychological and behavioral growth.

Friedrich Froebel- A revolutionary for younger minds

Revolutionary teachers: Friedrich Froebel
Wikimedia Commons

Imagine a young developing mind staying at home and learning without any kind of social development. That was the case before Friedrich Froebel introduced the concept of Kindergarten. He was a middle school headmaster of an all-boys school before he found his true calling with pre-school children. At the same time, he invented the concept of Kindergarten and opened the first one in Blankenburg, Germany, his birth place.

Frobel believed that young children learned through self- activity, and methods of talk and play. Friedrich had always felt that the pre-school kids had a very sharp brain that absorbed habits and behaviors quicker. So, he devised a system of education specifically for them, highlighting their needs and requirements.

Frobel was the one to introduce activities like art and craft, paper cutting, clay modelling etc., in the curriculum for very young children. He firmly put emphasis on the fact that self-learning and self-discovery is the fastest route for young minds to understand concepts. He was amongst the first revolutionary teachers who theorized the relevance of school in a societal structure. Thus, changed the way school was perceived forever.

The Kindergarten Concept

Kindergarten is recognized as the best method of learning and development for young children, away from their homes. With activities like play and creative work, learning while creating and social interactions are what’s responsible for helping a child grow in a social environment. This kind of growth is important for the child to adapt to living in a school environment. And also develop habits at a stage where it is easier to inculcate them.

The miniature society concept for kindergarten has revolutionized early education for children. With introducing them to the social norms and helping them grow through themselves. The teachers or practitioners, again, should merely be facilitators of an environment where kids learn by themselves.

It is important, though, that the teacher understands different needs of different children. While some might be ready to make choices on their own, without some elder hovering, other children might need a superior. Being left on their own could overwhelm these kids might feel overwhelmed. Therefore, a teacher in kindergarten needs to assess these needs and act accordingly, as per Frobel.

William McGuffey- A textbook revolutionary teacher

Revolutionary teachers: William McGuffey
Wikimedia Commons

The simplest way of teaching a child any language is by making them understand the alphabet, and then introduce sentences and assist vocabulary through subsequent reading. William McGuffey, a leading name amongst revolutionary teachers, developed this method of enhancing and establishing reading in schools.

His revolutionary thinking initialized when he first realized that the standard education system did not have any concepts of promoting reading for the young children. There was nothing but the bible available for them to read. This realization led him to develop something that would soon change the entire way of seeing the activity of reading and learning through it.

McGuffey became the professor of Language at Miami University in Oxford, where his ideas for language learning were extremely popular. His colleagues encouraged him to publish his readers, a series of books that could assist the students in reading.

McGuffey’s readers, titled as Eclectic Readers, set a standard for the future of textbooks. Till date, we follow the patterns of the written work, with necessary modifications made to keep it contemporary. The Eclectic readers gained widespread popularity within a few months of its release, with almost all immediate institutions clamoring over to adopt them in their curriculum.

About the Eclectic Readers
Eclectic readers
Wikimedia commons

These readers, written at different levels, was suitable for different age groups. The first level introduced the basic phonics and simple alphabets. This progressed into small sentences and gradually led to poems and stories. These readers did not teach vocabulary as a list of words.

Rather, the texts accompanied new words to provide meaning and context to them alongside the reading. The presentation of these readers was extremely engaging, with pictures and exercises like questions and read along. This not only boosts their confidence to represent themselves in social settings, but also enhances their quick thinking and responding abilities.  

McGuffey Primer
Wikimedia Commons  

Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan- India’s revolutionary educator

Revolutionary teachers: Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
Wikimedia Commons

The First Vice President and the second Prime Minister of India, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian teacher and educator. His contribution to Indian Education was so profound that Indians celebrate his birthday as Teachers’ Day.

He earned his post graduate degree at the age of 21 and since then set off to fulfill his passion of teaching. An extremely humble and pragmatic educator, his education policies and methods. garnered him respect from peers

His philosophy for education was that it should not be the dogmatic book learning. Nor should it be of complex theorems that are unrelated to real life. He was a revolutionary teacher who also believed that if education does not lead a student to experience a spiritual awakening, it wasn’t that effective in teaching. He worked towards educating students passionately, believing that it was essential for national integration and for increasing the productivity of the citizens of the country.

According to Dr. Radhakrishnan’s teaching philosophy, “the process of education should be able to create mental detachment and objectivity, which are the essential prerequisites of a well-balanced personality. The importance of education is not only in knowledge and skill, but it is to help us live with others….”   

Conclusion

These revolutionary teachers and educators have unequivocally changed the prevailing perceptions for education, bringing a revolution in their times and for the centuries to come ahead. All these teachers weren’t orthodox or traditionalists—the purpose of education has changed and evolved over time. Today, we need more revolutionary teachers like them to take the next step in the education sector.

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Education Languages Learning

Life Lessons That Language Learning Gives Us

Photo by Leonardo Toshiro Okubo on Unsplash

In the 21st Century, Language Learning is not only beneficial but necessary for success in life. The ease of worldwide traveling and the internet have collapsed the barrier of distance that kept the world’s communities separate. Learning languages makes us open-minded.

In today’s increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, proficiency in other languages is a vital skill that gives you the opportunity to engage with the world in a more immediate and meaningful way. Those who have acquired and maintained more than one language are also called polyglots.

If you want to learn a language that is widely spoken throughout the world, you may want to opt for English, French, or Spanish, which are spoken on all continents.

No matter what your plans for the future are, speaking more than one language is always an incredibly useful skill to have.

In this article, I’m going to tell you about the Life Lessons that Language Learning gives us. Here are the best 5 Life Lessons that Language gives us:

Language Learning Helps in Understanding the World Better

One of the utmost rewarding aspects of the human experience is our ability to connect with others. As we learn more and more languages of different regions, we not only learn the language but also the culture of that area that helps in understanding the people and place better. Hence, it helps in understanding the world better.

If you know different languages, you will be humbled by the kindness of strangers. You will build lifelong friendships. For these reasons alone, you will see the reward of learning languages for many years to come.

Language Learning Helps in Better Communication

The second one is the improved communication and networking skills. When people are exposed to diverse social and cultural experiences, they become more adept at avoiding misunderstandings and reflecting on others’ perspectives. This ability to consider others’ opinions and viewpoints can play a significant role in effective communication from personal relationships to working environments.

Mainly in big corporations, there are people with various nationalities and ethnicity, who speak completely different languages. If the workers are multilingual, they will be able to communicate without the use of translators. They will also understand the opinions easily as language acquisition is also connected to understanding some cultural and social qualities.

Higher Competitive Advantage

As the world becomes more and more globalized, the demand for language speakers from companies is on the increase as they expand operations into new markets. These companies, therefore, need language speakers to satisfy the demands of their clients across the world.

The demand for bilingual professionals is rising exponentially. Employers are seeking professionals who can communicate seamlessly with customers in new and expanding overseas markets. Utilizing different languages makes it easier and quicker to find a job because it is one of the essential parts of communication and collaboration nowadays. It increases opportunities for position and pay increase and leads to financial success.

It can also open many potential career doors, not only in terms of the range of jobs but also the range of destinations to find a job abroad.

Language Learning Makes Your Brain Buffer

 Learning a language causes areas of the brain associated with memory, namely the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, to increase in size.

Your brain is a muscle, and it’s worth exercising. It requires memorization skills, problem-solving ability, and quick thinking. Plus, there are so many different ways to practice to engage more of your senses. Studies have shown that doing the work to learn another language can make it easier to tune out distractions, grow certain parts of your brain, and even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Another important reason to learn a language is that it makes you more attractive according to 71% of Americans and 64% of Brits.

Language Learning Improves Decision-Making Ability

Polyglots tend to switch over to different languages very easily. This ability makes their decision-making power improved than the people who just know 1 or 2 languages. When you learn a language, you don’t learn sentences in that language. You learn the vocabulary and grammar and mix them and end up making your own sentences. Polyglots do the same thing.

They do not rote-memorize, instead take the help of the grammar and vocabulary of that language to make their own sentences. This improves their decision-making power. Here decision-making power means that how fast a person can take decisions.

Some Facts about Language Learning

  1. There are more than 7000 languages in the world.
  2. 12.44% of the world’s population speak Mandarin Chinese, whereas 5.52% of the world population speak English. The Spanish is in between with about 5.85%.
  3. Research suggests that Chinese and Arabic are some of the hardest ones to learn.

Summing Up

Language is the system. However, Language Learning leads you into the discovery about the system nature of every language. Knowing more than one language enhances your interpersonal skills, especially if it a foreign language. In a nutshell, language learning is important for students to effectively function in the modern global marketplace.

I’m sure there are many more, but these are surely good enough reasons all on their own.