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Education Learning

3 21st-Century Teachers You Should Know About

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Some revolutionary 21st-Century teachers certainly needed a blog of their own!

Decades change and so do the mentality and mindsets of people. While education has always been the ladder that has been used to uplift society, its use has been pretty unidirectional in the past centuries. The basic purpose behind education was to prepare factory workers who are trained to earn bread by whatever means necessary.

With rote learning as the only way seen to beat the curriculum into the minds of the students, strict examination methods declare students’ worth. Those who manage to get past class by class are well on their way to become intellectuals, with prospects of well-earning jobs. Others can just do whatever laborious jobs they manage to score. Good pay? Debatable. Even though the education system did evolve over time, the progress was certainly a slow one.

21st-Century Teachers and Their Revolution

Then came the 21st century—the golden era of revolutions. People changed, lifestyles changed, and naturally, so did the system of education. But till then, rote-learning had been so ingrained in the minds of people that changing that would become a strenuous and difficult task.

Teachers swoop in for rescue at this point. Millions of hard-working teachers work tirelessly all over the globe. They educate students and in return, make a living for themselves. It’s not easy to take the responsibility of hundreds of students to turn them into better individuals. Still, teachers, today try their best, to adapt to the current world and its trend. All in the hopes of being more relatable with their students. 

Amongst these, certain teachers have truly brought a revolution, 21st-century style. The world knows these names for revolting against existing norms, defying the prevalent structures. They’ve managed to bring about a much-needed change in the system of education.

This Teacher’s Day, we would like to celebrate these revolutionary teachers.

Salman ‘Sal’ Khan of Khan Academy

Who hasn’t heard about Khan Academy? It is a revolutionary platform that is changing education as we know it. And the most surprising part? It’s completely free! Sal, a 36-year-old educator, established Khan Academy in 2007 with a simple objective, to provide good, accessible education with no costs levied on it.

Khan Academy has managed to expand its database with up to 6500 courses spread across various subjects. While these subjects initially revolved more around Science and Mathematics. At present, they cover a wide variety of subjects and even offer them in different languages to cater to a wider audience.

As of 2021, Khan Academy has more than 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube and its videos have more than 2 billion views all over the globe. Salman is amongst the firsts who saw the potential in online learning. His methods were extremely out of the norm in the 2000s decade. But today, the pandemic would’ve been infinitesimally more difficult if the widespread modes of online learning were absent.

As a degree holder from Institutes like MIT and Harvard, Sal knows the importance of good education. He knows how better learning can improve the opportunities of students who truly deserve them. Salman truly changed the systems of education entering the new century. He definitely deserves a name amongst the revolutionary 21st-century teachers.      

Ranjitsinh Disale- A Small-Town Teacher With Dreams of a Big Revolution

Ranjitsinh, 32, is a primary school teacher from Solapur, a small district in Maharashtra. He is the winner of the Global Teachers Award in 2020. The Varkey Foundation organizes this prestigious award along with UNESCO and offers prize money of USD 1 Million. Disale came out as a winner amongst 50 teachers that were nominated globally, three of which were from India.

Ranjitsinh Disale is an educator who has given tremendous contributions to Indian education, in ways that matter. He is a very firm and vocal advocate of the education of girls. His greatest contribution though has been towards bringing about a QR-coded textbook revolution in the country. This initiative has garnered praise from all over the globe.

His idea is simple enough; textbooks of various subjects have QR codes printed alongside chapters and worksheets. These QR codes would then lead students towards a database created by the publication that offers interactive videos that assist in learning. 

With the onset of a boom in smartphones, the system QR code learning will help enhance a child’s learning experience. Not only that but linking up video and audio content in different languages and dialects will appeal to the diverse population of students in India. He now serves as the education advisor for the World Bank for the period of June 2021 to June 2024.

The World Bank has established a new Coach project aimed at enhancing in-service teacher professional development to help students learn faster.

Claudine James @imthatenglishteacher- Teaching English GenZ style

Claudine James is not some hotshot who created a billion-dollar tutoring platform nor has she won the Global Teachers’ Awards. The reason she’s included in this list is that she did what most teachers might’ve hesitated to do. With the pandemic as a source of motivation, she used the best available mode available to ensure that her students study. The mode you ask? Social Media, of course.

James is an elementary school English teacher from a small town named Malvern in Arkansas, USA. She realized the pandemic was stunting the learning of her students. She tried posting some videos on YouTube, but soon realized they weren’t working when the number of views remained zero.

James tried having a friendly discussion with her students, locked on their screens in the online classes. While the students did admit that they hadn’t watched her YouTube tutorials, they suggested she switch her mode to TikTok, where the students promised are way more active!

“That day, I just sat down with my students and made a TikTok account, and I asked them about, you know how to do it. I didn’t know how to do anything,” she said in an interview with Katv.

Within three days of creating her TikTok account, she gained over 10k followers. She puts up fun videos to teach English Grammar and language to her students and to millions of other people. She’s passed 147,000 followers, 1.2 million likes, and is one of those teachers that truly are an inspiration to educators all around the globe. According to Ms. James, “When changes come, you can either do one of two things, you can just stay there or you can roll with the changes”.

Summing Up

Teachers work way too hard to bring a positive change in the lives of each and every single student they teach. They deserve respect, better pay, and a hell lot of more than the treatment most of them receive all over the globe.

Without these passionate, innovative, and hard-working teachers, it’s impossible to imagine a world that is as advanced, grown, and revolutionized as today. These revolutionary 21st-century teachers have realized what the need of the century is. Let’s celebrate them and all the teachers out there.    

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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
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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
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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

Bloom’s Taxonomy: A Framework for Teacher’s & Students

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Bloom's Taxonomy, even though this term may seem unfamiliar to you chances are that you've probably undergone such a form of assessment or that your educational curriculum was designed in such a manner to encompass this method of learning. The main objective of which is to make you specialized in the subject matter of your choice to such a point that you're able to stand your own in a debate, write a thesis or undertake an evaluation of your abilities in the aforementioned subject matter. Bloom's Taxonomy was published in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom with collaborators Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill & David Krathwohl as a framework for categorizing educational goals. And has been applied by generations of teachers and college instructors in their teaching.

What is Bloom's Taxonomy?

Bloom's Taxonomy serves as a framework for the assessment of students as they progress through various levels of 'knowledge'. The more knowledge they are imparted with, the more the likelihood of them being able to retain, comprehend and apply said information explicitly. According to Bloom's Taxonomy, there are six levels of cognitive learning, each level being conceptually different. The six levels are Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating. At this point, you might be wondering what this has to do with me as a student. After all, if anything our educational system has taught us it is to simply pass exams, often through rote learning. That is what differentiates a 'Great' student from an 'Outstanding' one and why some students excel more than others. Because quite simply put it is not enough for you to memorize (for example) the names of all the Prime Ministers that India has ever had. What your education and in association your teachers should be focused on is ensuring that you cannot only list all the names of such Prime Ministers but also be able to evaluate and state the contributions of such Politicians to the country as a whole.

The 6 Levels of Bloom's & Why it matters.

Remember

As a Student

This is the most basic level of learning and serves as the foundation for the entire taxonomy, quite simply put a student should be able to retrieve, recall or recognize relevant knowledge from long-term memory as and when the need arises.

As a Teacher

There are multiple ways a teacher can assess this basic level of understanding, often by using appropriate 'Verbs' when framing questions. Which can include words such as, (in Italic) cite, define, describe, identify, label, list, match, name, outline, quote, recall, report, reproduce, retrieve, show, state, tabulate and tell. Sounds familiar? That's because it is, teachers as mentioned have been using this method to gauge and assess the ability of their students for generations.

                                          Understand

 

As a Student

Understanding is the second level of learning and takes into account the ability to demonstrate comprehension through one or multiple forms of explanation. This level underlies the need for students to be able to have grasped what has been taught from a comprehension point of view. Quite simply put students should have 'Understand' the subject matter being taught.

As a Teacher

There are several ways that a teacher can estimate the level of understanding a student has on a particular topic. This again is done by using appropriate 'Verbs', such as (in italics) abstract, arrange, articulate, associate, categorize, clarify, classify, compare, compute, conclude, contrast, defend, diagram, differentiate, discuss, distinguish, estimate, exemplify, explain, extend, extrapolate, generalize, give examples of, illustrate, infer, interpolate, interpret, match, outline, paraphrase, predict, rearrange, reorder, rephrase, represent, restate, summarize, transform, and translate.

                                                  Apply

As a Student

This is the 3rd level and judges the student's ability to apply and/or use information or a skill that they have learned in a new situation (for example) applying a formula to solve a problem. This is a crucial stage just as important as the levels that precede it. Because it is at this stage that a student truly begins to comprehend for himself how much of what he has learned he can put into application. This is why it is at this stage that some students end up hating problem-solving or essay writing thereby shaping their attitudes towards a particular subject and in turn their career choices. So what is most important to remember is that NOT to give up and to start back at the basics if you have to, cause who said you have to do it alone that's what teachers, tutors, and the lucky few parents are here for.

As a Teacher

Same as in other levels there are certain appropriate 'Verbs' that can be used, the learning outcomes of which should be for the student to be able to (in italics) apply, calculate, carry out, classify, complete, compute, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, examine, execute, experiment, generalize, illustrate, implement, infer, interpret, manipulate, modify, operate, organize, outline, predict, solve, transfer, translate and use. What is to be noted by teachers in this level is that not to neglect students who don't seem to have been able to 'apply' what has been taught and forming a judgment as to their ability to learn, but to reconsider the methods that have been employed by them to teach a particular subject or topic. Or if the need arises to focus more on the student who is having said difficulty.

                                            Analyze

As a Student

The 4th level of the taxonomy defines the ability of the student to break the material being taught into its subsequent parts and determine how the parts relate to one another and/or to the overall structure or purpose (for example) the ability to analyze the role of different civic bodies in the functioning of a government. This is a crucial and relatively hard part considering that we're at the fourth tier that's a given, but the ability to analyze any information is critical in the learning process, as only once a student can effectively analyze a problem at hand can he/she determine the right approach to solving the problem.

As a Teacher

The ability to analyze is easier for a teacher than it is for a student, where the former is presented with the dilemma of analyzing the solution the latter is faced with the problem of analyzing the problem. However for teachers who find this process difficult there are certain appropriate 'Verbs' that they can employ in this regard (in italics) analyze, arrange, break down, categorize, classify, compare, connect, contrast, deconstruct, detect, diagram, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, divide, explain, identify, integrate, inventory, order, organize, relate, separate, and structure.

                                             Evaluate

As a Student

The core takeaway from this level of the taxonomy is the ability to make judgments based on preset criteria and standards (for example) judging which of any two given methods is the way to solve a problem. This is crucial when it comes to those tricky problems, where one may employ multiple methods to reach a solution. Ever wondered how some people seem to be going completely wrong yet somehow end up getting the right answer, well this could just mean a higher level of evaluation on the part of the student, given the problem at hand. There are various ways to reach any given solution the trick lies in being able to evaluate the best possible method to reach the desired end result.

As a Teacher

This is becoming a pattern now, but it is what it is. There are several 'Verbs' that are considered appropriate when assessing a students ability to 'Evaluate' which include appraise, apprise, argue, assess, compare, conclude, consider, contrast, convince, criticize, critique, decide, determine, discriminate, evaluate, grade, judge, justify, measure, rank, rate, recommend, review, score, select, standardize, support, test and validate.

                                              Create

As a Student

And now we reach the final level of the taxonomy, it is this level of knowledge that a student should necessarily attain once having completed his course or the level of education he/she is pursuing. This is the ability to take into account all that has been learned and to put multiple elements together to form a functional whole or reorganize elements into a new pattern or structure. Once you have mastered this level will you be truly ready to apply what you have learned in a practical setting? It's not always possible to entirely master this level as one is always presented with new problems to which one has to find out more innovative and creative solutions. As with all things in life, this comes with a learning curve, as most of what we learn out in the real world is "On The Job". (for example) writing a song, or authoring a book, etc.

As a Teacher

For this level too there are certain appropriate 'Verbs' that can be used to evaluate a students ability to 'create' and even further 'innovate' which include (in italics) arrange, assemble, build, collect, combine, compile, compose, constitute, construct, create, design, develop, devise, formulate, generate, hypothesize, integrate, invent, make, manage, modify, organize, perform, plan, prepare, produce, propose, rearrange, reconstruct, reorganize, revise, rewrite, specify, synthesize, and write.

With all things said, if you aren't at a level you presumed yourself to be or even worse not on any of these levels at all, one should remember that this taxonomy was always meant to be a framework, a set of guidelines if you will for how students should ideally spend their time learning and what takeaways they must achieve once having completed the course or level of education they're pursuing. However what's most important of all is that one has to remember both from the perspective of a teacher and a student, is that every individual is unique, and not everyone can be the "smartest" cause in a world of over 7 Billion people there will always be someone smarter, someone brighter, someone more creative, someone more gifted and lastly someone more talented. Always remember that standards are set by those who dream to achieve and are broken by those who achieve to dream. Success is and always has been personal, for the only true competition out there is 'Yourself' and that's who you should be aiming to trump