Presentation on theme: "By AMODE TAHER PROGRAM DIRECTOR CIVITAS MAURITIUS SANTO DOMINGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC MARCH 12 – 16, 2009."— Presentation transcript:
By AMODE TAHER PROGRAM DIRECTOR CIVITAS MAURITIUS SANTO DOMINGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC MARCH 12 – 16, 2009
“CIVIC EDUCATION IN A SOCIAL CHANGE ENVIRONMENT” SANTO DOMINGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC MARCH 12 – 16, 2009
INTRODUCTION In our current Reforms in the Education sector, we are emphasizing on linking Society and Real life experience to the classroom, especially at secondary level. It is felt more and more that our students are made to face a number of challenges related to social and political change. So it is the duty of the government to offer to them an education that responds to their demands. In our brief presentation, we will try to show some methods and processes while teaching Civic Education across the curriculum with specific reference to the climate of social and political change.
Attracting learners (1) To make our class more attractive and make learners interested, we as teachers need to exemplify what we are talking about. There should be a close link between (1) the classroom (2) the learners and (3) the education they are receiving Teachers need to bring real life experiences into the classroom. Since the concept of Civic Education is very wide, they should bring in different perspectives like natural science, social science, ethics, tolerance, democracy and ailments like drugs, AIDS and poverty
Attracting learners (2) To enlist the support of their students and to ensure that teaching and learning is being carried out successfully, teachers need to foster and favour PARTICIPATION from the students. KNOWLEDGE should be viewed as acquisition and as participation. With a view to getting better results, teachers are advised to vary/change their methods of teaching.
To the teacher Articulate your thoughts and share them among your students. Take on board all students’ viewpoints; Have recourse to hands-on exercises; Dialogue is extremely important in Civic Education since youngsters may have different views on subjects like drugs, poverty, dictatorship, democracy; Produce knowledge instead of reproducing it; Set questions to see/confirm whether the students know; Productive questions (where students can produce answers) are better than reproductive questions.
Questions set to students should be tools to produce knowledge: Types of questions Questions which create familiarity - Attention focusing questions - Counting and measuring questions - Comparison questions - What happens if?......questions Research questions - These will favour experiential learning. Open-ended questions - Students should be informed that there are no right or wrong answers.
Creating learning situations How to create learning situations is by far much better than what to learn. The following may be taken into consideration: - Class setting; - Sitting in groups to foster dialogue; - Learn in different perspectives; - Breaks are very important for the learning processes.
Questions which create familiarity (1) In a lesson like “The drug issue in Mauritius”, teachers can make use of many productive questions to interest the students. For example they can ask: - What kinds/types of drugs are present/ available in Mauritius? - What types of drugs are more popular? - Where do drugs come from? - Do you think drug addicts are only poor or rich persons? - What happens to a youngster if s/he makes an abuse of drugs?
Questions which create familiarity (2) Teachers should be able to convert questions into learning activities, and depending on the age-group, they can ask the students to carry out a research/project work. In fact many questions that teachers will set may be designed to stimulate individual activity, with answers that can be discovered by the student through his/her research work/experimentation. Such a lesson allows the student to find answers though his/her research work.
Research questions (1) Older students who are familiar with the subject of study may be requested to do a research work. Teachers should a priori have put some forms of study questions. The students will, through an experimental approach, try to find solutions to the issue spelt out. To be able to carry out this mode of learning, teachers may wish to know that this approach involves five distinct levels: (1) Problem-posing (2) Formulating hypotheses (3) Research (4) Results (5) Conclusion
Research questions (2) In such an exercise, teachers will give all latitude to the students. The latter need to enjoy a very high degree of freedom when discussing with peers. It is when students’ participation is complete that learning does take place in a most effective manner and the value of research becomes unfathomable. The teacher can intervene at any moment, since dialogue is very important in Civic Education especially when the teacher works with complex questions having no right or wrong answers. In the perspective of our present curriculum reforms we would wish that the task of the teacher be to create learning situations and opportunities and not only to let the students acquire knowledge.
Open-ended questions (1) Questions are important tools for teachers and the nature of questions is decisive to the way class work develops. Students learn from the way their teachers formulate questions, and will ask the same sort of question. Teachers should therefore guide their students so that the latter learn to formulate the sort of questions that will help them solve problems. They should create an atmosphere conducive to questions. They should stimulate students’ interest by giving them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the materials or objects to be studied. Every material may become excitingly different when shown in a new perspective. Variety is a crucial influence in stimulating imaginative questions and the inventiveness essential to solving a research problem.
Open-ended questions (2) By introducing social factors into the classroom, we are aiming at linking school to the community. We firmly believe that school should no longer be like an island within the community. It should open on to the community and students need to know what social problems and issues are prominent and try to contribute to alleviate them. Teachers may use a diversity of pedagogical methods to assist their students.
Getting the message across “Getting the message across” method which is a classical one where the teacher is the transmitter and the students the receivers of knowledge. The facts have been taken from elsewhere, and the purpose of education here is to induct learners into existing social systems.
Conflicting views “Conflicting views “ method Where two groups have opposing views. - Teachers need to brainstorm on such an issue. - The class may be separated into two distinct groups. - The teacher needs to set a list of questioning tools to have the students come to a common solution.
Types of questions that may be set (1) Questions which create familiarity How can the problem of drug addiction be solved? How many drug pedlars are there in the country? How many people are affected by drugs? What is the ratio of youngsters per kilo of heroin in the locality? Are youngsters in other countries affected by drugs? Are drug pedlars as powerful as they are here? What will happen if the police start using violence? What will happen if the coast guards are more vigilant? What will happen if the authorities hesitate in giving their support to combat this issue?
Types of questions that may be set (2) The questions should be guided towards showing the students that this is a conflicting issue where it is difficult to find a solution unless concessions are made on either side. How can students proceed to find concessions? - Interview drug addicts - Interview parents of drug addicts - Interview the police - Interview doctors and nurses - Interview sick drug addicts who are at hospital/ in a critical situation Teachers will assist students in devising our appropriate questionnaire, appraising it and coming to a conclusion.
Types of questions that may be set (3) After these interviews and after having come to a conclusion, the students may alert public opinion through their findings by: -writing an article in the press, or -meeting the Commissioner of Police, or -organizing a debate in the town hall etc. They would have ended with an Action Competence Approach and with the satisfaction of having brought to light a burning social issue.
“Show and Tell” method (1) Group work is an interesting way of creating civic awareness in students. We have seen this in Project Citizen. Students are called to work together in a research work, to put aside selfishness, to give the best of themselves and to share ideas. We are applying the same five golden rules of Project Citizen: -Identifying a problem -Gathering information -Examining alternative policies -Proposing a public policy -Developing an action plan
“Show and Tell” method (2) Here the following key methodological assumptions need to be addressed: (a) The role of the teacher: facilitator, advisor, communicator. (b) The role of the learner: sharing knowledge and growing, peer learning (c) The nature of knowledge: interaction between personal and group experiences. Curiosity and better learning. (d) The purpose of education: enhancing learning to work in groups to reach better results. (e) Strengths: active participation, use of first-hand experience, learning by doing, support materials. (f) Weaknesses: time constraints, time management, shyness of a few students.
Importance of this method This method enables: students to understand better a social problem that would otherwise have been a theoretical one teachers to foster the democratic and participatory approaches in their teaching process both students and teachers to reflect upon the pedagogical implications of social problems teachers to evolve a pedagogy that will help their students to acquire the boldness and desire to get involved in social interests.
“Experimental Learning” method Hands-on learning through visits, interviews, field work is now an inherent part of Civic Education methods and processes. This method focuses mainly on creating an opportunity for students to go and explore on their own a live current social issue. Though the teacher may be present, very little of the learning process appears to be predetermined by him/her. In fact, it is the learner’s experiences and creation of knowledge that seem to crop up. When finally the group meets, the learners show their experiences. All opinions emitted are valuable and the teacher’s role here is to facilitate feedback. He becomes some sort of a “neutral facilitator”.
Methodology: Role of the teacher: facilitator of learning experiences that enable learners to draw on their own experiences to create new knowledge. Role of the learner: active constructor of knowledge through experience. Nature of knowledge: acquisition through learners’ experiences. Purpose of knowledge: allowing learners to see by themselves and to create new understandings which are related to real life in society.
Conclusion These pedagogical methods and processes aim at sensitizing youngsters on live social issues. They show that education can also be done through peer learning and sharing of ideas on the part of students. Activity-based pedagogy will enable the students to be more actively involved and thus produce better results. Getting first-hand knowledge is more fruitful than bookish information or teacher’s ideas which may be outdated. There should be a change in mindset of all those involved in the teaching process since learners need to be given latitude in experimenting first-hand information which is not obtained in the classroom but on the field, outside in society.