In recent years,education has seen a divergence of academic techniques and styles of both learning and teaching.However,at their core,the psychologically proven methods of learning should be remembered and encouraged.These methods,including the basic learning model(Fleming),communication,feedback,and self-study,can be adapted to fit particular audiences,but they are still the best known avenues for effective learning.(4)
Before delving into these tenets of learning,the major changing force of education should be addressed-technology.Electronic tools and personal response systems(such as clickers)have become more popular in classrooms.While it seems that their use allows for more classroom variability,more flexibility with curriculum,and ease of access of information,there are concerns about the lack of discipline and shorter attention spans of students.While these are occurring,their frequency and direct causes are not being accurately reported.Research shows that with proper mediation,these electronic devices can offer increased learning potential.(5)
Many of the learning aides still used by students and teachers are,in fact,out-of-date and ineffective in this changing world.It has been shown that summarization,keyword mnemonics,and intensive reading/rereading are only effective in certain rare cases that make up a relatively small amount of students.(2)
As the technology of the world changes,so too should the technology of the classroom.Learning needs are progressing as a result of large social changes and globalization.This should mean that education should likewise change.Keeping the core methods of learning-reading,writing,listening,and speaking(Fleming).We should adapt our styles to a more sociable and communicative approach.However,learning should always keep the four main methods of learning at its heart.(7)
One of the most important tools for learning in the classroom is communication.Whether basing communication styles on Piaget or Vygotsky,having an open and communicative classroom is conducive to classroom learning.Furthermore,allowing students to ask questions of the teacher and each other is paramount to good understanding.Students should be guided to build concepts on previous work in a relevant manner.This allows for a continuation of communication and learning.(6)
Feedback is important for students to gauge their own abilities and their place in a particular curriculum.This information can help them engage their peers about subjects in which they are either weaker or stronger and lead to open communication.This will increase the learning occurring in the classroom.In addition,feedback allows communication between students and teachers to remain open,increasing exposure to the subjects and giving more opportunity for inquiry.(8)
Learning in the sciences and mathematics has been researched extensively among high school and junior high school aged students.Their findings support a loose pattern of abilities in these disciplines,rather than an average trend.This means that students generally learn the sciences and mathematics at quite varied paces.With this in mind,students of these subjects should be given the time they need to focus and learn-quick students given extra or more in-depth work and slow students given more time and attention for the regular pace of the work.(3)
Allowing students to learn a a pace that fits their learning styles gives a higher chance of thorough understanding and long-term memory gain.Students should be given the freedom to learn at the optimum pace for themselves,not for anyone else.Teachers should supervise students inasmuch as students need guiding,especially to remain focused.Otherwise,students-especially teenage students-should be allowed to grow at their own pace,with teachers should monitor loosely.(1)
In conclusion,while students should be allowed to learn in the styles and at the pace that is optimum for them,this is challenging with a globalizing populations that try to have students fit averages.Electronics should be utilized,but not abused or overused.Classrooms need to become a place of open discourse between students and teachers.All of these things are necessary in a changing world,but the core learning modes-psychologically proven-remain vital to true academic success.
1.Chapelle,O;et alia.(2009).Semi-supervised learning.IEECIS.
2.Dunlosky,J;Rawson,K;Marsh,E;Mitchell,N;Willingham,D.(2013).Improving students’learning with effective learning techniques.JAPS.14(1).4-58
3.Hastie,T;Tibshirani,R;Friedman,J.(2008).Unsupervised Learning.The Elements of Statistical Learning.Springer Science Publishing.
4.Lovat,T;Clement,N.(2008).Quality teaching and values education.Journal of Moral Education.37(1).1-16.
5.Moss,K;Crowley,M.(2010).Effective learning in science.Journal of Computers and Education.56(1).36-43.
6.Powell,K;Kalina,C.(2009).Cognitive and social constructivism.Journal of Education.130(2).241-250.
7.Siemens,G.(2014).Connectivism:a learning theory for the digital age.IDTL.52(11)42-57.
8.Siemens,G;Long,P.(2011).Penetrating the fog:analytics for leaning and education.Journal of Education.132(1).30-33