The focus of education
The focus needs to be turned from teaching into learning. Teachers’ and all other adults’ prime objective must be to support students’ learning processes. This can be implemented e.g. by these five main points:
Assessment supports learning
Teacher’s work starts from creating assessment practices and procedures. Once you know what, when and how to assess, everything else follows more naturally. After being very clear with yourself and with your students about the assessment, planning and implementing lessons is far more easier. As a fact, all students are unique and individuals – period. As a result, they should be able to show their knowledge and competences in many different ways throughout the academic year – not just by writing and using their memorisation.
Interaction and communication supports learning
Organise your lessons in such a way that there are plenty of opportunities for students to interact with each other. By using new concepts in interaction, explaining the content to each other and making relevant questions you can find out whether they have understood at least the main points of the issues they are about to learn.
ICT supports learning
Let’s use the modern facilities to do such work that used to be done by pen and paper. Use the time saved to learn how to use ICT as a way to support learning processes. Guide your students to master also other learning to learn skills.
Learning environments support learning
Whenever possible take your class out from a school building and take your students to the “real world” into the authentic learning environments. In my PhD study we had students visiting several learning environments once a month for 3,5 years. These newly arrived migrant students were not only able to use their new language skills but also getting support to integrate into their new home town and culture. In classrooms I used to have my students sitting in groups of 4-5 to enable the daily interaction between them.
Versatile teaching methods support learning
As a teacher you should make sure to master several teaching methods and develop your professional competence regularly. All students are individuals. Most of them learn in a different way so we cannot expect them all to learn just by listening to the teacher. Talk with your colleagues, take in-service training courses, read books – whatever you do, remember to develop your skills from beginning to end of your career.