MY WORRY ABOUT A DEVELOPING SECONDARY EDUCATION TEACHING MODE
DO TEACHERS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TEACHING
I recently wrote to the NT Board of Studies, The CE of the NT Education Department and our NT Minister for Education as follows in this post. Tomorrow I will post a response to the ‘why’s’ of this question of concern gleaned from online.
As an observer of what is happening in the field of education, I am becoming more and more distressed about the teaching methodology, or lack thereof, being given in any sense of prime focus on what students are required to produce.
This is particularly the case in the NT, where I have grandchildren in both public and private school settings, ranging from year 9 to year 11 and 12.
It is in my opinion both poor form and indeed a cop out, for students to be given a page or pages of work requirements on project and research tasks, with but scant teaching
– if any at all – into what processes and methodologies are required.
The essences of understanding and enjoying learning are being lost to the encumbrance of process, placing students in the unenviable situation of having to ‘do it alone’.
I am convinced that part of this has to do with the fact that too many teachers themselves, do not understand the assignment, project and research requirements being demanded of students by SACE endorsed units of study. It Is an easy out to download material online and pass it to students to complete.
There should be deep and meaningful teacher and student interaction in lessons that precede and introduce research requirements. Students should also be encouraged to liaise with teachers during the weeks offered for the completion of assignments.
To give students, often with limited teacher contact, quite complex assignments along with unintelligible rubrics – explaining how they should tackle tasks to earn the various gradings – is not good enough.
These ‘modern’ approaches are wholly inadequate. Students need to be enthused to learn and not turned off by desultory – if any – teaching. It also seems that apparent teacher disinterest in direct teaching and learning contexts may be based on not their fully understanding the courses for which they are responsible.