Need for educators to improve their skills and knowledge in international education

As educators, we have a duty to ensure that our students are well equipped to act as agents of change in an uncertain future. In order to bring about the necessary transformation, it is essential to reform the way we teach and assess students, while employing a variety of teaching modalities. As a result, the demand for ‘Western-style’ education and the growing importance of the International Baccalaureate and Cambridge assessment systems are leading to a restructuring of the educational environment in India. There is a growing need for 21st century teachers to improve their expertise in order to help 21st century learners.

With a market constantly producing new and improved tools, educators need to be equipped with up-to-date knowledge. To keep up with the fast pace of today’s world and technology, educators must instill a wide range of skills in their students while continually improving their own abilities. Critical thinking, creative problem solving, metacognitive communication, digital and technological literacy, and civic obligation are all components of a 21st century skill set. Understanding the ecosystem of educational technologies is essential and putting these advances into action is the need of the hour.

Speaking of trends and innovation, the development of an interdisciplinary approach to education is gaining relevance in the field of international education. Interdisciplinary teaching and learning involves approaching a single subject from several angles. Consider, for example, that it’s time to practice the long jump. By using a spring to demonstrate the application of downward force, one can briefly examine the physics and mechanics of the body. Students can then calculate and measure their jump distance using their math skills. Additionally, these activities can be applied to improve concentration on lifting, throwing, and other movements, which can potentially engage students who dislike physical education. Essentially, it allows students to absorb ideas from multiple disciplines, summarize data on a topic, and eventually provide a fuller understanding of a situation. In fact, students who follow an interdisciplinary approach are likely to be more engaged in their education, achieve better learning outcomes, think critically, and make connections.

International board educators must also be able to conduct project-based learning (PPL), experiential learning, and place-based learning. The goal of inquiry-based or project-based learning is for students to identify problems or challenges that exist in their society or in the world around them. The APP is beneficial for both students and teachers as it emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Additionally, PBL allows students to design their own learning journey, and teachers may find it extremely rewarding to develop their own PBL experiences.

Last but not least, quality education is currently a top priority for all governments. Many NGOs and private organizations promote the professional development of teachers in public and private schools. These courses present a teacher training framework, based on relevant international standards for 21st century teaching skills, which emphasizes experiential learning and an approach tailored to each student. More and more ed-tech entrepreneurs are developing e-learning programs that provide materials and methodology to teachers. This allows educators to advance their own professional development, while participating in an immersive learning opportunity based on cognitive learning approaches that support the development of desired skills.

By Prodipta Hore, Program Director, Aditya Birla Education Academy and International Initiatives Coordinator, Aditya Birla World Academy

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Donald E. Patel