Today’s Students

Today’s student generation has other expectations of teachers and does not automatically accept their expertise. Students have grown up within a more horizontal culture of negotiation instead of a more hierarchical culture, and they expect teachers to be open and willing to discuss matters with them, including their grades. In addition to this ‘horizontalization’ of relationships, students have grown up in an information age in which knowledge and expertise are easily available on the Internet. The teacher is therefore no longer automatically accepted as an authority, and has to gain – and be granted with – authority on the basis of trust. Moreover, in a hyper-culture of fragmentation and instant consumption (“I want it all, and I want it now”, to cite Freddy Mercury) students expect teachers to be performers entertaining them with videos, stories and other catchy materials. Not all teachers are willing and equipped to handle these expectations. These teachers are unwilling because they know that good teaching is more than satisfying students. Learning often includes perturbations and confusing disruptions, which are not always pleasurable when they occur, but of great importance in the longer run (Niessen, 2003).” (Tineke A.Abma, 2016)

Home-based Learning

From one educator to another:

Do take note that home-based learning is not as easy as it looks, especially to parents. In traditional education system, teachers teach, instruct, facilitate, guide and hand-hold. Now, most, if not all of these roles, will have to be done by the parents. Be reasonable and compassionate when assigning tasks. Assigning IT-based projects like making powerpoints, videos, podcasts or vlog to students seems easy but for lower/elementary levels where parents have to teach, guide, facilitate, instruct, supervise and handhold, is definitely not easy.

Consider parents who have 4 kids, all at different levels. Even if it’s making a 5-minute video, it will strain the parents. Furthermore, not all parents are pedagogy-educated, or IT-educated.

There should be better coordination between different subjects or disciplines by schools. Imagine the impact on students’ morale if all 8 subject teachers assign a 1000-word essay for students to complete within a few days.

Let’s not make home-based learning a torture to our students…..and parents.

Just my 2-cents worth

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