Making Education Relevant – “NEP 2020 : Innovative Pedagogies” by ICSI 26th November, 2020
Education is a gradual process through which individuals acquire general to specific knowledge, skills, information and attitude from Educators that would enable them develop powers of reasoning and judgment in their everyday experiences. This makes it an empowerment process as individual over time attain rightful status in the society. It is in this context that the role of the Teacher may not be overlooked but rather be emphasized as they remain to be the main contributors towards student learning. But for educators to be able to accomplish this noble task they need to constantly learn, unlearn and relearn in order to gain more knowledge, skills and right attitude towards their role. This entails empowering themselves with the right knowledge, skills, attitudes and development of competences that would enable them respond adequately to challenging and demanding needs of the modern society. This demands that empowerment be a continuous process where individuals are developed, a journey where people gain lifelong experiences which would enable them exercise power over their own practices and circumstances. Empowerment has been defined as the process whereby school participants develop the competence to take charge of their own growth and resolve their own problems. Dimensions of teacher empowerment refer to: (1) participation of teachers in critical decisions that directly affect their work; (2) teacher impact as an indicator of influencing school life; (3) teacher status concerning professional respect from colleagues; (4) autonomy or teachers’ beliefs that they can control certain aspects of their work life; (5) professional development opportunities to enhance continuous learning and expand one’s skills; and (6) self-efficacy, the perception of having the skills and ability to help students learn. These dimensions advance the discussion of teacher empowerment beyond mere rhetoric and provide a framework for developing strategies to help teachers become more empowered in their work lives. Challenge before Teachers today is, that the children of today have been surrounded by digital technology since their birth; ever since, their everyday life and practices have been entwined with social media, smart phone, tablet, and Internet use. Digital technology has been thoroughly embedded with how they live and learn. They have started interacting with digital technology already as toddlers if not even earlier, and their adult life will for sure be thoroughly embedded and intimately intertwined with digital technology. The young generation needs to understand and be able to make informed decisions on how to utilize digital technologies in everyday life in meaningful ways. Furthermore, we maintain that the digital divide concerns design and development of such technology, too. It is important that the young generation adopts a critical and proactive stance towards digital technology, i.e. they should critically consider how it could and should be, not merely accept how it currently is. For this to happen, the young generation needs to gain skills and competences to innovate, design, program, make, and build digital technology.
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