Teaching in the 21st Century: Encouraging Creative thought and Cooperation in Education through the Use of Technology
Dr Mike Goldberger, Dr Maureen O'Callaghan.
The traditional education paradigm of a group of students being directed by a single teacher is ubiquitous and universal. While it is widely acknowledged that this paradigm has inherent weaknesses, particularly in its inability to provide individualized instruction, few alternatives have been proposed and fewer yet demonstrated. How can the enterprise of formal teaching and learning be conducted in an environment to account for individual differences and provide options in individual abilities and learning styles? We know learners vary widely in their abilities, experiences, and motivations. However, most formal educational enterprises function under a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. Until recently the question about alternative paradigms was mainly theoretical because the traditional teaching-learning paradigm was the only feasible approach. Now, with the advent of modern technology, other paradigms are possible.
There appear to be four obstacles to modern technology being more readily used in education. There is certainly the cost and availability factor. Although the cost is decreasing with time, it is still an imposing factor in many societies. Appropriate software and curriculum materials must be developed for the technology to be effective and efficient in classroom use.
In this presentation the focus will be on this fourth obstacle. It is our experience that students are not at all intimidated by technology. The problem is that they must ‘unlearn’ the students’ role from the traditional paradigm. That role encouraged students to be passive learners, to think primarily at the cognitive memory level, and to refrain from social interaction during classroom sessions. Bringing technology into the classroom requires that students be active learners, that they think expansively and creatively, and they use other students as resources to learning. At the heart of this presentation will be the results of an experimental study in which two groups of comparable students were taught the same content but one group received additional preparation in the use of available technology.
Dr Mike Goldberger (United States)
School of Kinesiology and Recreation Studies
James Madison University
Michael Goldberger, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the School of Kinesiology and Recreation Studies at James Madison University in Virginia. His research is in pedagogy- the Spectrum of Teaching Styles.
Dr Maureen O'Callaghan (United States)
University of Virginia
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)