Channel: Edris Khamissa
Attributes of a teacher in the 21st Century
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We kill curiosity, and even the feeling that it is a good and admirable thing to be curious, so that by the age of 10, most children will not ask questions. And that's how children fail. This is a quotation by john Holt, the author of how children fail. Now, it just started off with this very relevant quotation, because our CD focus is on creativity in the 21st century classroom. Now, what are some statistics that you have telling me that creativity is important? You know, first they admit respond to your initial condition is such a powerful one, you find that when kids are in school, they always want to participate, they're raising their hands up. As they become teenagers
and preteens, you'll find that they become more conscious of themselves. And the discussion the class does not lend itself to their participation is a teacher talk. Now, I came across this particular statistic and shamima, I promise you, it really opened my mind, it was quite shocking. Firstly, this person studied children. Look at this, between the ages of three and 590 5%, tested creative geniuses, three and five, the same children between the ages of eight and 10, the same children, the percentage went down to 32%, creative geniuses, the same children between the ages of 13 and 15, the percentage went down to 12%. And then randomly, a good few 1000 adults that tested
not the same kids, and the percentage was 2%. So the question is this, what is happening? And the obvious thing is this. Children are being educated, out of creativity, the schools are killing the creativity. And that to me, is a very, very frightening thought. So following on that, what is the creative learning look like? You see, shamima is a brilliant question. You're asking lots of brilliant questions. On vanilla, you find that in a creative classroom, you find the students are all actively involved, there is a kind of energy, right. And also, there is a realization that you can learn in different ways around to learn in my way, yes, I have endorsement for it. Also, you
find these opportunities to make informed choices, and you have the ability and the time to explore ideas in great depth. And you are also an opportunity to reflect on how you can improve, and how you can learn. And this to me, perhaps is one of the most fundamental things, you're able to see connections between different subjects between subjects, ideas, school and home life is normal, for example, that it is uni dimensional, is from a textbook. And more importantly, as you spoke about, the idea of asking questions is encouraged.
Why should we then promote creativity in the classroom? You know, I know you gave us the statistics. But if you can just give me a few more of the reasons, you see a shamima. It's very critical that we promote creativity. In fact, creativity should be an integral part of every lesson.
In You know, when someone tells me that teacher x is creative, I have a problem. You know, why? The fact that you are a teacher, it means you have to be creative. That to me, is fundamental. In other words, the creativity should be an integral part of every lesson. It should be an integral part of your own creativity. In other words, you are teaching creatively, to unleash the creativity of your children. Now, why should we promote it? I came across a very, very powerful quotation, and it said words to this effect. The curriculum should enable pupils to think creatively and critically, to solve problems and make a difference for the better. It should give them an opportunity to become
creative, innovative, enterprising, and capable of leadership to equip them
or the future lives.
Got a powerful thing. In other words, you're not being creative for your own self enrichment is you are being creative, to make a better life for other people to develop leadership, so that you make a difference. So I've got to be creative as the teacher to develop creativity in them as pupils, am I right? Absolutely. Okay, absolutely. I'm accepting that. But again, give me a concrete example. I'm a teacher in a senior school. Give me one concrete example. Because what I'm finding is with the examples, the theory is becoming practical. You know what, I can speak as a teacher of English, and I'll share some of my own examples. And I'm not saying that the most brilliant examples, but I must
say, haha, I likey. For example,
in essay writing, I used to do this.
he writes an essay, Catherine also writes an essay by tell Catherine and Paula tell the rest of the students, you must not give me your conclusion. You write your conclusion, in a scrapbook, those days, they will not have internet, so scrapbook
that what you do, right, Paul, you ask Angelina, to write your conclusion, she hasn't seen your original conclusion, and vice versa, then you have a discussion as to which was a better conclusion. For example, that's one example. Another example, in comprehension. And I've done this, so therefore, I'm so excited about it, I've done it in comprehension, I would give pupils only the questions
of the passage, I'll give them the title, where it came from the title. And I might give the first sentence. And I'll tell them, boys and girls, this passage has five paragraphs, use the questions to write out what you think the past is all about. And you will not believe it. 60, or 70% of them would have got the broad gist of it, then they realize how the first sentence is a beginning of a journey. The person who wrote it had the conclusion in mind, that title is a summary of the passage. So I've done all of these things, what it does, it creates excitement. For example, marking of essays, marking offices, when you mark essays, I remember the earlier days, if you got a word
wrongly spelt the teachers right SP and so underline the word, then the higher level was, the teacher put an sp you find the word that has been misspelled. But another higher way is the teacher puts a mark on the site doesn't tell you what it's all about. It could be through Concord, maybe through spelling, or could be any number of things. Or sometimes on a higher level. At the end of the paragraph, the teacher puts two marks suggests there are two areas, it could be the topic unity there, there isn't a thematic sentence, or it could be an error in grammar or spelling, you got to find it, you got to find it, then what used to happen, then the children used to put the SP in the
margin or whatever. And you will not believe what he did. The students were able to find 60 or 70% of the errors. So the issue has been not that they don't have the knowledge is basically they did not
edit properly, did not read properly. And this was an indication. So I've done all of those things. What he does, it becomes very, very creative. And therefore, a dynamic teacher knows the following. The most important part of the lesson is his introduction. Right? They say introduction must be strong. But your conclusion even stronger. A dynamic creative teacher can do it. And I'll remember this so vividly. This happened 50 years ago, right? It's
okay, if we may. Okay, we were in a geography class. You can imagine how under resource the school is, and our geography teacher. Now, he must have spent a lot of time thinking, How do I introduce the solar system to my pupils, to make them understand its size in comparison to the whole galaxy.
The next day, in our geography class, he put a white.on the board that saw geography, so he asked us boys and girls,
what do you see? Sup? He said, we see a white.he said come on. We said we see a small white.is a command, we see a small white.on a huge green board is a command. Then he said to us that white.is a solar system
The rest of the board is the galaxy.
Can you imagine that we never up to now I speak about, we have never, ever forgotten that lesson. Look at it, it shows the creativity of this person. Creativity is something that we are born with, as we indicated in the statistics, what does society want? Who are the people that are getting the brownie points? Who are the people, the other people that have found creative solutions to real life problems, they are people who can think laterally thinking outside the box was solution driven. And when you speak about creativity, you are saying to each child, each one of you is capable of finding a solution. And then that leads us to what you said in the previous CD about developing
competencies. And one of them was the problem solving. First, Emma, thank you for sharing your age with us eg and gay, okay, I made a mistake. I'm only 51 years old.
It is, you know, you spoke to us about the statistics, which is very frightening. And you know, standing aside and listening to those statistics, it's actually so true. Because in school, we sort of hampering the children's creativity, because we so bound on curriculum, as we spoke about in our previous CDs as well, what then would be the benefits of the creativity? Why would I need my 12 year old in a classroom with a 15 year old in the classroom, to be creative? What it does, it leads to more rigorous and critical thinking, which is so fundamental, you find that the whatever objectives you have, as a teacher, you're able to stimulate the minds of children, and you're able to achieve
them quite regularly. And this is important, it increases, you know, the motivation increases the engagement, and the deep concentration of learners. It also improves relationships, you know, why? Because you are engaging you every relationship, you are affirming your students. Also, it helps to unleash the talent of the individual. And very importantly, it helps to develop skills for life. It teaches them about adaptability, it teaches them about change and uncertainty. So the benefits are so many, it is really something necessary for the 21st century, at a time, when society is confronted, and beset with problems, we need those individuals who are able to confront those
issues. And they are optimistic and say, Yes, I can do it, I will do it. And I must do it.
Now, we will talk about the attributes of a 21st century head teacher in our previous CD. Here, we spoke about creativity. And we think one of the attributes of a teacher now should be creativity, right? What are some of the other attributes of a 21st century teacher because I just want to move on from the head teacher, because you gave me I think, nine attributes that creativity Firstly, is the attribute for the teacher give me more here. The other thing is, is a a teacher in the 21st century, he understands, he does not have the monopoly of knowledge. So he's a becomes a life long learner. Very important. He is also a person that becomes a communicator, a person that is talking
to the students, engaging with them, articulating things you find, there are some teachers who are very reticent. There is no time and place for reticent teachers. He is also a visionary, he must be a visionary. Because what you require is not the person that only can see now and tomorrow, a person beyond the tomorrow. And it's unbelievable, the kind of change he is also he must be like a role model. They, especially at a time, when young boys are disenchanted at home, they've not see role models, politically or otherwise, they might say, Hey, I like to be like that teacher. Look at him. He is so articulate, he understands the world. He is able to cope with it. And he is always
convincing a smile. He's engaging. He's so you know, you understand those wonderful qualities. He's also a person remember, because I said he does not have the monopoly of knowledge. He's a collaborator. He talks to other teachers in the school teachers outside the school in the locality in the country and outside the country today. We have so much of access to so many of these great educators and asking them how would you teach it?
What was the difference? How would you motivate the other
Important thing that he should be, of course, the point that you made like the headmaster, also, he must be a risk taker prepared to try it out, you never know until you try it out. And And last but not least, he must be a person that is able to adapt to every changing environment, and also as the head teacher receptive to new ideas, and receptive to criticism.
And also, you know, what one of the points that we often make, he must also have what I call digital intelligence.
There's something I thought I'd mention, you know, I like it, digital intelligence. Alright, quite a bit, you've given me the just attributes of a 21st century teacher, I think, the 21st century teacher, you've given me more than the ones for the head teacher, so absolute, in our recap, we'll, we'll go through that. But thank you for all of that. I think listening to you now, I've realized that creativity is so important.
It seems to be that is more important than just imparting the knowledge to the children. Yes, I need to impart the knowledge to the children. But I've got to do it in this creative way. And you gave me an example. I like that we giving examples, because with our English teacher, math teacher, I can incorporate these examples and these ideas to create this creativity in the children. So yes, you say, I must be creative as the teacher, for me to develop the creativity in the children. In fact, shamima as you were sharing this with me, you got to understand the child of the 21st century, he is bludgeoned by the media is stimulated by it. Bite Size is colorful, it's exciting, then you got
someone that class was tedious with boring, doesn't stimulate him. So you have to be creative, you're competing, you're really competing, and creativity, not for the sake of just impressing someone is to inspire so that the child themselves would learn that you know what, they are solutions, they are different ways of doing different things. Indeed, also, when you are creative, and you're planning a creative lesson, my gosh, you get so excited, you want to know get to the class and see how it works. You know,
any any one of your CDs, you spoke about a model where there's no separate subjects, you know, the teacher goes in, and the teacher does like a whole education, the teacher could be teaching maths and English and character education and all of that. Now, I know that is part of the finished model. Okay, if you can give me at least five fundamental characteristics of this finished school and the finished model, so that we can take some ideas from there, to develop this kind of creativity, this kind of ideas in this 21st century school and 21st century classroom. You see, when you made reference to not having a subject specific material, there are one or two schools I know in the
world that are trying it out, it's an experiment. But the Finnish schools are really, really inspirational, what you got to bear in mind that teaching is perhaps the highest paid profession, and only 20% of the applicants get the job. And you can only teach when you have got your masters. So educators, teachers have autonomy. And you find unlike us, in other schools of the world, there isn't what you call too much of assessment. The play methodology is us developing the sensory perception is there. And you find that teachers themselves are allowed to use their creativity. But something else is even more intriguing far as I'm concerned that they start formal schooling only at
the age of seven. And I subscribe to the view when children ought to be spending time with their families. And I can understand that a time and the husband and wife are working it can be very, very difficult. But if they do go to other places they go to play and they don't go to learn inverted commas it is for the play methodology they learn. And I came across this one particular example in developing the sensory perception. It was this one author who went to one of the schools and they took him out for a kind of experiment. What they did they blindfolded the children in this forest and they asked the children guided them, they said we want to touch any tree and tell us which tree
you like. Right? So they touch the tree. So they must feel it. The texture, everything the back, you understand that tactile everything else. Then they move them away from the tree. Right then they sit
Define, we want you now to identify the tree. Very, very powerful. Because you are learning you understand the impact of your sensory perceptions, because we live in a society when our sensory perceptions are numb, stifle or kill in the environment that we are living in. So all in all, the Finnish school does not give too much of homework. There isn't too much of assessment, like other places in the UK in America, right. And as a result of that, this autonomy, and kids come to a school when they're emotionally mature and ready for it. And most importantly, creativity is an overarching theme in the schools.
Okay, I need a job there. Because the first point I got was it being a very highly paid, highly, highly paid job. So like, Yeah, no, no, I like got stuck on that comment. You see what happens? They in Finland, the teachers are both certified under qualified in other places in the world. There are more people certified, but they're not qualified to teach. Okay, I'm hearing you, I see the difference. And one last point I want you to talk about is this whole concept of multiple intelligences. First, if you can tell me what it means. And then a little bit more about it. You see, you find
that our schools today, many of them focus on the cognitive development. And someone said it quite beautifully. You said teachers suffer from pedagogical oppression. They see kids purely as cognitive animals. It was Howard Gardner, who coined this idea of multiple intelligence, very, very powerful. He speaks about eight abilities. And it talks about these criterias. Number one is speaks about the musical rhythmic intelligence. He speaks about the visual, spatial. He speaks about the verbal, linguistic, he speaks about the logical mathematical. He speaks about the bodily kinesthetic, he speaks about the interpersonal, he speaks about the intrapersonal. And he speaks about the
naturalistic. But he also suggested something and I want to talk a little about it. He also spoke about moral intelligence, you want to include that? And in fact, I wouldn't include tomorrow. Right? I would include spiritual intelligence. And I'll also include digital intelligence. So what he's saying that when schools focused on all these intelligences, what are you really doing, you are loving each child to develop according to his own talent, he may, I may have a linguistic talent, someone else may have a musical or kindness, aesthetic talent, what he does, is able to develop you in different ways. So what it demands from the teacher to understand who's teaching, and also
understands that he must have a diversified and he must have a vast repertoire of methodology to engage each one of them on a personal level. So this CD now relates to the first CD where we spoke about holistic education, because your multiple intelligences is basically talking about the holistic education. And in the holistic education, I remember you talking about some of these concepts that you're talking about here. No, I would say yes or no. Okay, right. For one reason, the multiple intelligences school, focusing on different aspects to develop their talent. But what it does, really for me, it makes the classroom a far more interesting place is no more the lecture
method. And I just share with you this one statistic, this perhaps can be very revealing. In the University of Maine, United States of America.
They wanted how students learn, students learn shamima 5%, through lecture method 10% by reading 15% through audio visual presentation, that tip percent by group presentation 50% by group discussion 75% by doing it 95% by teaching it to others. Now, you find many schools on that level of lecture method. And what it does is essentially we must realize, when students are engaged in the learning, it makes a huge, huge difference.
It is this CD was on creativity in the 21st century classroom and we spoke a lot about creativity. What are your final comments and your final thoughts on this topic? You know, shamima
I really believe that our school
have tremendous potential. And we find that we are making too many excuses. You're blaming the department, we're blaming the curriculum. But the true educator is a person that is solution driven. He understands what's the purpose of learning, he understands the young boy, they experience a world of the child, you also understand some of the challenges young people face. So he is that individual can really create a dynamic, dynamic classroom, through his own inspiration through his own dynamism. And it's also saddens me that some of the poorest readers today, educators did not read, they did not understand. And I recall this one statement and which are shared today. They say, if
you teach children how you were taught, you robbed them of their tomorrow. And another thing, if you do not learn today, you cannot teach tomorrow, there is information explosion everywhere else. And you as an educator, you can harness those thoughts, those energies, and really create a dynamic classroom. I know, as a student, we look forward to some teachers because they were inspirational, that a sense of humor, they made it relevant and others we say, Oh my gosh, oh, another graveyard lesson.
I don't want to listen to him. And what we are saying to everyone, to all a head, teachers, teachers, whoever you are, you can make a difference there is the information is available, you don't have to create something of your own as it were. But by following those creative geniuses, you yourself will be inspired to unleash your own potential so that you'll leave a legacy in the hearts and minds of those beautiful, innocent children who want to find meaning. I think the idea would be to just take at least one or two points as a start in trying to make this change. So I want to recap just what you've just told me. You shared with us, firstly, in the city statistics on creativity.
Then you went on to show us what the creative classroom looks like, and why creativity in the classroom should be promoted. Then also you spoke to us about the benefits of creativity. And then you shared with us the attributes of the 21st century teacher and I have to just quickly run through them. And they are having creativity as a teacher being a lifelong learner. Being a good communicator, a visionary, just like the head teacher, being a role model, a collaborator, a risk taker, again, like the head teacher, being adaptable to change, being receptive to new ideas, being receptive to criticism, and then having digital intelligence because that is the important one is
going to get me on level with children who are living in the digital age. All I have to ask you, is what are you doing to do differently?