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Resolving to Make Good Change amidst Opposition

12 February 2016

A teaching and learning in higher education training definitely changed my attitude and beliefs towards teaching especially at the university level. I began to blame some of my lecturers for not creating good enough learning environments to develop my potential. Then I blamed myself for not pushing enough on my own, and rationalising why it is the learners’ responsibility to learn the content the teacher provides, and reproduce on the big assessment day. But the facilitator, Prof. Carmel McNaught made participants understand that it was the teacher’s duty to provide a learning environment. Since then, I have not seen a lecture session as good enough learning environment. Ah! when people currently are mostly active and fishing out information on their own, they come to class and fold their arms to consume [mostly textbook] information? [thinking aloud].

Lets’ co-create knowledge with guided practice, with class discussions, with role play – without excuses. I shared these thoughts with my colleagues who did not participate in the seminar. Some liked it, others were indifferent, others jumped on the wagon because one leading figure [my mentor in fact] maintained that the lecture method was time-tested the best. I felt sad within. But something inside me said not to care about the opposition and stigmatisation – it got there I tell you. “Ho! you go and sit down for someone who has been paid to tell you what he thinks he should tell you”; “I am surprised you are talking like this, are you not an academic?” Such comments were irritating, spirit-breaking, and heart-downing. Yet, I had developed interest in teaching scholarship from that seminar, to try feedback-based changes to my teaching methods, rather than remain stagnant with so-called tried-and-tested methods like reading and explaining slides. After all, I am an academic, and I can exercise academic freedom… and I can make evidence-based decisions.

So I have began using group break-out sessions for this semester’s course [IT Project Management]. I have nothing to lose, but I have a goal to create a better learning environment day in day out, every session of the semester, and I know that the results can only be better and not bad. Resolve to make a positive change, and take action immediately – after all what’s the worst that could happen. If it is genuinely want to create benefits for someone other than yourself, I know it will turn out beneficial for yourself as well. Have a good one!

 

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