Educating beyond the Four Walls of the Classroom

While many families - parents and children alike – prepare for the resumption of classes this June, our various government agencies also take the necessary steps to ensure that the normalization of everyday transport and activity, from the opening day of classes until its end, will go smoothly.

While many families - parents and children alike – prepare for the resumption of classes this June, our various government agencies also take the necessary steps to ensure that the normalization of everyday transport and activity, from the opening day of classes until its end, will go smoothly.

Most writers, opinion makers, and bloggers have already made up their minds and have published several articles in leading broadsheets and tabloids on a wide of range of issues covering the deficiencies of the Philippine Education System. Their topics include what's wrong with stakeholders' preparation for the opening day of classes, the problems of the K-12 program, and the challenges faced by graduates in finding good jobs because of our faulty educational curricula. 

The approach of this commentary begs to differ from what has already been written or published. Usual articles and opinions focus on the logistical scarcities and the infrastructure challenges that our education system is riddled with. This piece centers on education itself and how education today is not framed to the holistic development of present-day students.

Once school days begin, teachers will once again focus their medium of education on lectures and several instructive techniques, such as banking of knowledge through oral and audio-visual presentations. It is important to note that the attention span of today's Filipino students may probably be shorter than the 10-minute attention span benchmark according to a survey published by BBC in 2010. One should factor in, as well, the distractions brought about by mass media, increased access to social media, and other environmental forces. In short, there are so many hindrances towards effective learning. Because of this, I am certain that education should start to focus beyond the confines of the four walls of the classroom.

Teachers and instructors may want to explore unconventional modes of education, approaches that go beyond the traditional form of instruction inside the classroom. One of the less frequently visited areas in school has been the library. Since the Internet has provided ready access to information, books have often been ignored. Teachers should influence their students to read books. I suggest that teachers should come up with tests where the only source of information for a task is contained in a single book source. This would allow students to exhaust all their energies reading through several books until they find the ultimate source of the answer to the test questions. Since this type of task pushes a student to look for answers in several sources, there is unintended learning derived from reading other bits of information from different books. 

Beyond the classroom, teachers and instructors should start exposing their students to everyday realities. They should penetrate the tastes and preferences of their students. An effective way to engage the students and enhance their learning ability is by incorporating parts of the lesson to everyday realities, such as teleseryes, news programs, and even documentaries. Teachers and instructors have to be more innovative and creative in imparting knowledge to their students.

These are complex suggestions in the manner of educating today's students but there may be bolder suggestions and ingenious ideas that others may come up with.

In my opinion, a change of education curricula must come with a change of mindset and approach in instruction. The banking system of education, where students are perceived as empty passive vessels to be filled by educators, should eventually go. We must pave the way for learning beyond the four walls of a classroom. 

While it is important to gain a UP or Harvard level of education, it may be more relevant to be schooled in the "Harvard of the Streets and of Realities."

 

Sources:

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Hannah Richardson, “Students only have ’10-minute attention span,’” BBC News, 12 January 2010.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheLOBBYiST.
About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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