Creative and critical learning can be done at the primary school level if teachers are creative enough in their teaching. This can also include thinking skills that can lead to the discovery process and innovation among students.
Learning is fundamentally the discovering and understanding process of a subject matter taught. This is best done when students have passion for the subject.
The learning process is so unique that students can approach it in many ways. There is no single method of teaching or learning that could be applied to all students in any classroom set-up.
It varies, depending on the ability and the mental or cognitive processes of students and, fortunately, most teachers, are aware of this. Our brains are uniquely built in that individuals are differently tuned to the many types of teaching and learning processes.
Basically, students can have either more inclination for the arts or the sciences. There are some who have the aptitude for both.
We observe in the classroom that some students prefer to do things to discover and understand a pro cess. They understand, discover and learn through experimenting. This in itself is a learning process and involves the creative process of the mind. This creative process which is already innate in some students can, however, be further enhanced through proper support by teachers.
There are some students who prefer to do thorough reading before they can comprehend the subject matter. In most cases of this nature, they do rote learning out of fear of examinations. It’s only after the examination is over would they spend time thinking over what they have learnt or memorised. At the end of the day, they are still able to understand what they have memorised. It just takes a little longer for them to realise the importance of studying in a creative and critical manner.
We also observe students who are rather quiet in class – less interactive, but attentive. These students should not be penalised as they learn the subject in a passive manner but they are still able to discover something at the end of the lesson. Their creative and thinking processes are actually at work, although it is done in a reclusive manner.
There are also students who are eloquent and are able to express themselves well in class but when it comes to expressing their thoughts in writing or doing things in the practical sense, they fumble. On the contrary, there are many who cannot speak well or are rather shy to do so but can express well in the written form. In both cases the creative process is still at work, and learning has actually taken place.
So let’s not be obsessed with all the learning and teaching theories we have been exposed to while being trained as teachers. A good teacher should be judicious enough to understand the various ways students learn and should accept these variations among learners. Teachers should not penalise students just because they approach learning in different ways or insist that students must follow the type of learning the teacher is familiar with.
DR M.A NAIR,
Source : The STAR Home > News > Opinion Friday July 30, 2010