21 years, 3rd year MBBS, Rama medical college, kanpur, UP, Uttar Pradesh – INDIA
This is a very beautiful quote in sanskrit which is used to honour our teachers, meaning: “Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu ,Guru is Shiva, Guru is supreme, we offer warm greeting to our Guru”. Here, Guru means teachers are being compared to the three superpowers of the universe ( Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) as per Hindus.
Our teachers have been compared with gods since ancient times, so the quality of teaching and teachers plays a huge role in overall development of humans. History has been evident of both kinds of teachers that have carved diamonds out of coal and some that uprooted the budding saplings. So it is very important to focus on how our youth receive education and skill. We need to discuss quality teaching before the Education sector is converted to the business sector.
Institution & Teachers
Before we question the quality of teaching we must ask what does the institution want from their teachersdo they want quantity of the work to be done or they want to enhance the quality of brains (students)? There have been several institutions who have been pressuring their teachers to focus on completion of paperwork, which is derailing the teachers from fun and efficient teaching. Teachers with innovative ideas to teach, fear they might overdo from the lines drawn by the institution or other staff may judge them.
As a child grows into a teenager he starts trusting his friend more than anyone else which makes a priority for high school teachers to enter into the comfort zone of students. Once a student is comfortable with their teachers it will create a better learning environment for them. But institutions with very harsh regulations create it a little difficult for a healthy student-teacher relationship, it inhibits the creative minds to express their ideas. But this also does not support removal of necessary punishments because we have to inculcate moral values in them.
The responsibility to shape minds by university teachers is huge as they are at the final stage of deciding the future of a whole nation that lies in the hands of youth.
Chief indicators of teaching quality
It is very important to keep the quality check on the teaching methods and teacher training centres to ensure the basic attributes of the teacher are maintained as per requirement of higher education.
It can start by weekly/monthly verbal reports by the teacher on what were the challenges they faced and discuss how they can overcome it. Feedback forms for students should be made in such a way that they can convey their suggestions and problems faced. The head of department should make sure that not only theory but students are being taught practically like field visits, animation videos, models, sessions with experts of that concerned field, etc. this makes the study more intriguing and fun than just studying it inside 4 walls.
Assessing the teaching quality based on marks of classes based on their assignments and tests can be considered but is not a reliable indicator for long run because all brains have different capacity of learning and further the division of same quality of brains in all classes is not possible. It is important for institutions to understand that what criteria they are setting to hire their teachers, not just their degrees and resume should be checked but also, their zeal to teach should be equally considered. Situation based questions and more innovative ideas to teach should be added to their interview session.
Prioritizing Moral teaching
As we reach up to higher education, a student starts assessing & comparing himself with others personalities and behaviour. The sense of competition is so heightened so much so that a student starts normalising what’s not actually good for his mind, this where moral education comes into play. Teachers should be very careful with their words and actions so that their students are not only taught the moral duties of humans but they are made to catch them. Since childhood various emotions like jealousy, excess competition, selfishness, worrying, criticism, complaining etc. have been normalised in a way that we have forgotten before any professional degree we achieve; we are certified as humans first. Various institutions already have made community service, civic education, sex education, multicultural education, etc compilsory part of their curriculum but there are still many universities that needs to teach and normalisIng back again the normal virtues of human which is to love, to be benevolent, compassionate, courageous, responsibility, diligence, etc. there should be scheduled visits to places like old age home & orphanages.
One of the increasing rates of mental health disorders and cases of violence is because humans are refusing to accept each other as it is, this is something that needs to be inculcated in a student’s mind.
Counselling sessions- need of hour
if we consider a class of 10 students, then there will be 10 brains with entirely different cognitive powers and situation handling capacities, so it is not okay to treat all of them in a similar way. All of them come from entirely different family backgrounds, some may have happy educated families while others may have violent or very careless family environments. Family conditions have a great impact on human brain development both physiologically and emotionally. So it’s very important to have a team of psychologists and counsellors to help children living in distressed conditions to rise up and heal them from inside. We need to realize that a chain is judged by its weakest link, so by focussing more on weak students we can create a mentally healthy society ahead.
Covid-19 & online education
While we were already struggling to maintain the quality of teaching, covid- 19 has greatly impacted the education sector. There is a distress created among both students and teachers. The teachers who used to enjoy interacting with their students, are now forced to focus more on understanding the technology than teaching. Cyberbullying the teachers has become a major hurdle in efficient teaching. In such a situation, it’s a requirement from both ends (student & teacher) to make their classes successful with sincerity, responsibility and respect. There are so many different online certified courses and championships are being organised by various prestigious institutions like harvard for free, teachers must encourage and students must focus on enhancing their skills by learning something new in this global lockdown.we must take this as a opportunity for our students to encourage them to connect with their families and their potential.
Development of teaching skills has been undertaken at various levels- departmental, institutional or country level. There should be encouragement more and more such initiatives that bring grass root changes in student learning. There has been an old saying,”the environment we create around yourself is an outcome come what you think”. Teachers must rectify the thinking processes of minds rather than cramming all the tables and charts.