Accountability in the field of education has become a complex process of intricate policies and procedures on local, state, and federal levels. Student achievement based on big data is always in flux, but the accountability policies that are currently being implemented are designed to drive and monitor educators’ instructional practices as well as the academic progress of students. However, the bodies governing this new level of accountability also understand that a sink or swim attitude towards educators is unhealthy, leading them to push for more research, analysis, and guidance on instructional trends that will successfully inform and impact teaching habits.
The outcry that followed the implementation of the teacher accountability system a decade ago exposed the inadequacies and unfairness of the original rollout. With so many variables in education that needed to be taken into play, some of them had to be controlled. Thus a push for a framework for teachers to use to receive relevant data and understand how to use the results was enacted.
The Need for a Pedagogical Change
Pedagogical focuses in the past consisted of methods that are no longer relevant in today’s digital world. The idea of “I do, I do, We do, You go home and do” in the traditional classroom format no longer works, according to data. A change in metrics showed that new instructional trends are on the rise, and teachers need a way to learn how to use these methods to impact their planning and delivery.
Most teachers can look around and see the need for a change, critical thinking skills, and 21st-century technology application in their classroom. How to make that happen is another thing entirely. These instructional trends require resources, guidance, continuing education opportunities, and administrative support. In a nutshell, seasoned teachers must relearn how to teach using strategies that weren’t on the radar when they began their careers. Prospective teachers are learning how to become educators based on outdated textbooks, resources, and pedagogical practices. None of this is beneficial without the resources and support required to take teachers into the 21st century and make an academic impact.
Traditional Teaching Methods are Gone With the Wind
The traditional method of education involves transmitting factual information to students in a way that dismisses critical thinking. A pacing map must be followed, whether the students are grasping the concept or not. Teachers instruct to the average of the group rather than differentiating, mostly because they don’t have time to do otherwise but often due to lack of understanding of how to differentiate instruction. This accepted method of instruction must be rejected, revamped, and revised.
Critical thinking skills, teaching students to ask questions like “why” and “how” instead of regurgitating short-term memory facts, and integrating all of this with 21st-century technology are the new instructional trends. Instead of these methods being used by exceptional teachers, they need to become commonplace by every instructor. The onus must be on instructing teachers how to instruct their students; a switching of roles until the current traditional method is obsolete.
Through a framework of guidelines, support, and resources, the new instructional methods will drive teachers to develop instructional habits in line with modern trends. This integration of technology and classroom shifts will, in effect, solve many of the current obstacles that hinder academic success today. Factors that are controversial, like student-to-faculty ratios and the metrics that follow, could be made less significant by blending online courses with the traditional classroom seating.
Out With the Old, In With the 21st-Century New
From virtual classes to critical thinking, the future of 21st-century pedagogy is unlike anything ever seen before in education. The need for students to receive a quality education that allows them to create an impact on society is now being pushed for. Students must learn how to question the status quo, communicate their thoughts, think critically, and use higher-level thinking to problem solve in any field of study. In order to successfully meet this goal, teachers must be taught how to implement lessons that meet these instructional trends.
On a foundational level in the local, state, and federal branches, a complete reform to education is being created. An innovative, modified approach to instruction is in process, and today’s educators are in the metamorphosis from the traditional, outdated methods of instruction to evidence-based, critical thinking teaching habits that will significantly impact generations of students.
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