Perhaps the corona virus (Covid 19) pandemic will survive in our global memory as one of the most enduring symbols of the 21st century. As educators, we cannot afford to squander the many learning insights gained through this global pandemic experience.
Walls of every kind are being toppled around us, all around the globe: walls of prejudice, walls of poverty and injustice, walls of self-interests and isolationism, walls of arbitrary assumptions and irrationality, walls of greed and exploitation.
In their place, foundations are being laid for bridges in all fields of human encounter and human endeavor in the so-called New Normal: social and physical distancing, rigid personal hygiene, environmental care, virtual learning, distance education, globalism, cashless payments, basic health protocols, home quarantines, work from home arrangements.
These are the new mindframes in a world which may finally be fit to nurture and witness the communion of all peoples, the realization of one humanity sharing and enriching one earth.
In the field of education, these changes can only be met with new ways of thinking which, in turn, must be nurtured through new ways of learning. Both the thinking and learning must be equal to the challenges and the opportunities of the unfolding global community: visionary, dynamic, creative, liberating and transformative.
FOR THE SCHOOL OWNERS AND ADMINISTRATORS
Education must continue to serve as an instrument for fostering the creation, advancement and dissemination of knowledge, and the triple goals of equity, relevance and excellence must prevail in policy-making, planning and practice.
FOR THE TEACHERS
Always remember that every child is unique. Traditional teaching methods tend to overlook and even ignore this basic truth. We cannot have a one size fits all approach in teaching. Any subject matter can be taught and produce marked improvements in learning absorption and retention when there is a match between teaching and learning styles.
It’s a whole new world we live in today.bewildering for many of us parents, striking to others. Almost everything is different from the time we were growing up. The world today is technology driven, where instead of being the mere the handmaids of civilization, technology is poised to become its master. A big challenge facing parents is how to turn their homes into effective centers of learning in time of the New Normal. Parents must look at the processes, the methodologies, the aids and tools with which we can help our children attain the fullest realization of their potentials and dreams.
Have you ever tried to learn something fairly simple, yet failed to grasp the key ideas? It has to do with your unique learning style and the way you prefer to learn. It doesn’t have anything to do with how intelligent you are or what skills you have learned. It has to do with how you concentrate on, process, internalize and remember new and difficult information. And it all depends on both biological and development traits that make the same teaching style effective for some and ineffective for others. Once you realize that there are more than just “one way” of learning, you are well on the road to realizing that you have genius potential in more ways than one.
THE CHALLENGE IN THE NEW NORMAL EDUCATION
We must prepare our children for this bright new world being born even now in our midst. We must help them become masters, not of other persons but of themselves and their own destinies. We must help them appreciate the creative dynamics between personal fulfillment and social responsibility, between freedom and social order, between cultural diversity and shared aspirations, between national interests and international cooperation.
We must make of our children proud national citizens: competent, creative, appreciative of their native culture and history. And yet, we must also make of our children global citizens: competitive, productive, forward-looking, pioneering, cognizant of the intricate demands of international exchange in all fields of social activity.
Towards these end, we must break down the walls of ignorance, myth and complacency, and in their place help build bridges of new knowledge, new structures, new processes, new ways of thinking, doing and being.
It is now time to walk our talk.