Formal systems of education have been evolving steadily all around the world over the past several years. The two building blocks of an education system are teaching and learning. Teaching, from a more traditional perspective, infers that a person is demonstrating or lecturing a concept. This of course, has some constraints and conditions for both the teacher and the taught.
Some of these include the place of learning, the materials taught, gauging students’ level of learning proficiency, and monitoring and assessing activities. The teacher’s ability to assimilate and impart knowledge in a cohesive manner, so as to prepare students for the next mode of learning, is also of great importance.
With time, the role of a learner and that of a teacher have grown to include many different tasks and subtasks of the teaching and learning processes. The teacher, as per the traditional model, is the single authority to evaluate students’ advancement. This model is slowly fading away, however, giving rise to more innovative concepts to facilitate intentional learning.
Learner Centered Approach
Intentional learning as defined by education theorists Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia, is a combination of processes that have learning as a goal rather than an incidental outcome. Intentional learning, as the term denotes, specifies learning with the goal of self-improvement.
For example, these personal cognitive goals may include a learner’s desire to accumulate, store and utilize a wide range of knowledge to make reasonably sound choices and facilitate critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Nevertheless, the current trend in education is more geared toward learners, and several different internal and external factors that affect learning. One such area is Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which is rapidly growing as a result of technological advancement in recent times.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT includes numerous different technologies, applications and devices, as well as services. The abundant supply of knowledge is possible due to ICT’s significant role in education. The Indian education system favors ICT for promoting education and development and is often backed by policy makers both at the central and state level.
The emerging trend is to include computers and distance-learning framework. According to statistics reported by professional services firm Ernst & Young, an average Indian household spends about one-third of its income on children’s education. With numerous possibilities of online learning systems and cloud-based virtual classrooms or universities, India is taking advantage of ICT in education.
The Emerging Trend
A long-term goal of the Indian education system is to provide education to remote areas through the use of a combination of ICTs: open-source software, satellite technology, audio-visual systems, broadcast media, digital libraries, local language-mapping interfaces, and so forth.
Using ICTs in education has several noticeable benefits, but poses numerous challenges as well. The cost of obtaining, purchasing, installing, operating and maintaining ICTs is quite high. Another challenge is that the integration of ICTs into education is still in its initial stages.
There are other, more practical limitations as well, such as lack of electricity, inadequate maintenance of telephone lines, economic and educational insufficiencies such as poverty, illiteracy, and social discriminations associated with gender, class and caste.
Education systems are often interwoven into the socio-economic fabric of a nation and its communities of people. The chief executive of American testing company Pearson, John Fallon, states that education systems will always have a strong national and local identity, shaped by “community, culture and language.”
Utilization of technology for imparting training at various levels is a vital and lively element of the Indian education system. This involves schemes such as train the trainer workshops and non-traditional professions such as content/instructional designers, facilitators and organizers and others.
The growth in the education system is primarily initiated, however, by individuals’ passion for learning. When that passion for knowledge is subsequently supported by an innovative framework of ICTs, as well as prevailing governing policies, the education system has the potential for true and revolutionary change.