Author Topic: Sensitivity training must for effective teaching  (Read 629 times)

Harpal

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Sensitivity training must for effective teaching
« on: November 12, 2013, 07:17:23 PM »
Sensitivity training must for effective teaching
Educators should have the ability to be empathetic, non-judgmental and socially aware to create a motivating classroom environment
D. P. Singh

TEACHING is probably the only profession where there is no formal training imparted to teachers in terms of styles of teaching, pedagogical tools, and knowing behavioural aspects, especially sensitivity towards students in classroom environment. Though these aspects remain vital to the teaching-learning process, relatively little attention is paid to them.

Immediately after teachers join the job, they are asked to face students in the classroom. They start taking classes the very next moment without actually getting any formal training in what is required for being an effective teacher. Of course, there are many mid-career courses organised from time to time for teachers on variety of themes. But most of them have remained under constant academic scrutiny in terms of their contents and impact with regard to enhancing the sensitivity, teaching styles and skills in a diverse environment. These courses are mostly on the themes that rarely address the core issues of understanding the socio-cultural contexts in which teaching and learning take place. Not often these courses are held for enhancing teachersí skills of knowing how to behave with students in classroom environment.

Harpal

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Re: Sensitivity training must for effective teaching
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 07:17:48 PM »
As is well established that to be a good teacher is not merely about knowing oneís subject well but it is also about being sensitive towards the social cultural aspects, having knowledge of the pedagogical tools and being innovative and careful about the styles of teaching. In an effective teaching-learning process, a teacher is required to enter into the psychological space of students and experience for himself how he is being perceived by them. He is supposed to have the ability to sense the attitudes, interests, preferences and prejudices of his students and see whether or not his message is going across in the way it is intended.

A teacher should also be able to instantly sense what is appropriate and what is not, and how he should decide or change the direction of his discourse and his choice of the pedagogical tools. On the basis of the perceptive understanding of the nature and circumstances of the teaching-learning process, a teacher is expected to have the ability to engage, adapt and fine-tune his deliberations accordingly.

Harpal

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Re: Sensitivity training must for effective teaching
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 07:18:12 PM »
Unfortunately, in the absence of any formal training in these aspects, there is a significant number of teachers who are very deficient in the forms of knowledge about the symbiotic relationship that exists between the teacher and the student. As a result, they remain blissfully ignorant about how much they ought to know of this complex system. Many of them are completely isolated from other socio-cultural contexts and are confined to think within their own regimented psychological environment. They wrongly think it to be well within their right to behave inappropriately in the classroom. They arrive late, leave early and even miss classes. They quarrel with students and always find fault in them without actually realising their own inadequacies of knowing the contexts and emotional points of the teaching learning processes. Studentsí emotions, perception and interest usually donít matter to them. Such teachers remain entirely insensitive to the diverse points of view of the students and get provoked at slight disagreement. They remain ignorant about the fact that besides the subject contents, the knowledge also include other agents like the preferences of students, their parents, other colleagues and the socio-cultural contexts in which teaching learning takes place.

Harpal

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Re: Sensitivity training must for effective teaching
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 07:18:38 PM »
It is to be understood that teaching involves a complex network of inter-personal relationships. While on one side of which is a heterogeneous group of students, on the other is the equally heterogeneous group of teachers. It is the duty of the teacher to see through how the students in a classroom feel, what are their preferences and prejudices. He must realise what their alienations, worries, stresses and engagements are. He must know that each word he utters and each of the action he displays in the class have deep meanings and leave an indelible impression on his studentsí psyche.

A teacher should know that every aspect of teacherís behaviour cannot be acceptable to the students nor can all the behaviour be justified as a function of teacherís position. Many a time, the actions of a teacher can be quite offending to the students from other faiths, castes and religions and, thus, he needs to be very careful and sensitive about what he says and does. To be a good teacher is to be sensitive to oneís own personal ideologies and preferences vis-ŗ-vis that of the othersí.

Harpal

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Re: Sensitivity training must for effective teaching
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 07:19:01 PM »
Enhancing teacherís ability is very important to enable him recognise the emotions of all stakeholders involved in the teaching-learning process. Unless a teacher has the ability to be empathetic, non-judgmental and socially aware, he cannot be an effective teacher, howsoever academically intelligent he may be. Thus, for a teacher to be able to deliver the goods in an effective way, sensitivity training is very important.

The writer is Professor and Head, Department of Social Work, Punjabi University, Patiala

 

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