An Academic Exercise of Learning by Teaching

Teaching is not a unilateral affair at all. We, the teachers know the essence of the issue emerges when the stakeholders from the other side of table also make their presence felt. This blog records here about those teacher-student learning and teaching moments which enrich the whole process with more meaningful way.

Come and Cheer the learning by teaching and sharing.

(notonlyliterally@gmail.com)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

शिक्षण, शिक्षक एवं शिक्षा: Teaching, Teacher and Education


I am most proud of the moments when I know for a fact that I have helped a student learn.

Teacher, a word of German background always gives me a source of energy and glory. This is a word derived from the verb teach is having its own history in the world’s context. The journey from a guru to a facilitator is quite interesting and thematic. In this journey, along with the naming, the role of a teacher also keeps changing. Guru a Sanskrit word from gu (darkness), and ru (light)- is a person who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and uses it to guide others. According to Cambridge English dictionary, someone whose job is to teach in a school is called a teacher. A guru, teacher, instructor, or even a facilitator, the key role is to guide with their knowledge, experience, and wisdom. 
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A guru (teacher) is given great respect, even to the point of offering worship (guru puja). One full-moon each year during July/August is even called the Guru Purnima and is dedicated to worship of guru. In Vedas, there are different kinds of gurus (teachers) like: initiating guru (diksha guru), an instructing guru (Shiksha guru), the guru within (Chaitya guru), and the eternal guru (Sat guru i.e. god).

Those kinds of gurus in Vedic yug (Vedic period) have taken the attire of a friend, philosopher and a guide in Kalyug (Self-Centred Period). The commercialization of education with the developed tendency to be competitive for materialism on the place of morality has completely changed the teacher-student relationship. The globalized era has created confusion in the minds of the student either to judge the teacher as an instructor/facilitator/friend or a guru. The emotional or better to say soul-soul relations among teacher and students transformed its relation to a new utopian world where the capability of a teacher is being judged by electronic feedback, and the knowledge of the students with the percentage of marks or the latest grading system. Due to this temporal development in education, the literal meaning of the cluster of the word guru- gu (darkness) and ru (light) is in the process of transition to get reversed. Not only the teachers but many of the students are also the victim of this transition. The eternal judgment competency among the students is decreasing day by day. The revolutionary shift in the mind of the teachers from a moulder to a silent observer is symptom of downfall of education and morality.

Teacher’s education is one of the prime concern not only for the government but also of the society. On the basis of Western educational pattern, several variants have been included to judge the teaching ability like- use of language, technicality (use of power point slides, software based learning), academic background (the university that a teacher opted for his/her throughout higher education), and the self representation (dressing sense like corporate). I am not against all these, but, how much it helps to the learners- neither having the academic nor the societal association with all these latest urbanized parameters. The utilization of the funds given by the governing body to conduct seminar, workshop, conference, and the FDP is only limited in papers or for the purpose of affiliation or advertisement.

Many of the great thinkers have different opinions for the teachers and their teaching. Swami Vivekananda observes that no one can teach anybody. According to him a teacher spoils everything by thinking that he is teaching because “within man is all knowledge, and requires only an awakening, that much is the work of a teacher.” The good teacher will seek to awaken than to instruct; s/he will aim at the growth of the faculties and the experiences by a natural process and free expansion. Teaching lessons in class and giving lectures on ideals and principles is not real education. In the 21st century, especially in the context of an emerging urbanized society, great responsibilities are on teachers whose duty is to sculpt the character and dignity of the student. 

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the whole world.  

Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher.

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