Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Classroom cultures for 21st century learners


Culture is a way of life, habits, rituals agreed upon by a group of people. As such, if there is organisational culture, school culture, there should be a classroom culture. Over the years, classroom management has been part of the teaching practise; moreover, it is key assessment criteria in teacher training colleges.

Recent research and modern teaching practises show that an efficient classroom culture can actually help make the best impact in classroom management. Classroom culture is reminiscent of what your students become when graduating from your class at the end of the school session. Life skill well embedded into classroom culture will instill cooperate mindset at early age.

A classroom teacher who develops a unique classroom culture makes each student imbibe a new life skill for that academic session, which such teacher might not be able to teach as a subject matter but by daily inculcating, the culture's ritual or activities the pupils have an image of their roles and role model of their culture. There are several skills a teacher can influence students with, using a solid classroom culture with specific focus; teaching empathy, happiness, conflict resolution, global citizenship etc are best implemented and effective as classroom cultures, because students voice are heard, building their confidence to defend their class culture, which will teach patriotism without writing it on the white-board.   
For example, a classroom culture implemented and centered on critical thinking skill and problem solving will imbibe investigatory and troubleshooting life-skill; then given as award to students of that class at the end of the school session after fulfilling specific/general goals and target that emphasize the idea of critical thinking challenges, which flows with normal classroom activities. Teachers who make their students see most of the classroom routine through the lens of their classroom culture will help make it real and applicable to them in real-time situations.
Edupreneural master mindset is even more practicable as a classroom culture. We can define at least five proven 21st century skills that create a wealthy life skill in every learner. Wealth making is 70% a lifestyle and 30% money making/ capital investments. Getting the large chunk of wealth making right easily makes money/business opportunities available.
 Some 21st century skills are classroom cultures:
 1. Communication and collaboration:
No doubt, the art of communicating and collaborating is a lifetime skills that sould start in early childhood education. Combining or shuffling at most three life skills together to build a classroom culture each academic session will help create a robust culture and every learner gets a piece of different cultures from one grade through the next. Communication and collaboration builds confidence and cooperation amongst students including soft skills like empathy, conflict resolution etc.     
 A classroom culture that makes learners see through the lens of communication and collaboration will make students see the need to effectively pass a simple and precise idea, while working on a team project. Project management skills are taught in action, rather than just in words.
  1. Creativity and imagination:
            We know that it takes discipline to harness our creative skills, bringing each imagination into reality should be a culture that helps learners document and express themselves in  various ways. Tools, gadgets etc are part of the many ways humans can bring their  imagination to life; also, everyday brand management ideas come into play in classroom this culture.   
  1. Leadership and personal development:
            This might be termed an advance topic, but it can be part of how classroom positions    are delegated based on ability. A teacher who takes time to explain soft skills that makes      each learner occupy a specific or various positions and how such potential can be developed and applicable in real-time events, has prepared learners to be proactive in carrying out simple duties assigned them in school, at home and elsewhere.
            Teaching a class captain how to be a good leader to his/her classmates will help    check  excesses on their part. Moreover, explaining the essence of class captains and other  leadership positions in classroom will help the students identify their strengths and delegate their weaknesses.  
 4.   Global citizenship:
            A classroom culture that imbibes global citizenship also promotes gender equality, conflict resolution and fair play. Definitely, parents will be willing to participate in helping teachers promote the ideals of a global citizenship classroom culture.
 In addition, defining a classroom with cultural ideals create a positive impact on the identity management for learners and there are several creative ways teachers can implement practicable classroom culture in the heart of each learner. Using past or living role models can inspire learners to defend the tenets and decorum that guides that culture. Introducing Sherlock Holms as a role model classroom culture, for critical thinking and problem solving during the academic session will end up making the learners see themselves as little Sherlock Holms at the end of the session.

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