By Brig Sanjay Agarwal, Distinguished Professor, SRM IST.
Let me first state Some Areas of Research. Research on effective teaching strategies; on student motivation; on technology in education; research on inclusive education; on assessment strategies; on curriculum design; research on collaborative learning; and on the role of emotions in learning. These are just SOME of the areas of research,
The ROLE of Research
THIS research provides evidence-based solutions to educational problems and helps teachers make informed decisions about teaching methods. Research helps teachers identify and understand the needs of their students. and provides a basis for curriculum development and design.
It also provides teachers with insights into how to create a positive learning environment that fosters student engagement and motivation. Research helps teachers understand the unique needs of diverse student populations and develop strategies to support their learning. It provides teachers with evidence-based strategies to promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and other important 21st-century skills. Research also provides teachers with insights into how to promote creativity and innovation in their students, and how to create collaborative learning environments.
Ultimately, research supports evidence-based decision-making in education, helping policymakers develop effective policies and programs that improve student outcomes.
Here are some specific examples of research studies and researchers that support what I have said :
- “Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Effective and Reflective Practices” (Hornby et al., 2019). It discussed the importance of creating a welcoming and supportive classroom environment for all students.
- “The Benefits of Cooperative Learning” (Johnson et al., 2007) analyzed the benefits of cooperative learning in classrooms and found that it can improve student communication and teamwork skills.
- “The Impact of Hands-On Activities on Student Achievement and Engagement in Science” (Liu et al., 2011) found that hands-on activities in science classes improved student achievement and engagement.
- “The Power of Feedback” (Hattie and Timperley, 2007) discussed the importance of providing timely and specific feedback to students to improve their motivation and academic performance.
- “The Effects of Digital Tools on Student Learning” (Means et al., 2010) analyzed the impact of digital tools on student learning outcomes and found that they can improve student achievement and engagement.
- “Promoting Positive Emotions in the Classroom: An Evidence-Based Approach” (Brackett et al., 2012) discussed the importance of creating a positive and supportive classroom environment for students’ social and emotional well-being.
- “Project-Based Learning in STEM Education: A Review” (Huang et al., 2021) analyzed the impact of project-based learning on student engagement and found that it can improve student motivation and achievement.
- “The Formative Assessment Process in the Classroom: Evidence from Empirical Research” (Black and Wiliam, 1998). It provided evidence that formative assessment can improve student achievement and motivation.
Two Important issues.
The first : In Serial 2 above, I have referred to a study on the benefits of cooperative learning. Here, Sugat Mitra and his extensive, pan-India ‘Hole in the Wall” experiment done about 20 years ago are relevant. His TED and other talks highlight the essentials. It indicate the importance of and possibilities with cooperative, collaborative learning; more so in the absence of a formal teacher. The children were able to learn how to operate a computer with no teacher! Two of his talks can be seen here and here.
The second : I want to end by reminding you of the beautiful Sydney Poitier movie of 50 years ago, “To Sir, with Love”. A “coloured” engineer doesn’t get a job. He is forced to accept a teaching job, teaching rowdy children in London’s East End. And how he does a wonderfully successful job about it. Even giving up an engineering job, when he finally gets one.
Research is an important foundation upon which we structure policies, curriculum and teaching pedagogy. The proof of the pudding is in the consequent outcomes on student learning. And the impact on the psychological well-being of all stakeholders.
The author can be reached at SanjayAggy1@gmail.com
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