It is a firm belief I harbour that teachers have the primary role in creating ideal learners who are self aware and self-efficient. When there is talk about how learners can best attain the goals that are set for them, the key idea that arises is most of the time AUTONOMY.
But how realistic is it to expect any one person to just take the responsibility for his or her own learning and act in accordance by doing extra study outside the classroom?
To be honest, it is far from realism to take it for granted that learners will be enchanted by the sound of the word “AUTONOMY” that is considered somehow magical by millions of educators across the world. In my opinion, it is same as expecting a child to learn the acceptable manners of behaviour by themselves without any intervention from parents.
What I know from experience is that teachers can never motivate their students unless they really desire learning, which is justified by many studies that motivation can only exist intrinsically. For this reason, teachers and institutions need to place themselves in the centre of students’ learning before they can devise systems that aim to have learners in the heart of lessons.
In this respect, RAPPORT between teachers and students are of vital importance. It is through a well-established rapport that students ACCEPT their teachers as guides and start heeding their advice. From that point on, it will be much easier for teachers to get students to study outside the school through homework or projects for students to come together and co-operate, thus learning from each other.
As the idea of a teacher as a guide in students’ minds is sustained, the idea of RESPONSIBILITY for learning will make more sense, and there will be no need to instruct students on the significance of autonomous learning because they will already be acting in the magic realm of AUTONOMY.
Needless to say, the combination of acceptance, autonomy, and responsibility with rapport in the centre will lead to EFFICIENCY in learning.
However, is there a way of ensuring that every teacher in any given institution is capable of following this recipe?
In fact, the answer is yes, but it takes more than simply assuming that teachers already know how to do that. One key tip for teaching efficiently that I came to grab during my CELTA training is that teachers make a big bad mistake when they assume that students know or learn, so I believe the same goes with the institutions. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that teachers will always know as much as they are trained to know, which means that the more you give to teachers the more you will get from them.
When teachers are trained constantly, they will teach more SYSTEMATICALLY, and this will help them design their lessons more consciously. In the end, it will be unnecessary even to suggest that lessons are best when they are STUDENT-CENTRED, for teachers will not think of any other way to produce the desired outcomes.
To sum up, nothing is ever possible if what is possible is neglected in the first place. As no sports person can be a world champion in any branch unless they are taught to go beyond their usual training, learners will never achieve self-awareness and self-efficiency without teachers who are unaware of how to LEARN their students.