Learning as a freedom of practice: Revisiting our curriculum is paramount

A teacher instructing pupils. FIle.
Issues with my eyes as early as 2000 and my first visit to Kampala for the treatment later that year remains indistinct but also a good dare only to be realised after 18 years. In the face of  very painful eyes, I bumped into my 9-year-old cousin. His eloquence and confidence struck me. The way he approached each question in the course of any discourse was not at all equivalent to the years and the class in which he was.

That kept ringing in my ears until I learnt of the  school where he was studying. The method of teaching was predominantly student centered, whereby at such a young age students were involved in class debates and the winners were always awarded. This is the system of learning that is doubled as freedom of practice that many of us have been unlucky to be given.

Teachers, and other education stake holders, it’s time to walk the talk and live to the true creed of our students and the future national human resources by giving them the opportunity to contribute to the already existing knowledge in their various disciplines by allowing them to think independently especially in the process of teaching and learning.

Engaged pedagogy which construe to learning as a freedom of practice does not seek out only to simply empower students but rather to make learning more enjoyable and interactive. Any classroom that employs a holistic model of learning can as well be a place where teachers grow, and are empowered by the process.

It’s astonishing that even in higher institutions of learning lecturers cannot  give room for students to participate in the learning process hence justifying for the graduates lack of confidence even on matters they are well versed with. Just like Bell hook (2004) when she uttered-out what has been projected over the years as the only option taken by teachers and other educators to wade off the teacher dominance that has curtailed the teaching practices for many years and come up with new strategies for the sharing of knowledge.

Learning and teaching is still in dilemma especially by the few teachers who have not complied with the current global education trends and have failed to acknowledge the proper use of the classroom as a focal point of knowledge creation and have continued to use it as a situate to make visible their dominancy in the process of teaching and learning. This kind of teaching compromises with the real precepts of education as a practice of freedom hence producing less productive graduates who cannot conceptualise even a simple concept. Classroom should be an epicentre of knowledge creation through making learning more interactive and be able to stimulate students’ creativity, skills development as well as critical thinking among others.

Changing the status quo is inevitable simply because quality education is among the prime components of sustainable developments goals and therefore, to live by this tune, teachers especially those still stuck in the conservative form of teaching must have the zeal to transgress far beyond those boundaries that would confine students to the traditional  approach to learning while  denying them the chance to reach their highest level of creative thinking and innovation.

The writer is a PhD Student of Comparative Education and Leadership at Beijing Normal University


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