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Traditional school classrooms are teaching environments where the teacher is the only person or instructor who transfers knowledge to the students. The students acquire this knowledge in an unquestioning manner through listening and observation.
Traditional teaching is concerned with the teacher being the controller of the learning environment. Power and responsibility are held by the teacher and they play the role of instructor and decision maker. Traditionally, classroom settings are teacher-centered where the teacher often talks at the students instead of encouraging them to interact, ask questions or make them understand the lesson thoroughly. Most classes involve rote learning, where students depend on memorization without having a complete understanding of the subject. Just by passing the tests, consisting of descriptions, matching and other forms of indicators are all that matter to complete the curriculum. It follows a content driven curriculum confined to linear learning, defined time period, paper based information and memorization.
But in a New age school the focus is on the student’s learning. The student is considered to be an autonomous individual and is allowed to make her or his own efforts towards learning. The teacher is there to help the student in this process. This school emphasized on children’s autonomy in the learning process and activities as the basis for learning. The teacher recognized that each child learns differently and at a different pace.
The school allowed for these differences to encourage each student to achieve their full potential. As each child is different when it comes to attention span, retaining capacity, the child’s prior knowledge of a particular concept, the aspects that are taken into consideration in the new-age classroom are manifold.
New age school emphasizes an experience-based education, where each student’s imagination and curiosity propels the development of more advanced communication, creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. In other words, students open their minds and sharpen their thinking by getting their hands dirty. The schools are less interested in testing and more interested in making sure students have the life skills they need once they leave the classroom.
New Age schools prepare the students with survival skills required for 21st century life, work, and citizenship like critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and leadership, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurialism, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information and curiosity and imagination. They emphasis the importance of improvement over intelligence, development of social skills, understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge, collaborative and cooperative learning projects, education for social responsibility and democracy, highly personalized education accounting for each individual’s personal goals, integration of community service and service learning projects into the daily curriculum, selection of subject content by looking forward to ask what skills will be needed in future society, de-emphasis on textbooks in favor of varied learning resources, emphasis on lifelong learning and social skills and assessment by evaluation of child’s projects and productions. It follows a process driven curriculum with Process skills we need to add to new age curriculum are Communication skills, Technical reading and writing, Technical reasoning skills, Problem solving and critical thinking, Information literacy, Technology as a tool, New personal skills, New mindset skills like must teach students to live like quarterbacks developing their intuition, Failing is good, valuing stupid, crazy, off the wall ideas and Fostering creative thinking.
The New age schools should equip students for success in the brave new world of the 21st century.
Refer also the below link for 21st century education.
New age interactive devices like digital or smart boards, internet, audio video equipment and cloud technology are included into digital classrooms which fascinates everyone and gives an experimental edge to student to respond in a better way. So new age schools are equipped with smart technology and appropriately designed infrastructure that supports the main cause of teaching and learning in amicable settings.
The wide use of digital technology has expanded access and spawned new ways of teaching and learning. Technology-supported learning is those that employ tools like computers, distance learning equipment, Internet resources and other comparable hardware or software in order to improve student understanding. We can say a rich environment of active learning from artificial learning environment. So the combination of several different technology tools to take advantage of immersive learning environment is the next step for a new age education. These schools also introduce CALL a computer assisted learning Language to improve students acquisition of second and foreign language with audio–visual, tactile and interaction affordances of computers.
Comparison between Traditional Classroom and New Age Classroom:
Traditional Classroom (TC) is Time based and New Age Classroom (NAC) is Outcome based.
TC - teacher centered and NAC Student centered one
TC focus on memorization of facts and NAC focus on what students know and can do
In TC lessons are designed on knowledge, comprehension and application. In NAC learning is designed on synthesis, analysis, evaluation and innovation.
TC is based on Low Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) and NAC based on Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).
TC is textbook-driven and NAC is research-driven.
In TC passive learning and in NAC active learning.
TC is an isolated Classroom and NAC is a Global Classroom.
In TC students remain isolated and in NAC they work along with the classmates and others around the world.
In TC students have less freedom and in NAC more freedom.
In TC no student motivation and in NAC students are highly motivated.
In TC curriculum is fragmented and in NAC an integrated and inter-disciplinary curriculum.
TC is curriculum based and NAC is project based.
TC is content based and NAC is process based.
TC is knowledge based and NAC skill based.
TC is competitive and NAC is collaborative.
In TC they learn basic skills and in NAC applied skills.
TC is learning for school and NAC is learning for life.
In TC grades based on written exam and in NAC grades based on what was learned.
In TC learning and assessment though exams and in NAC though performance, projects and multiple form of media.
In TC students work judged only by teacher but in NAC by self, peer, public audience authentic assessment.
In TC student diversity is missing and in NAC curriculum address student diversity.
In TC, Literacy focused on reading, writing and Maths but NAC focused on multiple literacies of 21st century.
In TC expectations level is low and in NAC expectation level is high.
In TC curriculum remain meaningless or irrelevant to students. But in NAC, curriculum is connected to the interests of the students, experiences, talents and the real world.
No innovative ideas and thinking missing in TC and in NAC we get innovative solutions for 21st century
TC education suits the industrial age of 20th century and NAC is a building block for new age of knowledge based society.
TC focuses more on learning about things and NAC focuses more on learning things.
No one is sure how future education will take shape. But if schools are to prepare young people for successful lives in the new age society, they need to do things differently. New age schools need to develop different skills and dispositions from those that were required in the earlier years.
But the real change can happen in classroom only if teachers use refreshingly new methods of conveying concepts which create curiosity in the child’s mind hence incorporating Inquiry based learning approach. A massive retooling of educations or trainers is needed for a new age school. When schools do not apply these proper methods and teachers are not well-equipped with essential skills and training then it is meaningless to call them as new age schools.
We also cannot deny our successful traditional schooling adopted past two centuries provided extraordinary access to learning, status and economic success to millions. But in these new age schooling we are rethinking and reshaping our education to build new education system around deeper new understandings. Our careers are changing and these changes demand for new kind of educational leadership along with changing governments. So new leaders need new age education with new technologies that bring new resources to everyone to build a new age nation.