Pedagogy and Teachers: A New Paradigm

Pedagogy and Teachers for a classroom is like Recipes and the Chefs for a restaurant respectively. 

As the need for learning new things have increased multifold due to the rapid and near omnipresence of AI and its enablement in almost all disciplines, the need for effective impartation of knowledge and skills through a dynamic pedagogical design and effective delivery by teachers to the oncoming student generations become very crucial. 

Status Quo: 

As I introspect my academic journey and also the lives of people I have known well, from school to college to University, I understand that there has been tremendous wastage of intellectual/knowledge equity in the process.  

The equity loss is reflected in the recent statistics reveal the actual percentage of employable students has been paltry over the past decade or more. The wastage of resources spent for such low returns is a matter of great concern for any economy. 

There can be many reasons for such colossal wastage. One of the main causes that can be thought of and attributed to is ineffective Pedagogical design and pedagogical delivery that render learning far from effective to be good enough for application and development. 

In other words, the burnout is because of pedagogies not being effective enough to manifest the targeted learning outcomes in the learners.  

Many of us would have observed that our erstwhile otherwise highly gifted classmates or schoolmates that were very smart simply wasted their potential to progress further academically and drifted away owing to their lack of purpose mooted by uninspiring sessions in the classrooms. The fear of Maths and English by many of the students even today is proof of innately ineffective pedagogical design. Looking at the statistics that says more than 80% of Engineering graduates are not employable, the percentage of systemic anomaly is clearly on the rise. 

Quo Vadis: 

The effect of uninspiring classroom dynamics can be seen to result in unemployment, lack of entrepreneurship skills, inadequate overall skill sets and so on despite spending years and numerous other resources in getting educated. 

Statistics reveal that there is a perceived general incompetence amongst students irrespective of the domain of their specialisations be it Engineering or Arts or Humanities etc. Graduates opting to be Cab-drivers or Food porters as a career choice despite spending a minimum of 3 years in College is common these days. 

The graduates seem to be doing what they were never trained to do for a living. Where did the interest that made them pursue a program go missing by the time they (sometimes even before) complete the course!?!? There is of course a very small population of students who sustain their enthusiasm. Majority lose their way much earlier into their academic careers. Students alone can't be attributed for the attrition of enthusiasm on any day. There are also systemic shortcomings that need to be hauled up. 

This majority is the critical mass that is an outcome of ineffective education. a colossal loss of knowledge equity.This is a big challenge; a Quagmire.  

On the other side of the story, there is a lot of talk that goes mostly around IITs, IIMs and other premier institutes where students enter after cracking the tough CAT and other such tests. These successful students are already ready to soak in all that is to be absorbed. The aptitude for analytical, verbal and Numerical abilities are all well honed. It is definitely not the case with others; the majority. There is a huge difference in terms of basic skill sets of these students on a comparative basis. 

In reality, the critical mass of the student population is not in the IITs and NITs. They are there in all other institutions. Much is needed to be done to make these students more resourceful. 

It appears in hindsight that Institutions need to gear up depending upon where they are today in order to accommodate the prevalent and fast emerging requirements in a corresponding manner by making necessary changes in the way in which classrooms are managed, subjects are appointed, taught, deployed, the way the rubrics are positioned and their alignment with the learning ascertained. 

Time has certainly come to think of ways to improve the students’ overall aptitude in learning effectively and objectively as well.  

AI and its appurtenances are at the intersection of almost all streams of conventional education. With such a paradigm shift already in vogue and getting conspicuous by the day, time has really arrived to validate and reinvent how classroom dynamics that hovers around pedagogy can be positioned better. It is time that Learning Ecologies are revisited and pedagogies reinvented while redefining teachers’ roles simultaneously. If it is not done then there could be a domino effect in the developmental economics of a nation. 

The Science of Pedagogy: 

Pedagogy is the theory and practice of education as an academic discipline. It refers to the methods and strategies of teaching used to impart knowledge or skills to learners. Key aspects of pedagogy include: 

  • Teaching methods 

  • Classroom Management  

  • Curriculum design 

  • Student assessment 

  • Educational Psychology 

Pedagogy pivots around understanding how learning occurs and then using the knowledge to create effective teaching strategies.The strategies can differ based on the subject matter, demographic aspects, and the context. 

In a school or a university setup there is not much that can be done in terms of Curriculum design as it is generally centralised. 

However, there is so much scope for innovation and customisation in the other components of pedagogy. Amongst the remaining components, Educational Psychology is a critical component that has the highest possibility of being the weak link as it is subjective in nature. The efficacy of pedagogy from the student engagement perspective largely depends upon the individual teacher in charge of the classroom session.There may be many AI tools that facilitate the learning process but if the student is uninspired then there is no progress. That is why the role of Educational Psychology should be given its due particularly in today's context. 

Educational psychology is a faculty of psychology that lays emphasis on how people learn and develop in educational settings. Application of Psychological theories and research are carried out to better understand the learning process and improve it further. Important areas of educational psychology are: 

1. Cognitive development: Understanding how cognition is developed by understanding How learners acquire, process, and retain knowledge at different ages. 

2. Motivation: Factors that make students to be engaged and learn using the educational material. 

3. Individual differences: Understanding the influence of factors like personality, intelligence, and learning styles on education. 

4. Assessment: Methods for evaluating student progress in understanding, retention and application. 

5. Instructional design: Creating effective learning contents that support learning effectively. 

6. Social and Emotional learning: The effects and role of emotions and social interactions in education. 

7. Special education: Facilitating the needs of students with learning disabilities or exceptional abilities. 

8. Behaviourism: Influence of reinforcement and punishment in learning behaviors. 

Behaviourism is a theory of learning that anchors observable behaviours and how they are impacted by the environment. Observable behaviour is about what behaviour is manifested explicitly than otherwise.Classical Conditioning (Learning through association, Pavlov’s  dog experiments), Operant Conditioning (B.F.Skinner’s Model of learning through Consequences), Behaviour modification fall under behaviourism inside the Educational Psychology function. 

In addition, behaviourist principles are deployed in the components of pedagogy such as classroom management and teaching methods. 

Classroom dynamics is often majorly impacted by behaviorism and lack of modern and contemporary knowledge in these areas of Educational Psychology on the part of teachers can have negative impacts on the learners thereby resulting in ineffective learning. 

There has been a legacy for a typical teacher-students communication pattern. The convention has been mostly didactic and parental in notion. It is in this aspect, that Teachers possessing even the rudimentary knowledge on communication Psychology and Educational Psychology stand to deliver better value to the students than otherwise.  

On the Contrary, Teachers who don't have the knowledge of Psychology even in communicating with the students fail miserably in the functions. 


In conclusion, it is imperative for the Teachers to get re-skilled and upskilled in the domain of Educational Psychology irrespective of their areas of teaching. 

Students’ enthusiastic and organic engagement is very important in making a pedagogy effective. This is so very true particularly in the changing times. 

It is absolutely essential that the changes that have happened in the student learning landscape recently must be adjusted and adequately factored in the pedagogical design by empowering teachers with knowledge resources particularly in areas that are subjective in nature. This empowerment must be continuous and well structured for better leveraging. 

The role of teachers is bound to evolve towards Psychology Enabled Facilitation instead of the conventional didactic ways particularly in schools and the authorities must train the teaching faculty continuously otherwise educational institutions will fail to be of use; Like an equipped kitchen but with boring food that too served inappropriately. 

About the Author

Prof.(Dr) Narendranath Uppala is an exponent across multiple domains with profound international experience. The areas of expertise are Business, Business Communication, Enterprise-wide Risk Management, Academic Management, Leadership Coaching, Human Capital Development, Linguistics, Sales & Marketing and ERP. He is an International Speaker and speaks often on Business, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Transactional Analysis, Communication Strategies, Risk Management, Academic Research on many National and International forums. 

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