The best teaching/learning environment is a predominantly student-centered classroom with minimal and varying input form the teacher. It is in these types of classrooms that students are able to learn at their own pace as well as challenge themselves and each other to discover more each day. Pragmatism is the governing ideaology that dictates the curriculum in this ideal scenario.
The function of a school is to aid children in discovering their selves and their personal interests as well as to teach students the ways of the world and the basics of reading, writing, math, science and history. An effective school will provide students with the tools and skills they must know in order to succeed in the business and social aspects of life. Schools often focus too much on academia and not enough on the betterment of the student as a person and a citizen. Instances such as this lead the students to be unprepared for life outside of a structured classroom. Life is not a textbook and there is no textbook on life.
As a teacher it is one’s duty to facilitate the students’ learning processes as well as teach them the tools to conduct experiments or research projects with little to no guidance. The teacher will also encourage students to work collaboratively to solve problems and queries. It is also important to instill in the children a sense of self-worth and confidence of which the students may then use to solve problems that they come across or are assigned on their own.
Students are eager to learn, especially when they are learning about a subject or topic that they have much interest in. They will work hard to discover an answer to a question that they have generated. Students also find great satisfaction on conquering tasks and problems on their own or even with minimal adult-input. The best learning environment for young children is not one where they remain seated for seven hours as their teacher monotonously lectures about the water cycle. Why not give the students a chance to experiment with water and ice and temperature? “Hands on” is the most beneficial way to teach.
In essence, a more progressive classroom that includes hands on activities and less teacher-based instruction time is the most advantageous form of teaching. The student should be allowed to explore their own interests as they please and learn the tools they need to succeed in their research and even in the real world. The teacher’s job is to facilitate the learning process is the classroom and interject or guide when needed. The best learning environment is one where a student is encouraged to learn and grow.