How to Teach the People of the Future

Educational Idea: The future of our students is a future that, as teachers, we will have a limited amount of time in. Our students are going to experience things that we never will. To prepare them for such a future, we need to be open to different teaching strategies.

Educational Quote: “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” -Rabindranath Tagore

Change can be intimidating, but change is a necessity of life. The future is going to be different, we know that for a fact. I think we know as much about the future as we do the people who are going to be in it. While we can predict and plan for each day, we cannot control how those days play out. What we do know, however, is that is it our students who are going to be in that future. So how do we teach the people of the future when we don’t know exactly what the future holds? Tagore’s quote can help to answer that.

Initially, the quote I was going to use was one by John Dewey: “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow”. This quote would have been perfect because 1) it’s my fave, 2) John Dewey has become a popular name within our readings and lectures; and 3) I have already incorporated it into my teaching philosophy which would have made this post extra easy. While exploring a few other quotes, however, I stumbled across the gem by Tagore and chose it because it inspires me in a new and different way than Dewey’s. The difference is that Tagore describes my education as the learning of the past. as a 20 year old I have never thought of my own education as outdated. This quote made me aware of how I can mindlessly assume that my students will learn the same way that I learn.

Since becoming an education student, I have been introduced to so many new teaching strategies and ideas that challenge past ways of teaching. These new ways of teaching and learning are exactly what Tagore is talking about in his quote… right? Well, how do we actually know? I guess that is what is impossible in education. The depressing truth is that the ability to provide each and every student with the education that benefits them to the utmost degree is unachievable– or at least is presently impossible. What is possible, though, is taking time to explore different ways of teaching and then hearing from students what they find most beneficial. This way, the students’ understanding will be in my best interest, therefore, bettering them as learners and myself as an educator. While it would be a lot easier to teach the way that my teachers taught me, it is for the benefit of my students that I teach them the ways that they need to be taught.



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