In order to uplift the standard of education and improve student-teacher relationship, a non-governmental organisation, Peridot Global Consult recently organised a training for teachers on how to explore innovation strategies in education.
The training which was held during the third edition of Teachers’ Professional Connect had about 400 teachers from all over the country in attendance.
Delivering a keynote address, a retired professor of Rural Sociology, Janice Olawoye, said teachers have to be innovative in their teaching to get the best of their pupils, adding that innovation is not limited to technology alone but includes the relationship between teachers and the students.
Olawoye said innovation is important in education as this is the only way to improve on the quality of schools and make teaching easy for teachers and pupils alike, stressing that every teacher must know the peculiar needs and strength of every student in the class.
She said teachers must make their lessons flexible, noting that a proactive approach must be used to intoduce new things into the classroom.
Her words: “Innovation involves the use of technology, ingenuity,brainstorming, change in mindset, being open to new ideas, collaborative effort and active learning.
“Teachers should engage the students and teach the way they learn. Once they are engaged, they would be interested to learn for understanding rather than memorising.
“Teachers should encourage students to use their imagination apart from copying notes and listening, you must also keep up with what is going on in the world and around you.”
Olawoye further stated that innovation is a fundamental different way of doing things, adding that the fact that the education system in the country was accepting things from the western world does not mean the old system should be discarded.
“Not everything should be accepted because it is western. Not everything that is western is good; let us analyse the good things that we have here and let us improve on it, ” she said.
She also urged teachers to monitor their students, saying they should carry out “analysis of emotion” on every student they engage.
“Students should be monitored in both cognitive and non-cognitive aspect,” Olawoye added.
A facilitator, Professor Catherine Chovwen of the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan urged teachers to spend time with their students rather than engage them.
She pointed out that innovation is not only about technology, but a relationship between human beings.
“Teachers should be innovative in their methods of teaching and relationship with the students. If the students know you will attend to them, they would build a relationship with you(teachers) which will rub off on their academic performance and in the classroom in general.”
She tasked teachers to relate with their students individually and ensure their emotional stability.
In her address, the converner of Teachers’ Professional Connect and Chief Executive Officer, Peridot Global Consult, Mrs Bolade Akharume, said the event was to look at ways of exploring innovations and strategies to meet up with the growth and dynamics in the field of education.
Akharume further stated that the face of education is changing with new innovation globally, saying Nigeria cannot be left behind.
She noted that without innovation, learners would still be using slates and chalks.
“I doubt if these students would be able to connect with the kind of instructional materials we would be presenting during our teaching/learning interactions,” she said.