“Just get it done.” I was awestruck by this statement when I came across it because it impeccably compressed the whole vast meaning of the core essence of Pragmatism into a simple assertion of just getting things done when we needed to.
It made me realize that this is what we normally adhere to in our daily living especially when we reach the stage of career life. I thought it’s better to religiously train the students in school to have this kind of mantra in their lives to help them in the different dimensions of their present and future living.
Since Pragmatism principally focuses on “doing” and “how one comes to know” rather than mere “remembering and listening”, the above mentioned citation can be easily addressed to the students.
Pragmatism in education is a whole-new-exciting approach. It breaks out from the traditional type of schooling that we are predominantly used to. Education in line with Pragmatism is more concerned with the WHOLE CHILD rather than on the subject matter-content or on the teacher. I think student motivation and vigour can easily be achievedbecause the educational aims and the curriculum are DIRECTED TO THE LEARNER, not on the teacher, nor on the subject matter. Experiences, problem solving and exposures are of great importance in a Pragmatic school environment.
Pragmatic approach focuses on the whole child rather than on the content or on the teacher.
In strengthening student motivation, teachers can devise interactive activities that would directly cater to the necessary needs and interests of the students. These said needs pertain to the student’s present or future life situations.
It is said that students are more motivated when they believe that what they learn at school is useful and pertinent to them (present and future) or in the world they live in. To better accentuate the importance of this to the students, teachers can make the students realize that certain skills can help them in dealing with various things related to the whole aspect of their lives. Such skills to be highlighted are their social, thinking, decision making and problem solvingskills.
Teachers can come up with interesting tasks that would directly capture the students’ attention like real life problem solving in line with the subject matter and patterned to the student’s interest and needs. So, through this, we hit two birds with one stone. Teachers get to effectively convey their lesson and they will also be sure that they were able to capture the student’s attention. Through this exercise, the teacher is certain that the students successfully acquired/ absorbed the lesson, plainly because students learn best and vividly remember best when they experience something.
Personally, I also distinctly remember and effectively learn when I EXPERIENCE it. Even if a certain incident or part of learning happened a long time ago, I can still vividly remember it well because I’VE GONE THROUGH IT. I’VE BEEN THERE. I’VE DONE THAT. I’VE DEALT WITH IT. So I guess it also applies to everyone as well. Teachers will be guaranteed of the effective delivery of knowledge and the full attention, effort and dedication we teachers badly desire the most from our students will be at long last achieved.
Us teachers are so concerned with the imparting of knowledge and skills to the students but it always boils down to the bottom line concern to help and to care for our students’ welfare, may it be for their present or future. We can also achieve our bottom line concern with the two other “isms” discussed previously. But through the Pragmatic approach, we can help the students in the practicalities side that would aid them most importantly for future life.
I’ve had a bunch of teachers (mostly in college) that I’ve been ever so thankful for the important lessons they’ve shared and effectively imparted to me. Some of them gave tough projects (during that time I thought that I despise them for giving us tough tasks but I still ended up being thankful because of the effective learning that I had), some gave interesting tasks and lessons, some served as my mentors and friends, and some literally showed love, concern and care for the my betterment. When I pondered on it deeply, I realized that these teachers who became imprinted in my heart gave tasks which are directed to REAL LIFE SITUATIONS and most of them were problem solving, planning and critical thinking tasks. I even remember one professor in college wherein during that time, for the FIRST TIME, I felt that I was really motivated and eager to learn. I always LOOKED FORWARD to his classes. I was EXCITED to attend his lectures and was always THRILLED to know the new activity he’ll give us. THAT’S THE KIND OF MOTIVATION I WANT the students to experience as well. That’s the PERFECT motivational influencer type of professor.
The lessons I learned from their tasks were of great help to me when I reached my career stage. Even after basic ed school, during post graduate studies, at work, when we have workshops, bosses who train us, we learn best when activities and assignments are directed to real life-problem solving-critical thinking applications. We also get motivated and interested more to do these tasks when we know that these tasks are of great importance to us and to the world we live in.