Guest Speaker: Dr. Paul Wadden
A Senior Lecturer in English for Liberal Arts Program, College of Liberal Arts, International Christian College
3rd Floor, Charinyarasmi, Aditayatorn Building
Strategy and Academic Development section under the Office of Academic Affairs hosted a workshop entitled ‘Progressive Pedagogy’. Dr. Paul Wadden, a Senior lecturer in English for Liberal Arts Program, College of Liberal Arts, International Christian College, was invited to run this workshop. He shared his ideas on a progressive pedagogy with the MUIC lecturers. This workshop aimed to better promote learning and classroom management by adopting progressive education, and to provide an opportunity for lecturers to reflect on their classroom strategies, share personal experiences and also learn from their peers.
Progressive education is an educational system that moves away from the traditional format, toward more of learner-centered approaches while allowing for flexibility in the learning procedures. The learning activities are determined and driven by the needs and capacities of learner whose learning is rooted in their questions from experiencing the world.
In order to adopt progressive pedagogy, firstly, mission and vision must be unavoidably taken into consideration. As for MUIC, its mission and vision shows an intrinsic value in liberal arts education and eagerness to help students become global citizen who create values to society. In this workshop, the participants were encouraged to explore the nature of their courses, the way courses are carried out, and the goal they expect the students to achieve in order to ensure that goals match with the MUIC’s goals.
Curriculum must likewise be given attention. Dr. Wadden presented the example of classroom pedagogy draft created for his college which is a liberal arts-oriented institute that implements progressive pedagogical practices. The draft involves shifting instruction from transmission and information driven models to:
- Cultivating a curiosity and question-driven education
- Designing courses around issues rather than content
- Creating community in the classroom
- Focusing instruction on questions and inquiry rather than answers and established facts
- Building in not only acquisition but also application of concepts learned in a course, such as through analysis, interpretations, or fieldwork
Teaching is another factor. Progressive education includes active learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, and service learning. To choose what works best for the students, one need to understand how human learn and how each approach can assist them in learning. For example, active learning evidently reduces student’s failure rate, problem-based learning allows students to develop skills and solve problems that they can apply in real-world scenarios, and project-based learning can give student a sense of accomplishment and connection between a given-task and the real world.
To sum up, Dr. Waddaen shared the fact that shifting from traditional teaching to progressive pedagogy is not a simple mission but rather requires a radical transformation. Not only lecturers need to change the way they teach and the way the course was designed, but also requires us go through some stages of self-reflection for self-development that can greatly impact student learning.