Experts advocate innovative classroom practices

Seasoned educationists and administrators have advocated a paradigm shift from the old classroom practices to innovative classroom practices for the benefits of the learners and sustainable development in education.

The advocacy was made on Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018 at the annual national conference of the School of Education, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo themed: “Implementation of innovative classroom practices for sustainable development in education.”

According to the Dean, School of Education, Dr. Anthonia Loto, the theme, which is timely, would “afford stakeholders the opportunity to partake in the development of education in Nigeria.”

She stressed that the classroom is the most sensitive laboratory to test the sustainability and functionality of any innovation, maintaining that the expertise of the teacher is an important variable during the teaching-learning processes.

The Dean was optimistic that the conference would open a vista of opportunities to in-service, pre-service teachers/educators and other stakeholders in the education project as regards the implementation of innovative classroom practices for sustainable development in Nigeria.

Dr. Loto stated that the papers presented at the conference would assist in preparing a well-articulated communiqué to the government and other stakeholders on ways to implement innovative classroom practices for sustainable development in education in particular and Nigeria in general.

Speaking at the event, the Provost, Professor Olukoya Ogen hinted that the College would be conferred with an award as the most innovative College of Education in Nigeria and the Provost as the best Provost in Nigeria in June 2018 by the Northern Achievers International Magazine in Kaduna.

He urged participants at the conference on the need to migrate from the analogue mode of classroom delivery to the digital as it is the current practice worldwide, adding that the College had been in the forefront of innovations in higher educational institutions management and classroom practices in the last four years.

Speaking on “Innovative classroom practice and sustainable development in education: the way forward,” the keynote address presenter, Professor Victor Adeoluwa stated that innovations in classrooms becomes imperative in view of the fact that “knowledge is rapidly changing.

He added that: “The student we had twenty years ago are different from the ones here now who are digital citizens. Access to information has greatly expanded and it appears there is knowledge explosion which does not only have to be managed but appropriately directed to ensure sustainable development.”

He further hinged the need for innovations in classroom on producing learners who are employable, who have a progressive, entrepreneurial and change-oriented mind frame to meet changes in organizations and industry.

The former Acting Vice-Chancellor, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, stated that the changes calls for classroom practices which build confidence in learners, explore their potentials, allow hands-on tryouts for them and help them focus on profitable applications of learning items.

The professor noted that developments in research and tools for instructional delivery have also necessitated innovation in classroom practices, adding that learning spaces have become increasingly wider due to ubiquitous and cloud technologies.

The erudite scholar asserted that attention being focused on the rights of disadvantaged and special children to equal educational opportunities has also necessitated innovative classroom practices.

Adeoluwa enumerated the benefits of innovation in classroom practices as: change from teacher-centred learning to student-centred approach, doing the same thing in a better way, collaborative learning, teachers working easily together with students and creating new learning experiences for learners.

The former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development mentioned other benefits as: igniting the passion for learning in the students, providing them with the tools they need to succeed, attending to individual learner’s needs, making learners innovative thinkers and placing emphasis on what is needed to thrive in today’s world.

Dr. Samuel Oyekan, the lead paper presenter at the conference, lent credence to the assertions of Adeoluwa, stating that “innovative classroom practices connote improvement of the instructional ecosystem with all the appropriate human, material and financial resources aimed at enhancing the students’ interest, understanding and achievement.”

The Chief Lecturer in the Department of Special Education and Curriculum Studies in the College, reasoned that “It is through such kinds of pedagogical innovations that intended learning objectives, learning plans, roles of the teachers and learners as well as expectations of the teaching profession and the society are severally renewed, recreated and improved in harmony with the 21st century classrooms.”

Concluding, Dr. Oyekan recommended that schools should provide a comprehensive curriculum that will stimulate critical thinking, creative ideas, enterprising skills and ethical practices as vital factors in nurturing competent graduates with suitable technology-based instruction for the labour market.

He add that government should adequately fund education, recruit qualify teachers on merit, sponsor in-service training programmes, develop and renew infrastructural facilities, improve security architecture and offer scholarships to student-teachers.

Present at the event were: the Deputy Provost, Dr. Samuel Akintunde; the Registrar, Mrs. Olufisayo Fakorede; the Bursar, Mr. Ganiyu Abdul; the Acting Librarian, Mr. Akinade Awoyemi; Chairman, Committee of Deans and Dean, School of Vocational and Technical Education, Dr. Stephen Akinbani and Chairman of the ceremony, Dr. Olufemi Bosede Alfred, who was a former staff of the College.