Transformative Pedagogies and Technologies

Education is at a pivotal moment in history where traditional in-person pedagogy has either made way for digital or remote learning or interacts with it. Explicit integration of transformative education such as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in the formal curriculum offers an opportunity to transform the approaches to imparting education.

A transformative pedagogy is an innovative pedagogical approach that empowers learners to critically examine their contexts, beliefs, values, knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes with the goal of developing spaces for self-reflection, appreciation of diversity, and critical thinking amongst others. Transformative pedagogies move away from the passive nature of traditional pedagogies to foster active learning. Transformative pedagogies enable learning that goes beyond the mind, thereby, connecting the hearts and actions —exposing learners with the tools, frameworks, and resources to transform themselves and their societies.

Transformative pedagogy involves teaching and learning geared to motivate and empower learners to make informed decisions and actions at the individual, community, and global levels. Transformative pedagogies should ensure, for instance, the curriculum, education, learning materials, schools, teacher education, or learning environments are meaningful in the natural, political, economic, and cultural contexts.

In the traditional pedagogies, the teaching strategies involved are highly repetitive (drill) tasks that emphasize primarily on memorization (rote learning) while overlooking critical thinking, problem-solving, metacognitive, and social skills. Therefore, transformative pedagogy addresses these issues through innovative learning approaches like hybrid learning, hyflex learning, flipped classroom, personalized learning, etc. that assist educators to meet long-standing and emerging challenges and aid learners to become effective learners, reflective practitioners, better problem-solvers, and critical thinkers.

The COVID-19 exposed the gaps in teacher education to prepare them to foster transformative pedagogies pushing educators and educational institutions to adopt an often treacherous trial and error method in acquiring resources such as technology and equipment along with opting for effective pedagogy, teaching techniques, and student engagement strategies.  

Given the advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), it is imperative to reconsider the applicability of existing transformative pedagogies and innovative models to suit the current and emerging contexts. Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Robotics, Drones, Blockchains, 5G, self-driving cars, Augmented reality, Virtual reality, Holograms, and Quantum Computing can play a role in helping students to develop skills, including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, perseverance, problem-solving, self-direction, global awareness, and digital literacy, and in fostering inclusivity in the digital learning space.