Refined Pedagogy For a Refined Workforce Of the Future Institutes should equip students with the right skill sets and competencies; as future leaders they need to be adept in an ever-changing work environment

By Brig Dr. Rajiv Divekar

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"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family," Kofi Annan once said.

It has been proven time and again that a well-rounded professional is somebody who brings more than just a pool of knowledge on the table. A combination of creativity, honesty, reliability, problem-solving skills and knowledge makes one a mainstay of an organization. And these skills need to be instilled in professionals during the foundational period of higher education. Here comes the importance of planning the right pedagogy to be followed by institutes. Educational institutes play an extremely important role in strategizing its curriculum for all-round development of its students. The main aim of pedagogy is to build on the previous learning of the students and work on the development and upgradation of those skills and attitudes.

For a refined workforce of the future, there is a need for refined pedagogy. Institutes should equip students with the right skill sets and competencies; as future leaders they need to be adept in an ever-changing work environment. What is debatable, though, is how best to achieve the development of those skills; and deciding specifically the suitable teaching and learning methodologies that support or enable the development of complex skills. Students can either have a fixed mindset and stay content with their personal attributes and qualities, or, they can have a growth mindset and choose to cultivate, grow, and improve their abilities through continued efforts. Hence, choosing the right teaching pedagogy is the first step an institute can take to ensure that students retain course content.

Similarly, students must improve their knowledge of the industry and industry-related work to keep up with today's fast-paced world, and in order to reach that level of expertise changes must be made on the foundation level. Institutes need to implement better teaching approaches, include technical and industry-oriented courses in their curriculum and provide students with more technical and practical learning opportunities. Constructivist, collaborative, integrative, reflective, and inquiry-based learning are some of the key approaches that institutions can use.

Constructivist pedagogy defines a different theory of learning. Here, learning is based upon the knowledge of the students gained from their direct experiences as opposed to being taught concepts in the abstract. In order to learn, a student needs as many hands-on experiences with objects, skills and people around them. This form of learning is beneficial as students can connect easily with situations and adapt to it easily.

Collaborative pedagogy, on the other hand, rejects the idea that students think, learn, and write in isolation. Through interaction and interpersonal engagement, collaborative pedagogy aims to maximize critical thinking, learning and writing skills. Also, projects along with technical communication combine collaborative education by seeking to bridge real-world work contexts with university classes.

Interactive pedagogy, involves theoretical knowledge, practical skills and self-regulation (reflective and meta cognitive skills). This type of pedagogy is usually based on mixed learning which focuses on the overall development of the students. Self-regulation is for the purpose to allow the students to reflect and develop a skill to organize and evaluate their thought process from the theoretical learning they acquired and also develop genuine problem-solving skills.

Reflective Practice is a constant critical reflection process that promotes self-learning and improves following activities. It entails taking time in higher education to think and reflect on teaching and learning for evaluative objectives as well as to enhance future teaching.

Inquiry-based learning is an active learning method that begins with the presentation of questions, challenges, or scenarios. It contrasts with traditional education, which often relies on the teacher giving facts and their own understanding about the subject.

These forms of learning if adopted by educational institutes will surely enhance the learning experience of the students and prepare them thoroughly for the upcoming industry 4.0. In this way, the well-thought, modern-day pedagogy is a complete interconnection of the concepts and ideologies which needs to be adopted by educational institutes. It also indicates that these practices directly impact a student's achievements, results, and skills developed after following the approach. The right pedagogy has great potential in terms of reducing the distance between aspirations or vision for the future of education and the current educational practice. Today's pedagogy will define the workforce of the upcoming tomorrow and hence it is vital to strategically plan higher educational pedagogy for a brighter future.

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Brig Dr. Rajiv Divekar

Director, Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies

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