Historically schooling have been predominantly focusing teaching instead of enabling a culture of learning, the process of providing mass education has been criticized by many as similar to mass production in factories. Children have been regarded as raw materials to be efficiently processed by technical workers (the teachers) who are the only source of filling knowledge in “empty” minds of the students!
Thinkers of radical pedagogy seek to identify, understand, and critically evaluate the effects, consequences, and power relations implicated by particular methods, modes, and environments of teaching and learning in formal/institutional contexts teaching and schooling. In 20th century thinkers such as Paolo Freire, Ivan Illich and others have highlighted the negative contribution of many formal educational strategies and practices. Freire’s book pedagogy of oppressed and Ivan Illich’s “deschooling society” explain how some formal schooling practices create the relations of domination and oppression. Some thinkers of education are of the views that schooling should be reformed, others argue that it should be transformed and still others call for de-schooling—they too have very strong reasons for their “call” and they logically answer the question that “ if not schools then what…!??
On the other hand, during last two decades, basis researches on process of learning has a lot of new implications for classroom environments and practices within classroom. In developed countries these implications tried to be bridged with classrooms and a more “learner- centered”, “knowledge centered” and “community centered” setup is emphasized.
Latest findings in the field of psychology devalue the mechanistic treatment of Reward and punishment in schools, basically these practices are based on behaviorist school of thought which says that learning is accelerated through positive or negative reinforcement, but this theory was criticized and replaced in psychology some 40 years ago with a newer “cognitive perspective”– which emphasis emphasize educators for cognitive feed back and instinct motivation of students, children are naturally motivated to know and they have a need of “awareness” in the same way as they feel hunger and thrust! but they feel tired when they don’t find materials and practices according to their interests and relevance . questions in their minds are either suppressed of not answered by replying them that “it is not a proper question or it is irrelevant” however no any question is irrelevant or improper but “we need to understand the question in deep” for this teacher must have “pedagogical content knowledge”– means they must know “what” they are teaching to “whom” and how that material can be made easily understandable. Actually the teachers who punish students physically or psychologically show that they don’t possess skills to satisfy and motivate students.
“Competition vs. cooperation” is another theme that is currently under debate, most of the teachers believe that competition is the only way to motivate students and they can’t distinguish between the healthy and unhealthy competition. However others are of the views that because of competition students don’t share knowledge and it affect their personality development and they become envy in their lives forever.
Most of the school also ignore individual learning needs by setting fix syllabus, time tables and teaching methodologies, how ever current researches suggest that there are particular learning styles- some can learn easily through hearing, some seeing and doing and still others can understand through association and body languages all these styles of learning particular teaching styles for which the teacher must know the individual learning needs of students and should mix the methods.
Learning researches has also implications for practices and procedures of assessment in the schools. Because the methods of assessment direct the students’ emphasis if we ask only factual information and objective questions the students will also give attention to facts and figures in the material instead of conceptually understanding. We also observe that most of the teachers give rewards and punishment on the basis of exams but they do not provide cognitive feedback to students in other words they tell “result” but do not give the “knowledge of result”.
If we thoroughly analyze the textbooks, we will find the “obsession” of our educators and course developers in making a long list of topics in each text book to provide surface knowledge but they don’t arrange concepts and facts around a core concept to made material conceptually understandable and appropriate to the age and development level of students. We may say the same thing in one line that “our text books are mile long and an inch deep” that’s why we observe that most of students forget lessons within one or two years, if not after exams.
Research has identified that there are multiple intelligences of students and each child has its own natural tendency towards particular intelligence some Children have good logical and linguistic intelligence, while other have towards musical athletic, teachers should use each intelligence during their lecture and should arrange classroom practices that help students to develop in their particular intelligences. Researcher also suggest that students have their own prior knowledge about the topics of perceivable world it may be misconceptions wrong belief but until that prior knowledge is not probed one can not transfer new knowledge to them, the role of teacher should be to probe and reconstruct that prior knowledge during lesson teaching.
Some of the critics of education system in Pakistan argue that the Schooling and education in modern days has limited to a “career counseling” and preparing of work force for indusial and organizational settings. They criticize that the current educational philosophy has nothing to do with wisdom and ethics (other than ethics in industrial and organizational setting) “how” and “what” we teach always depends on s on “why” we teach children, actually there is fault in our educational philosophy, this doesn’t mean that we should not train our generation regarding according to the needs of competitive modern world but there should not be a unilateral approach of emphasizing technical aspect of teaching there should be a balance with wisdom, ethics, civics—(not only religion) and we should also attempt to protect our cultures through education.