Nothing, in learning, should take you as a surprise. Uncertainty is acceptable, but unawareness is indefensible.
You all expect teachers to plan their lessons methodically and deliver the course material in bite-sized, prioritized, absorbable chunks that challenge you through engaging activities. Indeed, commanding instructors plan accordingly and leave time for review and deeper understanding. However, if you lack the attitude and responsible behaviour to prepare for the lesson, it matters naught how interesting, informative, or dramatic the lesson. Communication is spent like rising smoke and learning is reduced to a monotony of befuddled uncertainties.
You must be disciplined and willing to work hard. Modern education is no longer an exercise in rote learning, recitation, and passive listening. You must develop and cultivate good learning habits.
You need to deploy all your senses in preparing for an upcoming lesson. You need to read the material, and listen and watch the recommended audio-visual material. You need to question what you read, take notes, and even investigate topics intensely, all before attending the first or next lesson. To participate in the lesson, you must execute self-directed decision-making and critical thinking. If you don’t, you should re-think entering schooling to a demanding profession serving public interests that have extensive financial and socio-economic consequences.
You, as much as your instructors, must take responsibility for ‘learner-centred’ education. Collaborative learning is a two-way, challenging street. You want subject-matter experts that engage you, the learner, with enthusiasm and empathy through participatory activities. Facilitators want you to be pre-informed and come to class with questioning minds.
It’s completely false to believe that either side of the student-teacher relationship can overcome the other’s weakness and achieve successful learning. No amount of instructional excellence will make all the difference. Motivated students remain the most significant variable in education. As adults, you cannot afford to be passive recipients of knowledge and skills. Education is a relational, engaging balance of power and interplay between the facilitators and the learners.
Students, take charge of the challenge and become active participants!