Factors Affecting Cultural Values

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Cultural factors / values: Our values and our cultural aspects of life influence a, rather shape and refine our thinking , which is considered to be essential component of reflection. Often our deep rooted values, biases, hinder with the process of reflection and leads to the adherence to traditional ways of teaching and classroom management. An example may be quoted here.
The teacher owing to her own cultural brought up persuades children to form groups for an activity on the basis of gender. She may also choose to stick to the lecture method s/he had been taught with as a child, without pondering over whether it is applicable or enjoyable by her class or not.
Administrative factors:
Administration plays a very significant role in determining
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Research suggests that social environments that offer more collaboration and sharing of knowledge have more people with a reflective approach to teaching and learning. (Fairclough (1992).) In our country, collaboration among teachers in teaching and learning is a much ignored area and has tremendous potential to foster reflection in the system .(Pugach, MC, Johnson 2002).
Financial factors: In a typical Indian classroom -an overpopulated one with poor furniture and an absence of basic amenities such as fans, table , chair etc. and stringent salaries of teachers along with the heavy workload doesn’t leave the teacher much motivated or enthusiastic to take initiative for improving his/her practice. (Ramchandran (2005)
Time and space:
Reflective dialogue cannot be efficiently held without adequate time and space (Boisot 1999). The teachers need space and time to consider and reconsider their actions without any haste and worry however in Indian scenario , as already discussed in the previous sections , overpopulated classrooms, excessive workload and lack of academic freedom hinders the
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Drifting from traditional (chalk and talk methods ) to a more progressive system with greater flexibility, time and space for teachers , mutual trust and cooperation as well as collaboration, sharing of work , responsibilities and credit, autonomous environment etc helps in promoting opportunities for experience , experimentation and hence lead to a more reflective way of working for the teachers. Collaboration and sharing among teachers should be fostered as leads to better results ( Revans 1982). It is also essential that we loosen our adherence to theoretical models at all levels of the education system and engage in reflective and critical ways of evaluating, teaching, feedback etc from the stakeholders. (Engestrom. 2006). More flexibility and better support systems from administration and adequate emphasis on expression, autonomy and academic freedom should be the focus to improve reflection in education and to motivate more teachers to be reflective in their practice.
For example , if a teacher feels s/he should go back to teaching the basics of units before s/he starts with more abstract numerical problems, she should have enough flexibility in her teaching plans and time to do that without having to worry about the time to complete the syllabus
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