International Institute for Research and Human Development Teaching Philosophy
Inspired by socio-constructivism and Vygotsky’s constructivism, at the Institute for Research and Human Development (iiRHD), we consider learning as the acquisition of knowledge through exchanges between the trainer and students or between students. Students do not only learn through the transmission of knowledge from the teacher but also through groups interactions. The learning experience is enriched through collective experience and intelligence.
Simultaneously, connectivism becomes increasingly an important learning approach; internet technologies, including web browsers, email, online forums and training platforms, social networks, YouTube etc. have created opportunities for students to learn and share information on the Internet and between each other. With the beginning of digital age, much learning take place online through peer networks. Therefore, we encourage students to critically search knowledge online and share findings. The learning experience becomes the centre of a connected community around this shared information, collective experience and collective intelligence.
The iiRHD teaching approach is based on:
- Technical/organisational competencies: our knowledge and techniques of organisation and transmission.
- Relational competencies: our ability to create a strong relation and inclusive frame; and
- Emotional competencies: our ability to trigger emotional intelligence to inspire students creating through learning and practicing a new perspective and vision. The latter constitute my long-term goal.
Our trainers engage with their own strong human competencies such as: establishing and cultivating trust; listening actively; identifying student’s needs; maintaining presence, being open, curious, flexible and student-centred; evoking awareness and facilitating students’ growth.
Our short-term objectives are: initial knowledge’s transmission; enriching and consolidating knowledge through collective workshop and teach-back; training critical thinking through interactive workshops; initiating creativity through the assignment which encourages inspiration towards new perspectives and vision.
The iiRHD organisational teaching strategy includes backward design, comprehensive syllabus including well-designed and justified assignments aligning with the learning outcomes; adapting teaching strategy, best concepts’ combination and storytelling that triggers students’ motivation, increase their engagement and satisfying their expectations.
Technically, our trainers focus on small teaching sessions (25% lecturing - 50% workshops), aiming for quality and integration of the new knowledge, including: a pre-class period of establishing rapport; introduction to subject; the session’s main body of content (theoretical presentation and peer workshops); conclusion, assignment and both formative and summative critical feedback. The most important part is not for students to memorise and learn by heart but to understand the subject and maximise this understanding.
We create a motivating, engaging and inclusive learning environment by: providing simple, attractive, balanced and well-designed learning material; using interactive methods to increase awareness, consideration of student’s perspectives, emotional intelligence and inclusion; testing frequently through assignments; adopting supportive attitude throughout: clear teaching goals; strong trustworthy rapport; maintaining presence and active listening; evoking awareness and facilitating growth; embodying a learning mindset; providing and encouraging critical mutual feedback. All these allows students to take away a healthy intellectual skepticism about the content in their own mindset.