Transformative Education: Students in the Spotlight - A Holistic Pedagogical Approach
Science Journal of Education
Volume 7, Issue 5, October 2019, Pages: 107-113
Received: Oct. 7, 2019;
Accepted: Oct. 23, 2019;
Published: Oct. 31, 2019
Views 354 Downloads 113
Dina El Achi, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Nabil M. Halabi, Department of Biology, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Bilal R. Kaafarani, Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Inspired by the shortcomings of traditional pedagogical approaches to post-secondary education, the Primary Investigator created from first principles a new educational initiative termed Transformative Education. Rejection of conventional teacher-student dynamics and classroom-centric learning stand at the core of this new modus operandi, which began at the American University of Beirut (AUB). In its place, the PI proposed Transformative Education to widen the breadth of learning to occur mainly outside of the classroom and to shift the locus of control into the hands of the students. The new teaching style is explored through several subsidiary initiatives, beginning first with the establishment of the Organic Chemistry Club (OCC). The OCC initially brought together students of the discipline to administer student-lead tutoring clinics but soon began to incorporate pupils of diverse majors to work on larger scale projects. The series of Organic Chemistry Competitions (OC) were the pioneering event, which utilized the Personal Response System to bring together undergraduates in an international competition. The model set forth by these series of competitions, one of local organization by the student body to host a large scale event with international participants, was proven to be generalizable to any discipline, as evidenced by the subsequent Medical Competitions. Following in line with the staple of students being at the epicenter of Transformative Education, the PI crafted the undergraduate Medical Research Volunteer Program (MRVP), a platform of experiential learning whose establishment has resulted in multiple publications and awards. Another series of events aimed at students are the Mentoring, Makhlouf Haddadin, and IgNobel Lectureships, which consistently see significant student turnout seeking career/life counseling, chemical innovation and scientific curiosities, respectively. Another initiative lies in the annual ChemCarnival. Said celebration of chemistry through visual demonstrations of extravagant experiments summarizes the entire Transformative Education drive by demonstrating both core tenants of extra-curricular involvement and student engagement. It is the opinion of the PI that the success of this new approach be taken together and not by viewing each event individually; the Gestalt of this new pedagogical approach is more than the arithmetic sum of its parts. Through experimentation with several initiatives, it is clear to see that the results demonstrate a sustained and tangible impact on the careers of students, advocating the further use and development of Transformative Education.
Dina El Achi,
Nabil M. Halabi,
Bilal R. Kaafarani,
Transformative Education: Students in the Spotlight - A Holistic Pedagogical Approach, Science Journal of Education.
Vol. 7, No. 5,
2019, pp. 107-113.
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