Dear Teacher I am not an empty container give me a chance to show

(Salma Ali, Islamabad)

Give me a chance to talk and express myself is the desire of every child sitting passively in a class and listening to the teacher voice. Child by nature is curious and a critical observer he/she needs a platform to work independently in the supervision of a teacher who plays a role of a mentor and guide. However, the situation is different still schools are unable to provide an environment that can give students a chance to express his/her feeling and enjoy the teaching learning process.

Students know their needs and have unfiltered lenses that help them to see the things, issues and impact on their lives that cannot be observed by adult. They have the ability to change themselves and society if properly guided by an adult in a fair, supportive and stimulating environment. They are the future leaders and practitioners. Hence, they need the school and teacher to listen to their voice, work on the concerns and help them cope with their identity and leaning related issues.

School is a place that provides a platform to its learners to explore their inner self and work on for improvement. However, the scenario is different still we are unable to provide an environment for holistic development. Despite the contributions of many researchers, Educationists and theorists such as Russo, Pestalozzi, John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Erick Erickson, Thorndike etc. for changing the mindset and suggesting ways to help the students explore and unleash their inner potential and become a productive human resource to the society. Still schools follow traditional education system that in result hamper children inner potential, creativity and critical thinking.

Poulo Freire used the word banking concept of education for traditional education system. According to his definition, the teacher deposits knowledge in the minds of the students like depositing money in the bank. They transfer knowledge mainly through lecturing. In this system, the students become passive learners, which play an important role in blocking the creativity of a child. That is why he says that education should be a collaborative process in which teachers and students work together and think critically. He has proposed a new solution called the problem-posing education where the teacher and student become one, each teaches the other and both have the chance to think critically as well as give ones’ interpretation of the subject for knowledge construction.

Schools in Pakistan still follow the banking concept of education where learners are bound to listen to their teachers and has no right of expression. Resultantly, such environment affects the capacity and capability of students to explore their inner potential and reflect on the issues affecting their lives. In current teaching learning scenario, the students are not getting chance to share their learning-related tensions and a teacher who can guide them find solutions. Jean Ruddock et al. (1995) suggested the practitioners and policy makers to convalesce the taking for granted perceptions and practices and change it with a reflective practitioner who reflect on his/her own practices, attitude and modify them for the benefit of the students.

There is a dire need to change the organizational structure, teaching practices and provide the students with an opportunity to explore their sense of self and sense of purpose in learning by challenging the learners intellectually in a fair and encouraging setup Jean Ruddock at all (1995). To do so teachers has to change their practices and enter in class with full preparation. They should create an environment where students get a chance to share their learning and understanding; clear their concepts without hurting their self-esteem and confidence. The teachers should update themselves with contemporary knowledge & skills and develop a strong bond with parents to learn about issues students face and support, guide and counsel them accordingly.

In nutshell, teaching is a sacred profession that plays a pivotal role in building a positive nation and peaceful world. Teachers should change their previous practices. They should engage themselves with the voices of students for their development. They should keep themselves updated to bring change. The schools should opt the new and modern approach of teaching, listen to the voice of the students and ensure their full participation in decision making (minor to major) that will not only empower them as a future leader but also help them think out of the box which is the ultimate goal of education. Zephaniah cited by Jean Ruddock (1996) et al. in reviewing the conditions of learner in school nicely said that, “teachers, your students have so much to say…. If you are so concerned about their future read about their concerns”.

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