DIGITALIZATION AS A PARADIGM IN EDUCATION

By the Greek word paradigm (example) we mean a pattern or example to be followed in a given situation. The American physicist and philosopher Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922-1996) defines paradigms as “scientific advances that generate models that, for a period of time, guide the subsequent development of research that provides solutions to the problems presented.” The educational paradigm is a model used in education and aims to find the most appropriate way to teach the new generations, which differs from that of the previous generations.

In his nineteenth-century magnum opus, Arthur Schopenhauer notes the idea that all truths go through three stages: in the first they are met with ridicule, in the second they encounter violent resistance, and in the third they are accepted. Decades later, and not entirely unrelated, H.F. Lovecraft for the first time defines the fear of the unknown as a fundamental fear, seeing it as the oldest and strongest of all fears.

The lifespan of all readers of this review, regardless of their generational affiliation, is characterized by daily radical changes and re-reminders of the views of these thinkers. Inevitably, one of the most vivid examples of the rise of the new and the unknown is the dizzying advances in information technology and digital transformation. In the era of technocapitalism and accelerating globalization, digitalization is increasingly being treated as a paradigm for reformulating human value systems and needs. In that sense, the digital transformation in the field of education is a paradigm of teaching reforms and an answer to the question of how to learn in the future.

The recently adopted educational reforms, which go beyond the “one subject-one textbook” principle and instead provide for the practice of open educational resources and the transition of didactic materials from printed to digital format, probably confirm the mentioned philosophical insights. The reactions of resistance, directed mainly to the digitalization of textbooks, are numerous and, of course, expected and understandable: finally, this reform is deep and far-reaching and with its sharpness and novelty undermines the traditional way of learning for decades based in our educational worldview. However, although some of the criticisms must be considered as a quality introduction to a constructive discussion on the digitalization of textbooks, many of the reactions come down to emotional tirades without much argument.

However, the efforts to refute and reason the unargued reactions must start with a reasoned approach and proven and solid postulates, because only in this way these modern and extremely positive educational reforms will gain legitimacy before the citizens who are affected. In that direction, it is necessary for the entire planning process to be realized with a multi-perspective approach.

The Ministry of Education and Science should present a detailed assessment of the envisaged technical and infrastructural challenges and concrete proposals for overcoming them. At the same time, a sound plan is needed for the dynamics of the implementation of this reform. Of course, the support of teachers is of great importance in this process, who, as direct implementers of change, should be provided with adequate preparation and training for professional development, including the reform of the relevant university curricula for the education of future teachers.

These goals are high and, in order to achieve them, the Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia will have to offer more than declarative support for the reforms in the overall education. The fact that, according to a number of measurable indicators, the country has one of the lowest budgeted education systems in Europe, and arguably the most unfavorable results in international testing, is a sufficient indicator of the level of commitment required in primary, secondary and higher education. to increase confidence in progressive change and to more easily see all the benefits that modernization brings.

(The author is the rector of the Mother Teresa University in Skopje) Source: https://www.slobodenpecat.mk/en/digitalizaczijata-kako-paradigma-vo-obrazovanieto/

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