So, imagining the classroom as more of an environment where all are involved and books and worksheets are in the background just as supplementary materials, we need to have the students as active participants. We need them to express themselves and see how relative topics affect them that generate opinions. We need to challenge them and let them all be part of the class that relates to them as individuals and as part of a group. Pairwork, groupwork and class debates help all involved. We need these students to have a voice that makes them feel part of the group; that empowers them to be creative.
Or should the teacher just lecture at the front?
What we need is problem-posing education. The students need lessons, exercises and dialogue that bring thought and opinion to the fore that makes them think about the world differently. On this theme, Paulo Freire in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed mentions that ‘in problem-posing education, people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation (Freire, 1970: 64). He also says ‘problem-posing education bases itself on creativity and stimulates true reflection and action upon reality; thereby responding to the vocation of persons as beings who are authentic only when engaged in inquiry and creative transformation (Freire, 1970: 65).
This is handy reading when thinking about your lesson plan and all the work you may put into getting it right, but you may be avoiding your best asset: the students and their input.