Pedagogy in Bangladeshi Private Universities: Context, Culture, and Confusion
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Although Bangladesh has had a long history of university teaching, pedagogy has hardly entered the imagination of university educators. Today’s teachers are yesterday’s students, with each generation being groomed in the same cultural patterns of learning that are continually repeated without examination. Higher education in Bangladesh must also contend with another type of cultural problems. The first of these is that students enroll in universities from three different school systems: Madrasah (religious schools), Bengali and English medium schools, each with its sharp, disparate worldviews. At the same time, the majority of faculties lack the knowledge of pedagogical methods for adjusting their teaching framework to accommodate the diversity of students’ worldviews to nurture knowledge progression in classroom settings. The second problem deals with students’ acquired cultural practices of rote learning and memorization by way of lectures and homework that parrots texts and lectures. In contrast, however, a university setting has been traditionally charged with and has the advantage of stimulating new ideas and knowledge, provoking assumptions, and teaching and encouraging critical thinking. The third pedagogical challenge also derives from Bengali culture, from which teachers assume a hierarchical mindset and attitude that is counter-productive to students’ learning.
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