"Best practices" in teaching and learning: Challenging current paradigms and redefining their role in education
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With pervasive and persistent changes affecting education, educators are called to challenge current paradigms about best practices in instructional design and delivery and redefine how they are integrated into the curriculum. The purpose of this article is to introduce a model designed to support the new paradigm for best practices in education. The model recognizes the transformational nature of teaching and learning, and equips educators with the tools to proactively and continuously adapt to change. Implications for practice include developing curriculum that meets learner orientations and responds to labour market demands for program currency and graduate preparedness. The term "best practices" has become standard nomenclature pervading the teaching and learning discipline. As educators, we refer to best practices as our toolkit of classroom activities, strategies, and techniques developed over years of honing our craft and sharing our expertise with colleagues. Armed with exemplary teaching practices, we strive to motivate learners and enhance the enjoyment and effectiveness of learning (PE Central, 2002). Dialoguing about best practices to discern the most effective teaching tools is a central theme at professional development conferences and around the proverbial water cooler in the workplace. We engage in the continuous exploration for and experimentation with the practices that define excellence in our profession.
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