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The shift in the paradigm of communication that has occurred with the rise in the levels of globalization has affected the academic setting significantly. Because of the necessity to acquire new knowledge and skills regularly, learning communities have emerged, thus encouraging students to engage in the process of lifelong learning. Therefore, new educational paradigms (EPs) must be incorporated into the contemporary academic process to support the idea of continuous learning.
To rearrange the current learning paradigms, one will have to consider the factors that define the choice thereof. The selection of a particular EP does not take place in a vacuum; instead, a vast range of factors, including socioeconomic, sociocultural, and technological ones, determines it (Schlechty, 2009). Given the current propensity toward multidisciplinary and lifelong learning, an educator must focus on the use of metaphors and mental models to encourage students to be academically proactive. Thus, the active knowledge sharing and the consistent cross-cultural dialogue, which will help learners to gain independence, will support the acquisition of new information.
Effects of Economic Factors on Schools
The choice of the specified models is determined by a vast array of factors, economic ones having a profoundly tangible impact on educators’ decisions. A closer look at some of the changes that have occurred over the past few decades will reveal that the economic environment of numerous countries, including the U.S., influences schools, in general, and the quality of education in schools, in particular, to a great extent (Schlechty, 2009). The identified phenomenon is rather easy to explain since economic challenges lead to the lack of financial resources and, thus limit the opportunities for teachers to provide students with essential information. Specifically, educators may encounter massive difficulties when selecting visual aids and the media for helping students learn new information and train new skills. Herein lies the importance of using metaphors and mental models in teaching students. The application of mental models helps transcend language barriers, which is essential in the context of a multicultural setting and does not involve massive financial expenses. Metaphors, in turn, help explore the specifics of particular cultures, allowing learners to delve into the nature of the language and explore its potential.
Effects of Moral Order Factors on Schools
Along with a shift in the academic perspective and the very concept of learning, changes to the impact that morality has on educational processes have become quite noticeable in the context of the modern school environment. Alterations in the present-day concept of social justice and ethical principles, especially regarding cross-cultural communication and representation of other cultures, have affected schools significantly. Particularly, numerous schools have reconsidered their inclusion criteria and created the setting adjusted to the requirements of students with special needs (Cookson & Schneider, 2014). For instance, opportunities for learners with learning impediments, students from challenging socioeconomic environments, and children that speak English as a second language (ESL) have been provided (Schlechty, 2009). Therefore, the shift in the moral order within the contemporary U.S. community has been spurring the academic progress of learners from a range of backgrounds. The observed tendency is admittedly positive, yet additional efforts are necessary to make the school setting even more comfortable for students with special needs,
Effects of School Board Leadership on Schools
The issue of controlling schools and managing internal issues with the help of school boards (SBs) is a rather controversial subject due to the problems associated with information management. The choices made by SBs on an administrative level affect how school curricula are shaped and, thus, define how students learn. Consequently, the choice of paradigms and models deployed for enhancing cross-cultural communication, particularly, the use of modeling and metaphors, is affected by the decisions of SBs (Schlechty, 2009). Herein lies one of the problems associated with the specified approach toward management. Because of the lack of knowledge regarding the specifics of a certain school and its learners, an SB is unlikely to make a decision that will embrace the needs of all learners (Luyten, Hendriks, & Scheerens, 2014). At best, it will hinder the implementation of the selected educational paradigms, and, at worst, it will impede the learning process. Therefore, schools must be provided with a certain degree of independence in shaping their curricula.
Effects of Social Capital on Schools
Being held in very high regard in the modern global community, social capital as the network of connections between people across the globe has a profound impact on the education process. By creating an international, interdisciplinary team, people share essential data within an incredibly short amount of time (Li, 2015). Schools benefit from the observed phenomenon excessively since the rise in social capital leads to the enhancement of the learning process (Schlechty, 2009). The application of metaphors and modeling as educational paradigms plays a crucial role in the specified process since it encourages people to build a better understanding of other cultures. As a result, the threat of misunderstandings, misconceptions, and cross-cultural conflicts is reduced to its logical minimum.
Personal Educational Paradigm or Model
Although both of the models mentioned above have a profound effect on students’ ability to learn new information in a multicultural environment, they seem to be lacking a crucial element, which is the promotion of academic independence and curiosity. Granted that the implementation of a teaching approach based on the use and analysis of metaphors can encourage learners to delve into the analysis of language as a phenomenon, it nonetheless lacks the emotional power that could help a subject resonate with students (Schlechty, 2009). Therefore, a model that will appeal to learners’ emotions, as well as their critical thinking, will assist in the enhancement of the learning process. For this reason, one must incorporate the model of gamification in education as the pathway to increasing the degree of involvement among learners (Queirós, Pinto, & Teixeira, 2016). Students need to realize that learning can be exciting, and games are a perfect way to accomplish the identified goal. Furthermore, by incorporating the latest technological advances, such as the use of mobile applications, one will encourage students to gain new knowledge and skills systematically.
The educational landscape has witnessed significant changes over the past few years, the propensity toward multiculturalism and cross-disciplinary cooperation being the key ones. Therefore, alterations to the existing curricula in public schools are necessary to provide students with the skill set that they will need to become proficient in their chosen area of study. Moreover, the idea of the unceasing acquisition of knowledge and skills should become an inseparable part of modern education. The identified goals can be accomplished by using the strategies based on metaphors and modeling as the means of transcending cultural boundaries. Also, the use of the gamification theory will help keep students engaged. As a result, a steep rise in the quality of education and the levels of students’ performance is expected.
Cookson, P. W. J., & Schneider, B. (Eds.). (2014). Transforming schools. New York, NY: Routledge.
Li, Y. (2015). Handbook of research methods and applications in social capital. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Luyten, H., Hendriks, M., & Scheerens, J. (2014). School size effects revisited: A qualitative and quantitative review of the research evidence in primary and secondary education. New York, NY: Springer.
Queirós, A. P. D., Pinto, R., & Teixeira, M. (2016). Gamification-based e-learning strategies for computer programming education. New York, NY: IGI Global.
Schlechty, P. C. (2009). Leading for learning: How to transform schools into learning organizations. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass.