“The Third Teacher” of the XXI Century

Educational Infrastructure, Its Problems and Challenges

In: The Translational Design of Universities

Abstract

Learning is a personal and an internal process influenced by different external factors. In the formal educational system learning is affected mainly by professors (first teacher), classmates (second teacher) and educational infrastructure (third teacher). The last element creates environments in which teaching and learning processes take place. The impact educational infrastructure has in academic achievements has been registered by many researchers (Strange & Banning, 2001; Shneider, 2002; Fisher, 2005; Lippman, 2010; and Torres Landa López, 2013).

Nevertheless, it seems that Mexican Higher Educational Institutes (HEI) are being built the same way as in the past, therefore they don’t respond either to new educational paradigms, or the inclusion of emerging technology.

This chapter refers to some problems “the third teacher” (i.e. the educational infrastructure) faces. Firstly, most schools and universities have been built to respond to specific needs of training, principally manual skills reacting to the Industrial Revolution (Robinson, 2011), but the postmodern society of XXI century requires different approaches (Lyotard, 1999). Secondly, new information technology (IT) has changed the way people communicate and relate to each other. These include changes that affect directly the teaching and learning process and thus the educational infrastructure (Oblinger, 2005).

Thirdly, designing Higher Educational infrastructure must be addressed differently than designing educational infrastructure for early schooling stages, as the students that enter universities are young adults and have different characteristics than children. Therefore, instead of grounding the design in pedagogy it must be an andragogy approach to tackling the problem.

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