Understand the changing role of teachers. This is reflected in your practice in various ways.
The Times They Are a’Changin
The lecture still has a place, though its form and format are changing as well, but one has to admit that the role of the teacher as the principal “purveyor” of knowledge has become unsustainable in light of the many ways people can now access information. Creating an environment that stimulates learners’ development of competencies requires a different set of skills of teachers than what was expected before the Pedagogical Renewal.
Being a guide-on-the-side is not about having learners go through pages of an activity bookon their own, of course. It’s about finding or creating the Goldilocks learning challenges, keeping differentiation in mind, allowing for doubt, challenging what’s taken for granted, etc. It’s giving learners the opporutnity to figure the things out by themselves while mastering the art of asking the engaging questions at the right time. It’s about creating a rich, stimulating learning environment instead of trying to improve the one-size-fits-all lecture.
Video resources / conversation starters.
The Role of the Teacher is Changing, Phillip Schlechty, 4:38
Marc Prensky – What is the role the teacher in today’s world?,
Marc Prensky & Stephen Heppell, 4:01
From Teaching to Self-Teach, Judith Cantin, 5:22
Sugata Mitra’s new experiments in self-teaching, TED Talks, 17:25
Answer these questions for yourself:
Do your learners get their knowledge from you or with you? How do you imagine your classroom when you think of “from you” vs. “with you”? How do you acquire new knowledge? Who’s involved in your learning?
How do you imagine your role if you chose to reduce the “sage on the stage” part of your work as an educator?
What self-teaching strategies do you help your students with?
If you can, share your answers with colleagues who share the same interest in these questions.
Ask yourself these questions again later… much later.