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GlobalNet21: Recreating Our Futures Message Board Meetings Discussion Forum › A new direction for teaching

A new direction for teaching

Ro A.
user 72519552
Cirencester, GB
Post #: 1
Teaching is still in its infancy. During the last few hundred years we have progressed from people being largely uneducated and unable to write, through people learning by rote and on towards people being taught to think more creatively. We considered in our group on education in this new era that a lot of the fun had been taken out of it by teachers that starve the joy out of education. As a teacher I can see how this might happen. There is a lot of paper work to be completed and there are a lot of hours of teaching demanded and I believe that in the main the only way that all of this gets done is by combining the time at which it is done. I.e. when teachers should be teaching they are busy doing paperwork with the result that they are little more than guards who are preventing their students from burning down the school.

This is not the way I teach myself but it is pretty much what I saw throughout my time at secondary school. I tend to get complained about by the administrative staff for not completing all my paperwork on time on account of being too busy spending almost all of my class time talking with my students and guiding them. The students seem to appreciate this.

In our group we spoke about the idea of a tag team of teachers so that one person could be very knowledgeable about the field they are teaching and the other could be an expert in ways to engage people and impart information and deliver facts in an entertaining manner that will help people to enjoy their lessons and hopefully take in more information.

The idea strikes me as a bit fanciful but I can't help thinking that is only because it is new. Perhaps in a few hundred years such an idea might be common place. Certainly our education now is nothing like it was a few hundred years ago. Another idea that struck me is the idea of the teacher being able to focus all their attention on the students and always be facilitating their learning while the administrative side is dealt with purely by a dedicated administrator or perhaps computers and software designed to make the tasks more efficient. Maybe some already have a way around this that I do not know myself. Certainly this is one of the ways in which the technology could be used.

I tend to think of technology being used more for learning rather than the benefits that it could give to the organisation needed for teaching.

The idea that I wanted to speak about more than anything this afternoon was the idea that what is sought in a teacher should be altered. Interestingly I have heard a similar idea spoken about in regard of nurses today. Rather than focussing on giving the jobs to those who are most educated in their fields we should be giving the jobs to those who are best at keeping a class interesting and enjoyable. Most people love learning things from documentary programmes on television and amongst the presenters we see some real characters who we love to listen to and watch. Perhaps this is the sort of person we should be trying to create in our teaching candidates.

The nurses were spoken of this morning as being more appropriate to choose according to their level of compassion rather than their level of qualification. I heard a comedienne say on last week's news quiz that carers in nurseries were soon to be chosen according to the level of their qualifications, e.g. higher marks in their maths and English GCSEs, which would qualify them to be able to care for more children. The comedienne pointed out that she had a degree in English but she would be the least appropriate person to care for any children.

I am therefore proposing that teachers should by necessity have some kind of ability to hold the interest of a room. They should of course know their subject but then if education were to be improved then one of the natural results would be that new trainees would better know there subjects. I think that we should divert more attention away from the knowledge and more towards the skills of presentation. Actors can give the impression that they are excellent teachers in movies. That is the skill that needs to be developed. Of course there would also be a necessity to demand far more of the teachers as well in that they must have these extra abilities; it might therefore be an idea that they should be paid more accordingly. Considering that a better educated population would lead to more knowledgeable and capable members of society and a corresponding increase in ability to earn, produce and organise it could be that this greater expense could end up paying for itself.

Those are just a few thoughts. What does everyone else say?
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