I’m reading The Changing Role of the Teacher in the 21st Century in teachers.net Gazette and it presents a common theme - teachers are stuck with teaching methods from the 1960s, while students need to be prepared for the 21st century.
Yes, I agree with much of what is being said. Teacher as font of knowledge is not what it used to be. Technology has created learners who are exposed to rapid-fire bits of information, and teachers need to be able to work with this information and use it to hold students attention and prepare them to work with large sets of information as they enter the work world. Where I have trouble is that technological change is taking place at such a rapid rate, what will the work world look like in ten, let alone eighteen, years? Who can predict what that world with be like? Surely, it won’t be the world of standardized testing.
Authors Johnson and McElroy make a salient point as they show that the term teacher-leader is hollow, that politicians, administrators, and school boards usurp any chance of teacher leadership, even though teachers are well-educated classroom leaders. Given the chance (and the voice) teachers could inform policy-makers and help direct the changes so many feel are needed in education.
I liked this article. Johnson and McElroy end by saying, “An effective teacher is not someone utilizing the methods and initiatives of 1965, but rather embracing the culture of 2010 and adapting to the needs of students today.”