In this chapter, we shall cover
• Roles and responsibilities of the teacher as an effective knowledge, skill and value disseminator in the classroom
• Role as an educator in the teaching profession
• Knowledge practitioner
• Skills practitioner
• Social agent
• Agent of Change
Brooks,V. & Sikes, P. (1997). The Good Mentor Guide: Initial Teacher Education in Secondary Schools. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Cairney,T. (1987).Teachers as researchers. In Barbara Comper & Hancock, J. Developing Teachers. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson
Fletcher,S.( 2000). Mentoring in schools; A handbook of good practice. London: Kogan Press
Kinchheloe, J. L. (1991). Teachers as researchers: Qualitative Inquiry as a path to empowerment. London: The Falmer Press
Tomlinson,P. (1995). Understanding Mentoring. Buckingham: Open University Press.
1. Knowledge and skill practitioner
1.1. The teacher is a professional is an educator and a practitioner in knowledge and skills. He/she is an effective practitioner and analyst who, through teacher education, is competent in applying his/her theoretical knowledge in various pedagogic contexts. He/she provides education for discipline, for knowledge, for character, for life, for growth, for personal fulfillment and aesthetic refinement.
1.2. The practitioner understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
1.3. He/She understands how children learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development. He/she also understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills.
1.4. He/She is eclectic in the sense of being able to synthesize rather than merely select what is available. The teacher should possess the ability to harmonically arrange what has been selected to be offered to the students.
1.5. The practitioner has to adopt technology as a means for becoming more effective in producing his/her own materials, accessing the Internet to gain information, ideas and core materials which will provide the basis for presentation to the students.
2. Educare and Educere
2.1 Education arises from two Latin terms that is educare and educere. Educare is ‘
to lead, draw or bring out; to unsheathe. The etymology emphasizes the militaristic aspect of the word; the word involved leading or bringing out the troops or unsheathing one’s sword- the notion of preparing for battle.
2.2 Questions pertaining to the effects that emerge when one thinks of education in
- What or where are we trying to lead students to?
- What are we trying to bring out of them?
- Can we truly draw out some pre-determined intellectual and personal qualities?
- Do we really think that children are all really alike, the same inside, and that if we locate the best method, then we can teach them all and they will learn the same thing?
2.3 Educere is to rear or bring up; allow to emerge as needed. If educere is the act of emerging ,then as teachers, we must begin to ask ourselves: ‘What will emerge? ; Can we control what emerges? and Should we try and control what learning emerges or what the student’s response to your teaching will be?’
2.4 Educere is very parental, almost feminine approach to education because it focuses on the nurturing and caring or what emerges when a student is engaged in the learning process. Educere emphasizes what has become understood in Western civilization as the feminine principle. Educere is indeed the act of nurturing the young, being creative, compassionate, giving. These are perceived as positive qualities. However, at the same time there is the potential for nurturing to turn into the act of controlling and oppressing, as in the mother who hovers over too much and does not allow enough freedom for growth.
2.5 Educere emphasizes the main principle of leading the young forth for some grand, great purpose; the act of instilling discipline, decisiveness, willingness to die for a cause. As a teacher, this type wants to marshal the students towards something beyond him or her self, which can be a wonderful moments of growth – intellectual and emotional. As a teacher one has to discover which principle he or she embodies and reflect on the positive and negatives of each.
3. Social Agent
3.1 The teaching/learning process is basically and essentially an interaction between humans. This interaction is carried within a social context. There are, generally, clearly defined teacher and student roles in these learning environments. The student tends to expect that the teacher will influence the learning environments. The student tends to expect that the teacher will influence the learning process to some significant extent.
3.2 The role of the teacher as a social agent is an important part of the learning process. This is very clear as different individuals interact with a teacher and other students to widely varying degrees.
3.3 The teacher’s role may be include the management of the social interaction that is conducted as part of the learning process. In the primary school, the teacher has a large role in guiding the behavior of the young pupils. Often the teacher is required to set boundaries as to where pupils may be at a particular time, whether they may talk or need to be quiet and listening and what activities they should be performing.
3.4 The teacher plays a number of other social roles in the teaching/learning process. The teacher is often a motivator for pupils, encouraging or reproving them as appropriate. The approval of the teacher can be a strong motivating factor, particularly for younger pupils. The teacher is also an arbiter of success; measuring and quantifying pupils’ efforts. The teacher may also pass on cultural and social values.
3.5 The role of the teacher as social agent is an important part of the learning process, it is also clear that different individuals interact with a teacher and other students to widely varying degrees. These individuals are self-motivated, do not require any third party encouragement to learn, and can seek out and assimilate the required body of knowledge.
4. Agent of Change
4.1 A change agent is an individual who influences clients’ innovation decisions in a direction deemed desirable by a change agency. As a change agent, one has to directly work with the teachers to adopt an innovation and encourage them to become opinion leaders in their own interpersonal network.
4.2 One has to teach the teachers to use the various pieces of technology and it goes further by assisting the teachers to learn to be constructivist teachers that can incorporate technology into their curriculum. It is this balance of bringing the technology into the curriculum through constructivist methods that is the innovation.
4.3 Agent of change develops his/her own professional learning which has encompassed strategies and interpersonal skills essential for managing change within the school. Through significant steps, one has to update and improve the culture of the school, to influence the staff to become more collaborative and reflective in their practice, to be flexible and more responsive to the positive outcomes of change and the development of their own professional learning, creating a learning community.
5.1 Teacher as a researcher involves the commitment to systematic questioning of one’s own teaching as a basis for development. The commitment and skills to study one’s own teaching and concern to questioning and testing theory in practice by using skills and readiness to allow other teachers to observe your work directly or through recordings and to discuss it with them on an honest basis.
5.2 Teacher plays a role in investigating pedagogical problems through inquiry. According to Dewey (1929) teacher’s investigations not only lead to knowledge about the school but also led to good teaching.
5.3 The benefits for teachers who attempt to become researchers in their own classrooms are:
- the development of clearer theory of language and learning
- increased knowledge and understanding of classroom practice, and increased teaching skills
- easier collaboration with pupils and the potential to develop a shared commitment to the desired improvements
6.1 A mentor is one who guides and supports trainees to ease them through difficult transitions; it is about smoothing the way, enabling, reassuring as well as directing, managing and instructing. He/She should be able to unblock the ways to change by building self confidence, self esteem and a readiness to act as well as to engage in ongoing constructive interpersonal relationships.
6.2 Individual engaged in a one-to-one teaching/learning relationship in which the mentor serves as a fundamentally important model with respect to values, beliefs, philosophies and attitudes as well as a source of more specific information.
6.3 Mentoring implies a close relationship within which the model may be a role model, consultant, advisor, and source of wisdom –even a sort of protector.
6.4 Mentoring is defined as a nurturing process in which a more skilled or more experienced person, serving as a role model, teachers, sponsors, encourages, counsels and befriends a less skilled or less experienced person for the purpose of promoting the latter’s professional and/or personal development. Mentoring functions are carried out within the context of an ongoing, caring relationship between the mentor and the protégé
6.5 Mentoring is used to describe a combination of coaching, counseling and assessment where a classroom teacher in a school is delegated responsibility for assisting newly qualified teachers in their professional development
6.6 A mentor tries to develop individual’s strengths to maximize their professional and personal potential and also that of students who come under their care within a classroom situation.
7.1 The teacher structure the learning environment. In this role, all decisions and actions required to maintain order in the classroom, such as laying down rules and procedures for learning activities.
7.2 Teacher must manage a classroom environment. Teachers are environmental engineers who organize the classroom space to fit their goals and to maximize learning. The way the physical space of the classroom is organized can either help or hinder learning.
7.3 It involves modeling a positive attitude towards the curriculum and towards school and learning in general. Teachers who reveal a caring attitude towards learning and the learning environment help to instill and reinforce similar attitudes in their students.
7.4 Teachers are required to manage and process great amounts of clerical work. There are papers to be read and graded, tests to be scored, marks to be entered, attendance records and files to be maintained, notes and letters to be written etc.