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Friday, July 14, 2006

Educating the Educators

To continue the theme of the previous post, I feel that the time constraints felt by teachers have led, in some cases, to a generation gap occurring. Technology can sometimes bypass the teachers and end up directly in the student's lap. This can reverse the traditional teaching balance by essentially cutting out the middle man, allowing students to directly access educational materials. The students are now the ones with the know-how AND the tools to further educate themselves. This is an understandably uncomfortable position for many adult teachers.

We need to find a way to reach and inspire teachers, in order to address this unbalanced equation before school time becomes a time of 'dumbing down' for students, who may able to learn independently and perhaps more effectively outside of school. The internet and other media such as National Geographic, Discovery and History channels are available to many students either through digital television or simple web searches. This independent and interactive learning is proving a vital tool for students to further their own knowledge on a plethora of available subjects.

But it is teachers who must be sparked into action in order to continue to make school a fun and innovative space in which to learn. Christopher Sessums has written an interesting article detailing this problem. He quotes Putnam and Borko (2000) stating “teacher educators have long struggled with how to create learning experiences powerful enough to transform teachers’ classroom practice”. For the full article by Sessums visit; http://elgg.net/csessums/weblog/124446.html

We could always get the students to teach the teachers! This might just be outlandish enough to work!


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