Discussion: Changing Roles In Teaching & Learning

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Reimagining Learning in the 21st Century: Changing Roles

by TeachThought Staff

Perhaps the most fundamental change in pursuit of “21st Century Learning” is the changing of roles. When that happens, so much else has to be revised in parallel.

From Digital Media and Learning, “Every kid has an interest. Sometimes they don’t know what it is. Sometimes they can’t articulate it. But every kid has an interest. In this day and age, the responsibility of libraries, museums, schools, after school programs, the type of institutions we work with, is to help kids identify those interests, and then progress through those interests, becoming more advanced…so it’s the same job as a tennis coach, the same job as a football coach. It’s the academic coach.”

The shift from didactic control to resource facilitator isn’t entirely new, but the concrete practices demonstrated in the video move the conversation (critically) from rhetoric to application, and make a compelling case for newly designed learning space and paradigms. Which is why we love Digital Media and Learning.

So let’s continue the discussion.

Philosophically, what is the role of the teacher?

Philosophically, what is the role of the student?

How should each respond in their practice, behavior, and action on a daily basis?

Does it make sense to describe these roles in philosophical and metaphorical terms (guide on the side, sage on stage, coach, etc.) if current learning models don’t readily allow for that kind of approach? If not, wow should the parts of education–classroom, schedule, curriculum, assessment, etc.–be designed to support these philosophical roles?

What, if changed first, would promote change everywhere else? That is, how might we be intentional and strategic in our reform sequence?

Discussion: Changing Roles In Teaching & Learning