Reflections on The Changing Role of The Teacher – Week 9

CCK08 – Part of this concept is explained in my previous post, “Paper” #2 for the CCK08 course. I’ve read some others’ papers (Lisa’s, Maru’s) and probably realized that I went in a different direction than maybe I’d wished. The benefits of hindsight, no? There was a lot of discussion about how teachers are going to give up their instructional power (and I’m sure a lot of teachers will point out that they are not as powerful as maybe this course suggests and that the curriculum designers and administrators of the higher education institutions are really the power mongers…) and transform into any number of possible titles.

Oh, how beautiful that concept would be. The reality of the situation is that this isn’t going to be an overnight process. Which is unfortunate, because by the time we get around to it, the moment will have passed and there will be yet another theory to replace connectivism et al. Schools are mostly still in a didactic, lecture first, ask questions later mode. In fact, that phrase makes me think of “Kill ‘Em All, Let God Sort ‘Em Out” t-shirts hanging in the head shops of the 80’s. Maybe a t-shirt with a very suit-and-tie lecturer holding up a pointer stick with the tip smoking, with “Lecture First, Ask Questions Later” on the front and “Fail ‘Em All, Let Admissions Sort ‘Em Out” on the back. 

I digress. I also went for  a job interview yesterday, which was interesting because the position was for a tech support-like, e-learning position at a university. The support would be for a strictly problem based learning program. During the interview I was always mentally aware that “oh yeah, I have to remember to think of a program, not a distinct course…”. So there are places that are doing this decentralization of learning, shifting the teaching from the teacher to the learner. Was really a great interview from my perspective, I learned a ton about how things can work.

The changing role of the teacher will always be tied to the power issue, who has it, what are they willing to give up to others’ and are they set on keeping it.