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Teacher Identity Presentation
Dan Kimon 3 August 2013
Transcript of Teacher Identity Presentation
A Composite Sketch
Teacher as a civic agent:
One of the roles a teacher could play is that of a civic agent, one who promotes civic-mindedness and participation.
Much research has been conducted over the significance of teaching civics. The results had been mixed, and so, at certain points in the history of US schools, depending on the findings, schools would either promote such lessons or remove them from the curriculum.
In the 1990's, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), conducted a study that included 28 countries.
Teacher as a moral agent:
Teachers can contribute to the moral development of students.
"With the possible exception of religious ministry, teaching is arguably unique among other professions, trades or services in being commonly held to entail some responsibility for the moral formation or development of the recipients of teaching."
However, this aspect of a teacher's identity is complex. Though it is widely accepted that teachers are a great moral influence to their students, it is a highly complex topic.
Being aware of the role of a moral agent can help a teacher develop in their understanding of their moral responsibilities.
A teacher is multifaceted, a person comprised of many characteristics and roles.
Teachers are influential. They can influence their students in so many ways by facilitating student-led learning. As a facilitator, teachers can guide their students.
Teachers are agents of civic-mindedness and morality. By these agencies, and through their students, teachers are able to affect change in the world outside the classroom.
Teacher's identity is complex. Each characteristic is not always concrete and definitive. There are many different ideologies and teaching methods.
Because the teacher's identity is so complex, and because they have so much influence, they have a responsibility to think holistically, to be well-balanced, open-minded, respectful, and imaginative.
The makeup of a teacher is an amalgamation of their different roles coming together to form the teacher's identity.
Teacher as a Facilitator
Teacher as a Civic Agent
Teacher as a Moral Agent
Teacher as a facilitator:
A teacher facilitates learning by guiding the students in their cooperative learning.
Different from traditional lecture style, which was done from in front of the class.
Research has shown that the teacher as a facilitator is more effective than the teacher as a lecturer.
For this study, three aspects of teacher identity were considered:
Study in Nigeria:
Research confirms that when teachers facilitate cooperative learning, students' scores improve.
Subjects consisted of 126 students from two schools, from the age of 13-18.
Control group was taught traditionally, while the experimental group was taught through cooperative learning.
Result was that teaching style had a significant effect on learning. Experimental group scores were higher than the control group.
(Salako, Eze, & Adu, 2013)
The teacher as a facilitator is an important and effective aspect of the teacher's identity:
The teacher can help facilitate social-awareness and civic-mindedness, as they did in Nigeria through their social studies curriculum. The afore mentioned research was conducted in order to find a way to improve Nigeria's social studies education. In this way, teachers could be seen as agents of social change and civic growth as well.
"Multicultural education concepts in Social Studies take into account the historical, cultural, social and economic characteristics of the nation because Nigerians are people with varied languages and ethnic identities. These include a variety of issues such as equity and justice, religion, ethnicity, cooperation and conflict, peace, racism, culture and identity, civic rights and responsibility, leadership, followership, citizenship to mention just a few (NERDC and UBEC, 2007). Such concepts could foster critical thinking in learners and development in any society (Bennet, 2007; Reed and Black 2006)."
(Salako et al., 2013)
The teacher as a facilitator is an important and effective aspect of the teacher's identity: (cont.)
As a facilitator, a teacher can effect sociocultural change.
Inclusion of students with disabilities into a general classroom has been shown to be more effective when "deliberate facilitation of interaction between the two groups by the teacher are seen."
(David & Kuyini, 2012)
This was found to be true in a study in India, where social discrimination against disabilities are a cultural and religious phenomena. Facilitating, as opposed to lecturing, proved to be more effective.
"Classroom practices, which facilitate contact between the two groups of students given the equal status condition in an interdependent manner (satisfying Allport’s common goals and intergroup cooperation conditions) are most conducive for social inclusion and depend on the teacher as a facilitator."
(David & Kuyini, 2012)
Students with low academic aspirations have lower civic knowledge and are more unwilling to participate.
Civic knowledge and engagement increase in a "respectful" classroom environment that promotes discussion and participation.
Teachers can make an impact by being aware of these issues and addressing them.
Impact of the civic agent:
The teacher, or civic agent, is in a unique position to affect change in the world through their students.
If the student engages the lesson in the classroom, then they engage the world outside the classroom through civic participation.
By being a facilitator, the teacher can foster the right kind of environment for civic growth. That environment, according to the study, is one where students engage and participate in discussion and cooperative learning, developing a sense of community participation.
The challenge for the civic agent:
Part of the teacher's identity as a civic agent is their respective political identity. Also, their political context/environment must be considered.
Nicole Mirra and Ernest Morrell wrote about the challenging political context in which teachers find themselves. According to them, the teacher is caught up in a neo-liberal democracy, in which free market capitalist ideology has created a system of increase for Whites and a system of decrease for minorities.
This article serves to remind the teacher that they themselves are political beings, in their own political environment. The system that challenges their goals of educating urban minorities in this case, can be overcome by being politically conscientious themselves and by being a civic agent to the next generation.
Complex nature of a moral agent:
There are many competing thoughts on morality and the nature of educators as moral agents.
Where moral authority comes from
Absolute or flexible
Objective or subjective
Each has its own implications for the teacher as a moral agent, for their beliefs and how they implement those beliefs.
Because of the many ideological differences about morality, it is difficult to come to a consensus.
How morality is imparted to students is highly dependent on the teacher and their beliefs about morality.
How to be an effective moral agent:
According to Pamela Joseph, developing a "moral imagination" is necessary to be an effective moral agent.
Moral imagination is exploring possibilities, considering another's perspective, and experiencing empathy.
She suggests that taking a more holistic approach to understanding morality and the teacher's responsibility as a moral agent, and thinking critically about their methods, will help them develop into good "moral educators."
The holistic approach has its advantage in embracing the complexity of morality. Where Carr believed a consensus on morality and moral education was a challenge unlikely to be overcome, Joseph embraced its complexity and used her imagination.
Learn to be a facilitator. It is not enough for me to lecture at the students. I want to help them develop by facilitating their own learning.
Further nurture my own growth as a socially and politically conscious individual. I cannot be a civic agent if I am not myself, conscientious of my civic responsibility or aware of my my political context.
Become more morally imaginative. Specifically, I want to be able to empathize with my students, to be sensitive to them, and to keep their perspective in mind. This will help me better understand them, which in turn will help me facilitate their development more effectively.
(Mirra & Morrell, 2011)