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Creating a 21st Century Teacher

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Jason Townsend-Rogers

on 6 July 2015

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Transcript of Creating a 21st Century Teacher

What makes an effective educator?
Creating a 21st century educator requires knowledge of what makes a quality instructor.
According to Carrie Lam on Edutopia.com, effective teachers love teaching, enjoy being organized and positive, and take pride in being open minded and giving 100 percent.
Richard I. Arends in Learning to Teach states that the best teachers have five core traits. Two of these traits include "(1) possessing personal qualities that let them develop authentic and caring relationships, and (2) an ability to grasp and utilize a gamut of effective teaching practices that will engage students, help them learn basic skills, develop higher-level thinking, and produce self-regulated learners."
Instructor-Centered Teaching Model
While many teaching models exist in the educational landscape, distinguishing between them comes down to a singular question: “who is taking an active role in the learning process?”
Instructor-centered models place the teacher at the forefront of learning, making them the “bosses” of the classroom.
According to Natasha Quinonez on Udemy, students learning through these models “are simply there to learn through lectures and direct instruction, and the goal is simply pass tests and assessments.”
Describing Instructor-Centered Teaching Models
Lectures, presentations, direct teaching, and concept-based lessons all comprise the ‘teacher-centered’ approach.
Quinonez also points out that teachers in this approach can fit into three additional categories:

"Formal Authority – these teachers are the main voices of authority and leadership."

"Experts – these teachers know everything in the classroom, and students are empty vessels expected to receive said knowledge."

"Personal – teachers lead by example, which means that they show students information as well as how to understand it."
The Student-Centered Approach
Student-, or learner-centered, models of teaching place more of an emphasis on students receiving knowledge rather than the teacher disseminating it to them.
Quinonez points out in her article that there is an additional focus on informal assessments (portfolios, group work, class participation, etc.) alongside the usual emphasis on formal assessments.
Arends details in Learning to Teach that some categories in the student-centered model include "cooperative and problem-based learning, as well as classroom discussions."
Describing Student-Centered Teaching Models
Student-centered methods of teaching can be divided into inquiry- and cooperative-based learning.
According to Quinonez’s article, inquiry-based learning lets students play more of an active role in their own learning.
Here, teachers can either be:

"Facilitators – joining the student in the learning process."

"Role models – learning with students and encouraging them to experiment."

"Delegators – utilizing a hands-off approach that lets students learn on their own."

Describing Student-Centered Teaching Models (cont.)
An additional student-centered teaching model is the cooperative learning method.
As Quinonez’s article points out, this method also allows teachers to work as either facilitators or delegators; however, the focus shifts to group projects and group activities.

Shifting to Student-Based Learning
In education, it used to be the case that teachers would lecture for hours on specific topics, only occasionally take student responses, and occasionally assign tests, quizzes, and projects for grades.
Those days are no more; as our society and its individuals have become more diverse, there is an increasing call for pedagogical methods reflecting these changes.

Shifting to Student-Based Learning (cont.)
In an article for TopUniversities.com, Erin Nordal and Elizabeth Gehrke point out that students have been calling for pedagogical changes “since protests broke out in Europe in 1968.”
The aim at that time, the article mentions was to “transform universities to reflect social diversity and respond to the needs of an increasingly heterogeneous student population. “
For this to happen, the article points out, it was essential to “overcome a lack of democratic governance, change conservative values, and alter capitalist consumer culture within the university system.”
These actions led to what would be the building blocks of student-centered teaching today. Back then, the article described it as a means to “empower disadvantaged students with knowledge by understanding their experiences and social contexts.”

Jason Townsend-Rogers
Creating a 21st Century Teacher
Student-Centered Learning & Technology
The rapid rise in technology has allowed for more students to take an active role in the learning process.
Mike Britland points out in an article for the Guardian that technology “allows students to become more independent in the classroom.”
He adds that technology has forced teachers to “undergo a Kafkaesque metamorphosis from Mr. Chips to Mr. Jobs, where wooden, flip-lid desks have been replaced by iPads.”
What is the future of technology in learning?
Now that we are aware of some of technology’s main benefits for students, which include increased engagement, additional access to information, and greater responsibility, the question remains of how technology will impact teaching in the future.
Matt Britland, in describing the future of technology, argues that tech devices are not the future. Rather, he contends, the future is in “access, anywhere learning, and collaboration.”
He continues by pointing out that “teaching is going social,” pointing out that there will be room for both traditional schools and online courses.
What is the future of technology in learning? (cont.)
Michael Poh, in writing for Hongkiat, slightly contrasts from Britland’s point about the role of technology in education.
While he agrees that cloud computing and online learning will be new additions to the technological classroom, he also mentions devices that can become a part of virtual classrooms.
One such device is the 3D printer, which could help students by “letting them “print out 3D models of objects for various purposes, such as show and tell.”
Preparing Teachers for Technology in the Classroom
The increasing role that technology plays in education requires teachers to not only integrate it into their lessons, but also use it to enhance their assessments and professional practices.
Teachers must also be aware of the various social, ethical, legal, and human-based issues surrounding technology use in the classroom.
Organizations like the International Society for Technology in Education have specific sets of standards that teachers are expected to uphold to ensure technological proficiency.

Being a 21st century educator requires teachers to show proficiency in both pedagogical skill and technological mastery.
Technology’s greater integration into our society and daily lives means that teachers must find a way to work with it, rather than against it, if they want to keep their students engaged and educated.
In closing, educators who fail to ride the wave of technology will find themselves cast aside.

Lam, C. (2014, June 5). 11 Habits of an Effective Teacher. Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/11-habits-effective-teacher
Arends, R. (1988). Learning to teach (10th ed., p. 20). New York: Random House.
Quinonez, N. (2014, February 25). Different Teaching Styles and How They Affect Your Students. Retrieved July 5, 2015, from https://blog.udemy.com/teaching-styles/
Nordal, E., & Gehrke, E. (2014, April 30). Student-Centered Learning: What is it and What Next? Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://www.topuniversities.com/blog/student-centered-learning-what-it-what-next
Britland, M. (2013, June 18). How has technology transformed the role of a teacher? Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/18/technology-transform-teaching-students-schools
Wainwright, A. (n.d.). 10 Reasons Today's Students NEED Technology in the Classroom. Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://www.securedgenetworks.com/blog/10-Reasons-Today-s-Students-NEED-Technology-in-the-Classroom
Britland, M. (2013, June 19). What is the future of technology in education? Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/19/technology-future-education-cloud-social-learning
Poh, M. (n.d.). 8 Technologies That Will Shape Future Classrooms. Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/future-classroom-technologies/
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