In the article, “The Changing Role of the Teacher in the 21st Century,” Dr. Brad Johnson and Tammy Maxson McElroy, compare the method of school and teacher reform to the likeness of creating a new and improved 8-track tape player. The point is not that the education system is antiquated but that new initiatives are still fighting to perfect the antiquated classroom instead looking to 21st Century solutions.
As technology advances, our culture is constantly adapting to new ways of doing business, being entertained, and searching for knowledge. In the old classroom, the teacher opened the gateway to knowledge, but now we have instant access to information and we don’t even need to leave the house. These days, students are exposed to more information by the age of five than their grandparents were by the age of twenty. But the authors of the article ask: “if that information is never given relevance to the real world or made applicable to other learning, then how effective is the information?”
Research shows students are unprepared for college and the real world, which has, in turn, exposed the disconnect between learning in the classroom and the world outside the classroom. A reason may be that technology has put teachers at a disadvantage. With all the multi media students are exposed to, it’s harder to keep their attention. However, this should be a challenge for the teacher of the 21st Century to focus on “personalization and application of relevant knowledge rather than simply filling them with random facts.”
Article: The Changing Role of the Teacher in the 21st Century
The irony of this quote is not the fact that our educational system is antiquated, but that most new initiatives and programs are still focused on perfecting the antiquated school of 1965 rather than transforming formal education to be relevant in the world of today.
Read the full article at: teachers.net