On ITFORUM, someone asked: “Given the recent discussion about essential skills for the 21st century, I’m interested in what skills teachers need to be effective in the 21st century.” My response:
Oh, what a topic! They need to be facilitators, not orators nor wardens. They need to be learning problem designers, process facilitators, reflection guiders, content searchers. They need to design complex problems that spiral curriculum around the task, they need to model solving the problems, they need to provide opportunities and resources to work on those problems, they need to guide discussion post-hoc to tease out remaining issues and dynamically adapt to the individual outcomes, they need to maintain motivation and interest. They’re cheerleaders, counselors, guides, explorers, and mentors.
And they need to be paid commensurate with the complex skills required.
Of course, we’re not preparing teachers well for this sort of work, and our administrative and political bodies around teaching don’t get this at all. Sigh.