Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

A teacher (in Galactive) is the manager of knowledge creation   Prophets have always understood that foretelling needs to be made in a vague style.  Future prediction is a very difficult business, especially when you forecast something specific. However, if you predict for an undetermined period of time nobody can catch your mistake. To say that the teaching profession won’t last, doesn’t take courage. On the contrary, in saying that the teaching profession would never disappear (“Never say never”)  you take a chance. I will take this chance because I believe that this profession is an integral part of every human society.

Lately,  we hear more and more about the end of the teaching profession and this forecast is based mostly on these arguments:

  1. It isn’t the first extinct profession. It happens. It will happen again.
  2. World-wide diminution of the teacher’s role. Maybe this diminution is only the first step to extinction.
  3. New technology in education could bring alternatives.

The first. Some professions died while others have a long history and don’t give signs of future extinction. The second group consists from those that are there because of human nature (thieves for example) or those which satisfy the human necessary needs (fortune teller for example). Teachers have both components. People like to teach (at least some of them). Teachers help to transfer and process knowledge which satisfies the human society’s needs.

The second is simple. A bad attitude toward a profession says nothing about its longevity. Low opinion of politicians in society doesn’t say that this profession will have a problem of existence in the future.

The third one is the most difficult to argue. New technologies have a big share in education and certainly will have more in the future. Information flow already runs through the other pipes. A teacher isn’t the only and isn’t the best source of information.

Teaching is a dying profession in medieval because new printing technologies

Having access to information isn’t everything. Surfing the WEB without direction is a mostly unproductive occupation. We need direction in the informational chaos. Knowledge has a structure and this structure defines learning sequence. You can’t see the whole building when you are sanding at the entrance. A teacher is an experienced guide who gives you direction. Help in learning is difficult because different people create knowledge in different ways. People think differently therefore a teacher needs to adjust the learning way to a specific student. Another aspect is social interaction. People will need to communicate with each other personally. Children learn everywhere by trying, but sometimes they need correction, and the teacher’s directions can have value.

Computers are becoming more intelligent. Educational programs are becoming more attractive and effective. It is possible that some day computers will think like humans (for me, it means that the computer will become a man). This Robo-man could replace human teachers. Whether the teacher would be made of cells or of another material, the profession would remain.

Analyzing why I disagreed with my opponents during conversations, I realized that ,seldom, it was different interests; more often it was different meanings of words. Imagine dialog between two people. One speaks and understands only English and another  German. What kind of decision would they make? For good communication  we need the same words and accuracy in using those words. We don’t need to look for the right definition of words, but for mutual definitions which would help us to communicate.

When we learn foreign  languages we try to understand the meaning of the words with the help of the dictionary:

Definition of KNOWLEDGE from Merriam-Webster Dictionary (without obsolete and archaic)

1 a (1) : the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2) :acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique (1) : the fact or condition of being aware of something (2): the range of one’s information or understanding <answered to the best of my knowledge>c : the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning : cognition d : the fact or condition of having information or of being learned <a person of unusual knowledge>

2 a : the sum of what is known : the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by human kind b archaic : a branch of learning

We also understand a word’s meaning with the help of authority (teacher) : Plato defines knowledge as “justified true belief.” And Bertrand Russell as “belief which is in agreement with the facts”.

Lastly, the best way to understand the meaning of a word is through experience, a child’s way to learn language. That is why a good dictionary applies this technique and puts an example of the word’s usage.

  Our experience  could change because reality changes. We need new words to describe new  experiences. Sometimes decisions come with widening or changing words meaning. Words change. After this change happens dictionaries will be corrected, authority will give us new definitions and our experience will be relevant. However during the process we experience some confusion for which only mutual relevant experience could help.

A fear of making a mistake is death for learning to think independently. In my opinion, teacher, facilitator must create atmosphere of freedom. It needs to be explained for students that making mistakes is the way we learn. Everybody makes mistakes. The teacher has to give an example and be able to admit when he doesn’t know something or makes mistake. Moreover, I sometimes make an intentional mistake to explain why my students do not need to accept everything as given.

After I watched  the movie I wrote above and tried to illustrate my thought. I do not know why my pictures said something different.

  A fear of making a mistake is death for learning to think independently.
  In my opinion, teachers and facilitators must create an atmosphere of freedom.
It needs to be explained to students that:

  1. making mistakes is the way we learn.
  2.  everybody makes mistakes.


  The teacher has to give an example and has to be able to admit when he doesn’t know something or makes a mistake.
I sometimes make an intentional mistake to explain why my students do not need to accept everything as given.  

Do you try to construct CMAP diagram that shows the sources from which we learn thru life? While constructing the diagram, I saw the number of my information sources continuously expended, and  I needed to include the full  world around me. From this I concluded that there is no information shortage, but there is a problem of keeping all this knowledge inside.

in and out

If the information is separated into single disconnected units, it becomes hard to access and easily forgotten. In an imaginary library where the books, the pages and even the words themselves are laid in a great messy pile, it is quite impossible to find anything useful. However, if we put the words and the pages in order, connect them and, finally ,catalog the books by similar themes, this imaginary library would become much more approachable and valuable. It is much simpler to locate and remember separate parts of our knowledge when the information is interconnected as a giant web in our brain. Here comes to mind the internet, the World Wide Web, a constantly shifting database were all information is linked to each other . In both cases, the more information you have the larger the amount of links and connections thru which you can get to your desired destination.brathers of mind