Thursday, March 9, 2017

Learning to Train Teachers

Experiencing first hand how the teacher training demand has increased tremendously just in the last year, mainly as a consequence of the new national core curriculum taking effect in August, the decision to package our own training offering at EdVisto as an independent product was a natural next step. Instead of letting school children wait for their teachers to get trained enough in new learning methodologies to dare putting them to use, I felt urged to push for a way to help catalyse the process of introducing our kind of solutions to them. Our digital product includes pedagogical guidelines behind the scenes that are not easily visible for teachers, who don't actively use digital products. So instead of focusing only on convincing teachers and decision makers to try the product, we decided to offer a training around the concept that also includes the theoretical mind shift necessary to try new solutions in the first place.

An important key point I think is necessary to highlight on a theoretical level to teachers is the importance of the facilitator role. With emphasis on encouraging students to creating their own learning material in collaboration, teachers could try to step back and enjoy guiding and monitoring the learning process rather than enforcing it. I've experienced teachers having a hard time letting go of the control, the need to know everything before introducing something new to their students. At its worst, I'm afraid the exaggerated over-preparation before class, each class, every day, all the year, is killing even the most ambitious teachers' enthusiasm to be the role model their students need them to be.

I think we need to learn to trust students' own creative process and ability to learn without too much teacher input. In the end, it's only the students' curiosity and willingness to learn that will define where their lives' learning path will take them. There are no guarantees that even a straight-A student will get a good, normal job after studies, nor necessarily want one. Even he or she can become a broke entrepreneur with a vision to change the world in a way no academic education alone can predict.

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