Let’s use one of our most valuable assets to revamp education.
As country after country scrambles to reform education, there’s one question that keeps popping into mind. Why are ed-tech start-ups getting all the cash? Sure they’re innovative and eye-catching, but are they really impacting education as much as we think?
Maybe there’s a better solution.
Instead of spending millions and millions on new apps, why don’t we put a bit more investment into an asset we’ve already got- TEACHERS.
Teachers are the low-cost, high impact way to transform education.
It’s just a matter of ensuring that they are working an environment that enables them to create needed changes. Let’s look at the evidence.
1. Teachers know the system the best. It’s their job to know. They understand the implications that assessments, policy, and curricula are going to have on their students. Why not give them more of a voice in these areas?
2. Teachers reach a lot of students. They can ask students what they want from their learning and can adapt learning to fit a local context. Let’s take your average high school teacher. This teacher will probably have five classes per year with about twenty students per class. In one year alone, this teacher will reach 100 students. Imagine the impact if that teacher is amazing.
3. This is a low-cost solution. It’s just a matter of using what we already have efficiently and effectively. We have ample room within the structure of our education systems to eliminate waste and provide room for teacher innovation.
4. Teachers care. Teachers are devoted to their students and want them to be successful once they’ve graduated. If we allow teachers to focus on the outcomes we want- like employability, changemaker values, etcetera- they can make it happen.
Teaching is a tough job, but a rewarding one. As the role of the teacher transforms to fulfill modern day demands, we should ensure that we are doing all that we can to provide them with tools and resources they’ll need to adapt teaching and learning.
This wouldn’t be hard to do.
Let’s start working with teachers, partnering with them, and supporting them. Let’s provide teachers with modern and relevant professional development programs- that they have the power to choose. Let’s create more incubators for teachers who have great ideas- so that they finally get materialized.
Why not create a support system for teachers so that they have better access to mentors and coaches? While we’re at it, why not revamp teacher-training programs so that they are teacher-centered and inspire dynamic new pedagogies?
Technology in education is important. It’s an invaluable tool. But it’s just a tool.
Let’s put our resources in an asset that’s going to truly revolutionize education on a daily basis- TEACHERS.