Future educators

What will educators do in the future? How will they work with students in the coming years? Will the role of the classroom teacher change? Certainly, people's perceptions of education seem to be changing. Some experts are predicting that the time of the traditional classroom is coming to an end. They suggest that the future of education will see learning located in any place, with technology mediating all forms of communication. Others argue that schools will always be needed, especially to maintain the social context of education. Many are undecided and hope that life will continue much as it has in the past. Change is often unwelcome, and disruption is feared by many teachers.

It is likely that teacher roles will need to change because the context of learning is changing. Exactly what those new roles might be is still unclear. Much change is happening. However, there are elements of education that remain constant. Educators discover time and again that the most powerful kinds of learning occur when students are interested in the subject, and the teacher is passionate about it. Everything else appears to be secondary, whether it is the aims and outcomes, methods of assessment, the resources or even the location of the learning. Whatever the future brings, educators will remain important in the learning process, but their roles may change significantly to accommodate new modes of learning and new educational environments. The graphic on this page is very useful as a depiction of the progression of learning over the last few years, and the implicit technology influences. It shows that the community will have a significant role to play in the future of education, but that relationship will likely change. Your comments on these ideas, as ever, are most welcome.

Image source Shuichiro
Graphic source John Moravec

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Future educators by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


poida smith said…
Learning is elevated when students have a measure of control and OWNERSHIP over THEIR learning. Partnership teaching orientation model vs. 19th/20th Century subservient orientation model.
The pressure for change in education continues to grow and teaching needs to be relevant to the new context for learning. Teachers must confront their fears (which are largely unfounded in my own experience).
John Moravec said…
You should read and sign Manifesto 15 on evolving education: http://manifesto15.org
Steve Wheeler said…
Totally agree with you. Ownership is important for learning to progress.
Steve Wheeler said…
Thanks Teresa, this is an important issue to address for change management.
Ed Jones said…
Do you know anyone who will actually support this future?

By that I mean, not just paying people to write about this grand future...but actually pay for the costs of moving from here to there.
Steve Wheeler said…
Hi Ed. In my current experience travelling around schools and meeting educators across the globe, many support this future. As for who will pay for it, there seems to be no need to do so in many cases, because it is a naturally evolving process. Students will bring their own devices and use them outside of school - the strategy will be to include these as often as possible in the more formal education processes. We can't stop it happening, and neither should we try.
Speaking of which! http://teresa-nextsteps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/it-et-and-ut-rethinking-control-of.html

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