Shifting roles from ‘Teachers’ to ‘Facilitators’
In Indian history, teachers have given the utmost respect in the society. The role of the teacher is to impart valuable knowledge to their students. Looking at it from the pure economics point of view, the supply of teachers with valuable knowledge was less and the demand from the students very high, hence, they were associated with high value in the market. Yet in modern world, when students carry all the information that human civilisation have gained in their pockets, the question arises what is now the role of the teachers when there is no information which out of the reach of students.
During my under graduation, I repeatedly heard my Director say that we are not here to be your teacher but to be your facilitator. Though, the thought at first made no distinction in my mind but dwelling on it later, I realised how important is the shift from being a ‘teacher’ to a ‘facilitator’ given the current scenario. Many teachers and colleges around the world are already accepting this change whole heartedly. The meaning of being a facilitator is to “builds constructionist classes where there are mutual positive and active responses from the instructor and the learners ,and even among the learners themselves within the one classroom.” In simple word, the teacher are no longer owners of the knowledge but the pathway through which knowledge can get it with their help or on their own.
The demand from the students has changed, they must be more holistically developed as compared to the last generation. Hence, the classrooms are changing rapidly too. The classes are now more than blackboard and notes, more than doubts and answers. No one want a student who can recite the whole constitution but cannot approach an ethical dilemma from different directions. It comes upon the facilitators to build an overall personality of the student rather fact-focussed knowledge. To achieve this, facilitators are initiating discussions, reflecting opinions, encouraging disagreement with the traditional methods to make way for innovation. The barrier to question the system is diminishing both at individual and larger perspective. And finally, the main task generating curiosity in students so that they be can self sufficient in learning.
From the perspective of the students, it is assumed that the marks is the most important elements. Though it might be right, the curiosity of learning and teaching style also play a very important role in the attention span. The students perform better in the classes in which they like the teacher and feel free to ask them about that random thought which keeps bugging in the back of their mind. This makes it important for the facilitators to create an image of being approachable and delivering the right mix of warmness and discipline.
Facilitators are the key to change the world but they cannot to it without the help of the institution and government. Latest training, proper infrastructure, independence, monetary support and better salaries give the means and incentive that is absolutely necessary for the facilitators to put out that extra effort and innovation required to be successful at their job.
Coming back to the point what is the role of teachers. Their role is to shift from the role of being a teacher to being a facilitator. In the world, where every information, every course and every lesson is available online, this is the only way to keep the upper edge. The ability to motivate, being more than fact giver by giving them perspective and aiding them to create their unique own individuality. We as Indian society always respected our teachers, let us make sure it keeps that way.
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