What is school for in the 21st century and what do we ask of its teachers? On one hand, we have aspects of our society craving higher standards, with a deep need to be more efficient about collecting data that proves growth. This side tends to seek technocratic solutions to its questions and technology is a means towards an end. Yet, at the same time school curriculum is asking teachers to make a fundamental shift in their practice from a teacher centred delivery of content to a more generative, collaborative exploration into content. This shift requires a major adjustment of the traditional power relationship between teacher and student. This side tends to seek democratic solutions to its questions; technology can be used to connect us. As a classroom teacher, I find myself uncomfortably squeezed between the two. Do teachers find themselves trapped in a paradoxical profession? Do we as a society have a clear request of its teachers or has teaching in the 21st century become so complex we are confused?
If explanations contain the seeds for solutions, can I as a researcher explain for the world the some of the complexities of the 21st century classroom, as teachers try to be responsive to all learners?