Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just what is school for any way?

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?

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