The Internet Age demands that we see teaching as well as learning as active, participatory and individualised. Teachers must be aware of the individual learning needs of all pupils if educational progress is to be maximised, and pupils must learn how to learn and how to manage their own learning. Spoon feeding and hot-housing will not do – if every student is to reach his or her full potential.
Classrooms need to be places of collaboration and sharing, individual inspiration and solid teamwork. Targets and goals must be understood by all and agreed by all. Teacher motivation is enhanced by pupils opting into a learning culture, and pupil motivation is enhanced by the opportunity to be involved in planning learning that has clear goals and is seen as worthwhile.
This article in the Guardian describes the experience of an associate professor in re-assessing her role as a teacher.
To manage or lead? Applying management theory in the classroom
A blend of leadership and management in teaching is having a positive impact on students
by Janine Utell
If I think of myself as a project manager, or a team leader, then the students in the course become contributors to getting the work done, as well as to the overall vision of what we’re trying to do. It’s something we share, but it means we’re all responsible for fulfilling that vision, with all its manifold moving parts. My role is to manage, but it’s also to lead. Management theory types seem to suggest that managing v leading is a binary, with one a more desirable trait than the other. In most areas of my work life, however, I’m finding a blend to be pretty productive.
Managing is keeping things moving smoothly: scheduling meetings, making sure everyone has the agenda, generating reports that accurately reflect in a timely fashion the work of the unit. These are tasks that help people feel like their ship has a rudder. Managers structure people’s work lives by maintaining systems and rules.
Leading demands a more dynamic approach. Leading requires a vision that can be clearly and meaningfully articulated – a vision that other people can get behind because it is inspiring, forward-thinking, and in some way resonates with what they themselves have defined as their purpose or passion.