Rethinking the role of teachers

Some of Rwandan teachers. File.

The entire theory of teaching and the role of teachers are widely discussed concepts all over the world.

Every week, many conferences on professionalism, development and teacher reform policies are held in various parts of the world.

However, it is strange that many countries are not sure about these changes or their impact on human and society development.

As we soldier on, revisiting teacher training policies is key, and teachers must be trained according to contemporary global demands. 

Developed economies changed their models of teaching and redefined the role of teachers in this post-industrial era.

When Russia launched the famous Sputnik in 1957 which changed the course of education in Russia, America rose up, revisited its education system and actually questioned the quality of their schools, in particular, the ability of schools to produce scientists and engineers to meet the challenges of the space age and the cold war.

In return, the USA’s Congress decided to massively fund the National Science Foundation, mathematics curriculum projects and summer teacher-training institutes. The primary aspirations of this curriculum project was to simply identify talent and improve learning and teaching and be able to nurture an American son or daughter with the ability to compete in all discipline and everywhere in the world.

In this regard, therefore, the demand to transformperformances and practices comes from countlesssources;among them could be the ability of states to adapt to the new trends of immerging students’ assessment, the extent to which schools participate in a reform programme.

All this can be said but without emphasis and proper teaching orientation and training, the talk of ‘education revolution’ will sound like “a good poet without an audience”.

Just like they do when it comes to modifying and updating their teaching content, in the same way, they should receive training and support from the highest decision makers.

It is evident that teachers are faced with several challenges, especially when it comes to understanding the new theories of learning, that is,the latest approach to teaching and the new  policies, as well as the varying social context thataffects students and communities.

Not all surrender to defeat easily; some teachers have defied the odds and tried to make sense of the inconsistencies and the new ideas of their daily instructions. Many succeed and are able to create quality learning experiences for their students while others raise their arms in frustration.

Following the views of professionalism, many remain‘stuck’. They enter a classroom with textbooks and make students prepare for exams and tests and this goes on every year.

Very little has been done, especially regarding professionalism, or changing the method of instruction concerning learning. That is why teachers should be skilled in technology,or other approaches, for the bestresults.

Teachers should be able to design a good learning environment that helps students gain the necessary skills to take on the job market.

Teachers must act as mentors, and are responsible for nurturing responsible citizens andinspiring students to become life-long learners.


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