TEACHERS AS
TREND-SETTERS

ClassPoint Consulting
Author: Dr Ho Boon Tiong
Publication Date: 18 June 2007
Source: ClassPoint Consulting -

The trumpet call had been sounded. "We need a first-world mentality Ė a combination of disciplined creativity and daring enterprise. We can no longer remain efficient copiers, but we need to be daring "edupreneurs" (Keynote Address by the Minister for Education at the Work Plan Seminar on Education in Schools, "Towards Ability-Driven Education", 5 September 1998, Ministry of Education, Singapore).

The Minister for Education also observed that "many teachers in schools all over Singapore are excising their creative abilities to design quality lessons, many capitalizing on information technology (IT), to make difficult concepts not only easy to understand, but exciting for students as well. The difference between a high quality lesson and a relief teacher reading the textbook line by line through with the class is the application of the teacherís expertise to produce high value-adding lessons. Just as we have knowledge-based economies and knowledge-based societies, we can also have knowledge-based classrooms and knowledge-based schools" (ibid.).

Table 1 below best summarizes the salient features of these two groups of teachers. It is worthwhile to note that these are the two extremes of the continuum along which teachers could position themselves.

Table 1: Distinctive of the "Consumer" Teachers vs "Trend-setter" Teachers
  "Consumer" Teachers "Trend-setter" Teachers
Heart
(Will)
Lack passion
Lack drive
Resist change
Adopt an attitude of life-long learning
Have an enterprising spirit
Embrace change
Head
(Mind)
Lack awareness and understanding of the changing environment

Have a parochial outlook
Are aware and have in-depth understanding of the changing environment

Have a global mindset
Hand
(Actions)
Practice and behaviour largely remain unchanged Seek continuous improvement

Knowledge application is the new competitive edge. Teachers must realize that they are equipping the students today for them to step into the working world tomorrow. Teachers in the 21st Century classrooms must create the workforce of the 21st Century. Teachers must look at trends, understand them and give themselves space to respond to these changes and challenges.


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REFERENCES

Keynote Address by the Minister for Education at the Work Plan Seminar on Education in Schools, "Towards Ability-Driven Education", 5 September 1998, Ministry of Education, Singapore.


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