Do you have any idea what the teacher of the future will look like? Do you know how technology may surpass the teacher? Can you distinguish between the roles of coach, tutor and mentor? Do you know of any historical teacher role models who can inspire a redefinition of the profession? Finally, can you tell if personal characteristics that may seem trivial are actually assets to being a good teacher? Test your knowledge by answering the following five questions.
1. True or false? In her book Les métiers du futur (2019), Isabelle Rouhan lists the professional occupations that are most likely to shape the workplace in the next 10 to 20 years. According to her, teachers are set to be replaced by robots with artificial intelligence.
Rouhan has classified the jobs of the future into three categories:
- Evolving environments and professions: they already exist but will be transformed by automation.
- Environments in revolution: under the influence of automation, these universes should undergo radical changes.
- Professions in radical innovation: professions that do not currently exist.
The teaching profession is classified in the first group, i.e., those that will be called upon to transform themselves due to automation. But, according to Rouhan, we are not talking about radical changes. More concretely, today’s teacher would become the teacher of the future, which would be divided into three models: professionals who would create online courses, others who would put them online on platforms and others who would specialize in mentoring learners.
For more information: 3 types of future jobs
2. Quebec writer and essayist Ollivier Dyens takes a close look at the future of education in the wake of the technological and digital revolution. Why does he think that technology will make “better teachers”? Several answers may be correct.
A) Because they will have access to more information.
B) Because they will be more “patient.”
C) Because they will be available at all times.
D) Because they will be able to adapt their teachings to the learner.
E) Because they will be better coaches, mentors and advisors.
A, B, C and D
According to Dyens, we have to accept that technologies will be better teachers than we are – in the sense that they will have access to more information, be more “patient,” available at all times, and adapt what they teach to the learner. In return, he says, we can become better “coaches,” better mentors, better advisors than the machines: “Our added value is the human touch.” And integrating technology into the school system doesn’t necessarily work against valuing human contact; on the contrary: “Does a class of 700 students taking a biology course, for example, and not saying a word, bring out the added value of human contact?” asks Dyens. By letting technology do its part in transmitting knowledge, professors could focus on the most human dimension of teaching.
For more information: 4 challenges for education in the digital revolution era
3. The identity and role of the teacher have been described in several ways over the years, including three striking archetypes described by Philippe Meirieu in a UNESCO report. For each description, find the model of the teacher that corresponds to it.
- Model of the preacher
- Model of the teacher-librarian
- Model of the master companion
A) Rather than imparting knowledge, this teacher provides, upon request, guidance on how to find it and the most valuable resources for doing so. With this teacher, the learner is free to take the time to think, to explore.
B) In the West, it is the university professors who embody this model. They are highly recognized and legitimized for their knowledge, which bears the seal of “truth” and transmits it through lectures to an audience that must be all ears.
C) This teacher serves as a guide and model so that the learner acquires, through imitation and emulation, autonomy and skills in executing a task that poses particular challenges.
1-Model of the preacher: B;
2-Model of the teacher-librarian: A;
3-Model of the master companion: C
Each of these models has its strengths and weaknesses. However, since these models have successfully trained generations of learners, it is essential to remember that they are still a valid reference point when attempting to redefine the profession. And even though the arrival of digital technology in the sphere of education promises to change education profoundly — like the rest of our society — learners remain human beings… and history has also shown us that human nature does not change so quickly.
For more information: 3 Historical Models of the Teacher… and Lessons to Learn
4. Coaches, tutors and mentors are often confused with each other. While their work is similar in some ways, they have their own definitions. Find the correct associations.
A) They are distinguished by their ability to help individuals become aware of the resources they possess in order to learn how to mobilize them with the purpose of improving or succeeding in achieving a goal.
B) They offer support based on learning so that the individuals develop knowledge or know-how that will eventually be evaluated. This relationship is also characterized by the desire to help each other progress.
C) Their role is to transfer their accumulated knowledge and to advise without evaluating the progress made.
5. Which of the following can be considered an asset of a good teacher.
A) Having the habit of saying “hello” and “thank you” daily.
B) Knowing how to recognize and congratulate others on good deeds.
C) Enjoying talking to someone about a subject they master better than themselves.
D) Having a sense of humour.
E) Being patient in a queue or traffic.
A, B, C, D, E
Some attitudes that may seem trite or ordinary are far from it. These are some of the things that make a good teacher!
For more information: 10 Surprising Assets of a Good Teacher