Yes, we have to model what we think is best for society and once you are a teacher then you are judged in the public eye. If you transgress what your community deems appropriate, for best manners and deportment, then you can expect to feel their wrath. We teach these same protocols to 21st Century learners and expect them to also comply, thus teachers are a product of their own making. What happens then when our culture evolves and the societal norms change? Do we continue with ‘business as usual’ giving instruction in the same time honored way? Is that what is expected from us?
We have to model what we think is best for society. But, society needs to tell us what they want. Once Australia has decided the direction it wishes to take then we will follow with our targeted skills to get the most out of every individual. We have to inform those in power of the importance of education – with direction. Currently we are dictated to by commercialism where we see people commercialised and exploited for profit. How long has it been since you saw an advertisement or worse still, acted on its advice and purchased the item ‘just because’?
Our role in society is not to give a belief system/structure, it is to give students the skills to make informed decisions. How we go about that is by using what society presents to us. During this transition phase into the ‘brave new world’ we have to use these structures, which are accessible to the classroom. If a student presents with low engagement, truncated literacy, ADD, ADHD, a poor home life, depression or any one of many things that are becoming more prevalent in schools, we need to use their commercialised belief structure to access them.
A paradigm shift is upon us. We cannot continue with business as usual, a metamorphosis is imminent and we have to evolve. We need to sell education. This sell cannot be like a fast food outlet providing high GI food, it has to be low GI brain food that we provide and sell it in a way that does not hijack the learner and leave them with the dogma of commercialisation. Generate positive emotions to access people’s intrinsic motivation, its longer lasting and better for you. Tell them how good they are, you may be the only person today to do so. Students learn a teacher, so sell yourself as someone that values education, sell your subject, your school, education. After you have achieved this ask the community where they want to be in the 22nd Century.