Putting the Priority on the Person in Teaching & Learning

Year: 1992

Author: Norman, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Many new influences are now shaping the work of the teacher, the organisation of classrooms, the choice of themes and topics and the activities of learners. Too many to enumerate much less describe or analyse. By taking just five of these influences as the scope of this paper we are bound to find ourselves bumping into some of the others. Each of the five will keep bumping into each other too. Unlike most other forms of work with goals, targets and products, the work of the teacher will always be as alive with un-intended outcomes as it is with what we planned. Serendipitous moments, the un-expected, the breakthroughs, the exploratory mood, the inventiveness, wilfulness, eagerness of growing and learning persons make teacher work (and parenting) unlike other work. At the outset I would like to assert the view that teachers, at their best, work for the growth toward maturity through learning of the richly varied talents and aptitudes of uniquely lively youngsters. Putting the PERSON as the priority to which oneÕs teaching skills and specialist subjects must be continually adapted and shaped may be an emphasis that is too difficult to sustain. Against our long traditions in public education of scholarly SUBJECTS or designated STANenerations of public education now, or theDARDS, the students themselves had to be measured. Now employment related KEY COMPETENCIES are the crucial test of worth. PERSONS are having to measure up or square off or register their rank order witiary entry s have been rising to a shrill chorus. Thear warrant within the five influences and influencers to which and whom we turn now.