Role and Responsibilities of a teacher

Topics: Education, Educational psychology, History of education Pages: 8 (1886 words) Published: April 20, 2015
Analyse the role and Responsibilities of the teacher and the boundaries of that role. Gold and Barentsen (2014), illustrate that teaching, unlike many other professions, encompasses much more than the role suggests. They argue that when considering a role in the sense of ‘the activities’ associated by that given job or profession, a teacher’s is much more diverse. To suggest then that the role of a teacher is, quite simply, to teach, in the same way, for example, that a dancer’s role is to dance, would fail to fully explain the multi-faceted aspect of the profession, particularly considering that ‘teaching involves far more at its core than the name of the occupation initially suggests’ (Gold and Barentsen: 2014:pg3). A teacher in the Lifelong Learning Sector, that is, in post compulsory education, is tasked with striking a perfect balance between teaching-related responsibilities and administrative ones as well as providing pastoral support to learners and meeting institutional requirements. This essay will analyse the role and responsibilities of a teacher with a focused look at the lifelong learning sector and will examine the challenge of boundaries, particularly within a role where the responsibilities are ever expanding. When considering the role of a teacher in the Lifelong Learning Sector, it is clear to see the complexity of a teacher’s role here. Wilson (2008), argues that the sector is ‘broad’ and as such, teachers are expected more than ever to ‘offer value for money’ by considering the requirements of the awarding bodies as well as ensuring that learners achieve in a manner in which they are happy with, bearing in mind at the same time, the needs of their parents and employers who may all have a vested interest in the learner’s experience. (Wilson, 2008, pg4).

Wilson further illustrates that learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector often comprises of various motivations for learners, meaning that, while it may form part of the reason, not all learners enrol on courses to simply achieve a qualification. For example, the learning goals for a 14 year old wishing to gain vocational qualifications differ greatly from those of a mature student returning to education following a long career. When embarking on teaching therefore, a teacher must consider the variety of individuals in their classroom, from their previous experiences to their learning styles. Walkin (2002) argues that adult learners are much more likely to be independent and therefore less reliant on a teacher’s guidance in comparison to young people. Walkin also states that adults will expect to be treated differently and their life experiences recognised by their teachers to afford them respect, whereas young people will probably be less disappointed if their teacher fails to take their previous experience into consideration. Despite their differing needs however, Walkin states that both adults and young people will respond better to methods that encourage active involvement and learning. Petty (1998) positively advocates ‘active learning’ as the best method for teaching. He strongly argues that people in general ‘learn best by doing’ (pg6). Petty also argues for teachers to encourage their students to engage and participate with their subject, quoting an ancient Chinese proverb: “I am told, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand”. Wilson also agrees with Petty on the importance of understanding how learners learn. She argues the point that a ‘good teacher’ must be able to show differentiation by considering the different needs of their learners. Wilson agrees that ultimately, a teacher’s responsibility is to ensure that, through sight, hearing and doing, learners engage with their subject, therefore facilitating the learning process. Both Petty and Wilson (1998; 2002) agree that the teacher must structure their teaching by following the teaching and learning cycle. By identifying the needs of the learner, a teacher is...

References: Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Ecclestone, C. (2004). Learning Styles for Post D16 Learners: What do We know? London: Learning and Skills Research Centre.
Francis, M., & Gould, J. (2013). Achieving your PTTLS Award: A Praxtical Guide to Teching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Sage.
Gould, J., & Roffey-Barentsen, J. (2014). Achieving your Diploma in Education and Training. London: Sage.
Petty, G. (1998). Teaching Today. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Walkin, L. (2002). Teaching and Learning in Further and Adult Education. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
wilson, L. (n.d.). Pratical Teaching: A Guide to PTLLS & CTLLS.Cengage Learning EMEA. London: .
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