How teachers can lead culture change
One observation that most teachers can agree on is that education has changed tremendously in the past few decades. Gone are the days of paper-and-pencil work and performing simple computations. The way that educators teach has changed to adjust to the new ways that children learn. Unfortunately, as schools have attempted to adapt, the generations have changed at an even quicker and more drastic rate. “Schooling teaches students to memorize and recall the correct answer, learn because ‘this will be on the test,’ and avoid risk taking because failure means a lower grade” (Weber, 2015). The teaching culture has not yet adapted to the new emerging learning cultures.
Master’s programs for teachers may assist educators in building their knowledge base of modern education and what the new generations of students require to become successful. The atmosphere that educators create in their classrooms directly affects the learning experience of the students within it. Teachers who wish to become a leader should seek further formal education and training to inform themselves about the modern learning cultures existing in today’s schools. We live in a time that is fueled by technology, movement and communication. A master educator possesses the ability to lead culture change within his or her school and implement curriculum that accommodates modern cultural norms. To effectively reach today’s students, it is important for teachers to understand the need to evolve teaching methods and seek professional development on the best ways to instruct the modern student.
Educators helping students develop and learn
Many years ago, a discovery occurred that changed the entire dynamics of education and how teachers connected with students: the realization that students have different cognitive learning styles and abilities. Prior to this finding, educators taught with one style and at one pace. Diversity was not embraced or recognized and students were expected to learn and perform the same. Even though we have evolved as a system, education has not fully accommodated the new learning culture. Students are still taught to memorize information, and still assessed in a standardized manner. With these outdated teaching styles, there is an assumption that all students learn in the same way, at the same pace, using the same resources as they have for years.
Today, children have come to rely on technology. Utilizing technology and hands-on learning in the classroom allows the students to learn with familiar resources. Communication has almost become a basic need for students. Group and collaborative work is necessary in the classroom to allow students to express themselves in a manner that is relevant and effective. The purpose and idea of school is to prepare young students for reality and life as a contributing citizen. Teachers who seek a master’s degree in teacher leadership may learn to integrate real-life application resources and teaching styles into their classroom to help their students to develop and learn.
One factor that has not changed in education is the teacher’s role and importance to students. We are still role models. We will remain the influential figures who children look to for guidance and personality development. The culture that educators create in their classroom is crucial to the academic outcome of their students. Every aspect of the learning experience plays an imperative role to the students. An effective education leader may exhibit a vested interest in each individual student and the best way for him or her to learn. A master’s degree in teacher leadership can inform a teacher of the necessary skills of how to motivate present-day students in an individualized and appreciative learning environment. A passionate, higher-level educator may not simply view his or her students as young children, but as the potential future of our progressing and ever-changing society.
Weber, S. (2015). Characteristics of a Culture of Learning. http://edge.ascd.org/blogpost/characteristics-of-a-culture-of-learning