John Sener has produced a synthesis of listserv conversation under the question Are Instructors Essential? In this synthesis he identifies three roles for instructors.
- Meaning Makers
- Explaining how and why information is important, helping learners integrate disparate content and make sense of it so that information can become ‘knowledge and maybe even wisdom’
- Growth Agents
- Pushing [learners] … ‘beyond their level of comfort and into areas of improvement’
- People Builders
- Instructors serve as a bridge — in some situations, the only bridge — between learners and the society in which they seek a place
I would like to add an important role. I do so with an evident eye on the literature about early learning and the often expressed outcome for building future learning: “self-regulation”. I think it is interesting that the listserv conversation revolves around the term “instructor”. I think that there is a way of extending the discussion with the introduction of the term “teacher”. The teacher is a model. In a sense the teacher models coaching and how to be a catalyst for knowledge acquisition. So in a sense the essence is with the teacher as model, the instructor is secondary.
And so for day 846