Roles and Models

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

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