If School Elements - 502 – Educators
First off, let’s differentiate between the teacher and the educator. While often used interchangeably, looking at the roots of each word provides insight into why these two need to be differentiated.
Teacher derives from ‘tǣcan’ , meaning to point out or to show. Educator on the other hand derives from ‘educere’, meaning to draw out. One role requires a passive audience while the other asks for a willing participant.
When we look back at the people who most greatly influenced our learning throughout our lives, we recognize those who were able to fuel an interest. Sure, some may have been more along the lines of pointing out the interesting elements, but it was really our response to those concepts that turned it into a passion.
In the If School philosophy, we don’t see educators as synonomous with learning. They don’t own the process, nor are they essential for it to occur. The only thing needed for a student o learn is that they have senses and are conscious. However, educators do amplify the learning, and allow for greater diversity of understandings to occur. They also allow students to get a metacognitive view of their learning, and assist them in understanding how they may best approach a variety of problems.
At If School, very basically we:
- Seek out diversity in skills and character of our educators
- Recognize the many hats educators must wear
- Maintain a culture of pride around being a group of lifelong learners
- Collaborate whenever possible to create authentic interactions between the teachers as a model for students to see
Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability
Here is some media for you if you want to explore the concept of Situated Learning further:
- The Role of the Educator by Stephen Downes – This article provides a great overview of the diverse roles that educators may take on, and how they may compliment one another
- Teach Like a Pirate Applied – This is a good synopsis of the concept of teaching like a pirate, and can be further explored in: Teach Like a Pirate by David Burgess