Role of a TEACHER
Sir Ken Robinson
The second principle that drives human life flourishing is curiosity. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn further without any assistance very often. Children are natural learners. It’s a real achievement to put that particular ability out or stifle it. Curiosity is the engine of achievement.
Now the reason I say this is because one of the effects of the current culture here, if I can say so, has been to de-professionalize teachers.
There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are lifeblood of the success of schools. But teaching is a creative profession. Teaching, properly conceived, is not a delivery system. You know, you’re not there just to pass on received information. Great teachers do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage.
You see, in the end, education is about learning. If there’s no learning going on, there is no education going on. And people can spend a awful lot of time discussing education without ever discussing learning. The whole point of education is to get people to learn.
A friend of mine, an old friend, actually very old, he’s dead. That’s as old as it gets. I’m afraid. But a wonderful guy he was, wonderful philosopher. He used to talk about the difference between the task and achievement sense of verbs. You know, you can be engaged in the activity of something, but not really be achieving it, like dieting. It’s a very good example, you know. There he is. He’s dieting. Is he losing any weight? Not really.
Teaching is a word like that. You can say, “There’s Deborah. She’s in room 34. She’s teaching.” But if nobody’s learning anything, she may be engaged in the task of teaching, but actually not fulfilling it. The role of a teacher us to fascilitate learning. That’s it.