Future of Profession

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), July 28, 2005 | Go to article overview

Future of Profession


Byline: By Daniel Davies Western Mail

Teachers have been invited to contribute their views on the future of the profession after they were excluded from an Assembly policy review.

The School of the Future, by the Assembly's education and lifelong learning committee, did not include a look at the role of the teacher.

A consultation has been launched by the General Teaching Council for Wales, which was disappointed by teachers' omission.

During the next three months every teacher in Wales will be asked his or her views on the future of the profession. Their views will then be presented to the National Assembly.

Education Minister Jane Davidson said she welcomed the GTCW's move.

Westminster and Cardiff Bay policy is aimed at further integrating schools with their communities with more out-of-hours services.

Schools in Wales have began providing learning programmes outside school hours and breakfast clubs. Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has signalled her intention for English schools to provide pre-and after-school childcare.

Karen Evans, GTCW policy and planning manager, said, 'As we have seen, schools are already, and will increasingly, be called upon to adopt a wider role, not only for children and young people but for the wider community.

'It is our responsibility as the voice of the profession in Wales to ensure that teachers' views are heard, and that teachers themselves engage in the future of the debate about their own future.' Mal Davies: 'teaching in the future will increasingly bring together the academic and vocational worlds, creating a parity of esteem between the two. Already, within schools there is a momentum of respect gathering for vocational courses, helping those pupils who are not naturally gifted in an academic sense, but also giving the opportunity for pupils to find out more about the world of work.

This will bridge a gap between schools and employers who sometimes see a pupil's academic qualifications as having little currency in the working world.

To match this change, the role of the teacher will change. No longer will they be subject specialists, teaching in a stand-alone way.

Instead they will head up and manage teams, using expertise drawn from industry and commerce to lead vocational aspects of learning.

Teachers will become experts in learning and finding ways in which individuals learn best, devising programmes for the individual to enable students to receive information in the ways that work best for them. Obviously this will all be made possible through ICT and the technology available in schools which will enable youngsters to learn at their own pace.

Although we have stepped into the technology available, I don't believe we have discovered its full potential and the potential it has to change the future of teaching. Individual tailored programmes will also increase the possibilities of learning from home - of particular value to those pupils who struggle with the classroom environment, for whatever reason that may be.

Teachers will encourage pupils to be good learners, and part of the success will be teachers taking on a role of responsibility to be a role model in this way. …

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