Name: Ratih Asti Supriyanto
Everywhere, Education is an important matter. And the most familiar process in education is teaching and learning process. It is undeniable that teaching is a dynamic process which calls for systematic theoretical and practical preparation. And a teacher is the one of all character in this process.
In recent years a good deal of attention has been paid to teacher education programmes which would keep pace with our changing society and its requirements. The programmes tend to be designed in such a way as to encourage a longer-term productive change and a more context-sensitive approach catering for trainees' current or future teaching contexts.
Teacher-preparation programmes should be comprised of a concise inventory of goals in teacher preparation and the means of implementing them, and, understandably, re-assessed and brought into line with the latest developments in the related disciplines and technological advances. The responsibility of initial teacher training institutions or departments is to set the standard for the development of professionally useful and pedagogically potent programmes of teacher education.
As it has already known that the young people in the 21st Century has been spending their daily routine of using a multitasking, multifaceted, technology-driven, diverse, rapidly changing gadget which is far removed from the world faced by most of their teachers at the time they entered adulthood. Despite the changes, however, schools still, by in large, look similar to the schools of the 20th and even 19th, Century. If schools are to maintain relevance, they must bridge the gap between how students will live as adults and how they learn.
Information and communications technology is also dramatically changing what students learn, when they learn and where they learn. In many schools teachers are available to students almost twenty-four hours a day via email and large volumes of educational content is made available to be downloaded by students at any time of the day or night. Teachers can be in contact with colleagues across the globe and can access materials from the around the world at the press of a computer keyboard.
The massive increase in information has resulted in a devaluing of content (the old ‘province’ of teachers) and the valuing of high level thinking skills, citizenship skills, abilities related to communication and relationship building, and personal skills of flexibility, creativity and management.
Johnson (2002), in the Future of the Teaching Profession project for the Institute for Public Policy Research in the UK, concludes that in order to attract and retain teachers for the 21st Century attention must be given to both the quantity and the nature of teachers’ work.
He predicts that the teachers will demand more flexible working patterns, and more time allocated to professional development. He disagrees, however, that the model of the future school with a smaller number of teachers acting as learning managers leading teams of other staff is a viable model.
This is because the most highly skilled, difficult and exhausting task of teachers is to teach a lesson to a class; a skill that cannot to transferred to other kinds of staff.
Associated with the concentration on a much more specific role for teachers, will be increased professional development and continuous updating of skills by reference to research findings and best practice.
Hough’s (2002) lists his specifications for the 21st Century teacher to include:
- Has an active concept of a professional, from the perspective of a graduate knowledge worker. Actively seeks and expects professional development;
- Functions in a ‘coach’ and ‘mentor’ role;
- Develops group learning outcomes, especially problem-solving skills, in students and models these skills;
· Develops a recognition scheme that encourages and rewards group, cooperative problem solving behaviour in students and models this behaviour;
· Applies information technology to education in ways that optimise educational outcomes (and models the effective, personal use of ICT);
- Emphasises high quality as an integral part of the educational process;
- Accepts that education has both internal (those who receive a service from the teacher) and external (the wider school community) customers;
- Maintains high professional and ethical standards;
- Uses data effectively to improve educational outcomes and shares such data with pupils, peers and the community;
- Emphasises pupil learning and growth as focus for activities;
- Is capable of action learning;
- Is capable of reflecting on own learning.
The role of teachers is in all aspects of the education is very important, as evidenced by the above descriptions that clarify the concrete roles of teachers, even in circumstance which very different fro the heyday of teachers before, where all the need for education and teaching can be accessed very easily. Given all of that does not dim the role of teacher, but makes the task more challenging. Teacher start from operate the technology optimize learning, until increase her/his professional maximally to confront the challenge in this age.