Teachers should be renamed ‘Learning Designers’

At the recent EduTECH conference in Sydney, Professor Guy Claxton from Kings College London, said that in the tech landscape of the 21st century, teachers should be renamed “learning designers”. He cited how the role of teachers are changing – it is less about imparting knowledge and more about nurturing the soft skills students will need in the workplace of the future. These skills include curiosity and critical thinking.

Ideas for the future of schooling were on display at EduTECH as tech companies fight for a slice of the billion-dollar global education market and teachers look for innovative and effective ways to integrate technology into the classroom. Some of those featured are video games as an antidote to short attention spans, virtual reality headsets, and apps that replace permission notes and track school buses to and from school.

Professor Claxton proposes an interesting concept that implies teachers design how students prepare for the 21st century. I agree with his view of the need to equip students with the soft skills and 21st century competencies needed in today’s technology-driven workforce landscape. However, I feel that we should not be quick to dismiss teaching. A teacher who imparts knowledge to students is still just as crucial – students need a foundation upon which to start their educational journey and subsequent journey into the workforce. Without teachers to guide and facilitate, this may not be possible.

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