Karl Kapp talks about teachers who have gone on to become rock stars in “Teacher . . . Stepping Stone to Rock Star?“ Interesting . . . and surprising they let a young Sting teach at a convent school! Anyway, my point here is the notion of teacher as a rock star is something that is common and can be negative when it comes to challenging the sage on the stage notion and moving towards a more collaborative approach. Sometimes I see it in their eyes: “Do you really think I’m going to give up being the centre of attention?” Of the many barriers to the adoption of learning technologies of the Web 2.0 variety, this is one of the least acknowledged.
Taking the focus away from the teacher/lecturer isn’t what the all powerful one wants. This is where ego gets in the way, and quite simply there are many who like the sound of their own voice too much. When thinking about a blended approach, how likely is it that someone like this is going to countenance replacing some of the face-to-face with e-learning? Or adopt any kind of learner centric approach that diminishes his or her role from expert to facilitator or guide?
I am, of course, playing devil’s advocate to some extent. I have more respect for the teaching profession than almost any other, and there are so many brilliant teachers. However, some of the brilliant ones fall into the above category. They need to be more flexible and, in some ways, feel less threatened by new ideas.
Remember the focus should be on what’s best for the learner — not the teacher.