What is a 21st Century Teacher?

On a post on EductionBridges.net, Jo McLeay asks, “What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st Century?” This morning, I listened to our first few webcast’s from www.webcastademy.net to try to pick one for podcasting on Friday — as we’re on vacation — and the concept of a 21st Century Teacher comes up all the time. We specifically discussed this in show #5.

So what is a 21st Century Teacher? One that is flexible, collaborative, research based, knows the learning styles of their students, teaches to different learning styles and ability levels.

I’d also like to point out that we have a huge need for 21st Century Educational Leadership. Those leaders must have a clear understanding of the goals of their institutions, get the administrative hurdles out of their teachers way so that they can do what they do best. They must also clearly know what their teachers are responsible for and create accountability within their schools for students and teachers.

I guess the more I think of it, the more being a great teacher, administrator, or student are very similar. Know what your goals are, create a road map to those goals, practice the skills needed to get there, assess where you are along the way, and finally create a final product. That works for lesson planning, designing schools, or completing a science project, no?

All of these go into creating ethical, life-long learners — My goal for a 21st Century Citizen.

The beginning of a conversation.

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6 thoughts on “What is a 21st Century Teacher?

  1. Hi Alex,
    thanks for responding to my post. I love the idea of starting our thinking with what we want for our students: 21st century citizens who are ethical, lifelong learners, which is of course te same thing I want for me both as a teacher and as a person. And for for those I love as well. I love the idea of collaboration to get there, collaboration and respect among the different roles, student, administrator and teacher.

  2. I would argue that a 21st Century teacher is one who recognizes that he/she doesn’t have to have all of the answers. Indeed these teachers recognize that it isn’t their job to provide the answers to their students. Instead, they understand that the most important thing skills that they an provide students is the ability to find knowlege on their own. In addition, these teachers help their students develop the social and intellectual skills to work with others.

    Andrew Pass

  3. Andrew,

    Thanks for your contribution. I agree with your definition of a 21st Century Teacher: “one who recognizes that he/she doesn’t have all the answers.” The combination of skills, knowledge, and social skills that you describe are critical for our citizens of today and tomorrow.

    In my post, I stated that a 21st Century Teacher is, “One that is flexible, collaborative, research based, knows the learning styles of their students, teaches to different learning styles and ability levels.”

    I believe that a research based teaching style understands that humans learn best by doing, and that whether the teacher knows the content or not, that the students learn by exploring and experiencing in different intelligences.

    Schools like Science Leadership Academy are testing these beliefs, and I look forward to seeing the results.

    – Alex

  4. Pingback: teaching.mrbelshaw.co.uk

  5. I’m an artist making technology-based minimal sculpture and my sister is a wonderful and very creative teacher who has just published a book called TRANSFORMERS (Creative Teachers for the 21st Century). Her named is Mary Kim Schreck and I think readers here would both enjoy and benefit from reading her book. I’m making a website for her now, but it isn’t up yet. Her book is available at Amazon.com though.

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