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Bilal Saad

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We must teach the teachers before teaching students.

It is a dangerous problem when a teacher teaches wrong ideas or materials in a classroom. This has far reaching consequences to students, spreading wrong ideas from class to class and school to school.

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    Oct 8 2011: Teachers do get professional education but that is not updated with emerging trends. They do stick to their own methods and "isms". This definitely makes impression on the students. The only solution is to make teaching profession as a lucrative job which then will attract the intellects and toppers. Now it become the last option.
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    Oct 9 2011: Some proposals:
    * teaching children to obey a curriculum instead of challenging the teachers and finding their own values.
    * teaching children that their education is worth more than in other cultures - unlearning self-doubt and self-reflection.
    * teaching children that peace can be made by war.

    This would be some "wrong ideas" from my point of view-
    What are yours Linda?
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      Oct 10 2011: Great examples, Bernd!

      Some others that come to mind are:

      - teaching children the best measure of success is monetary wealth or power.
      - teaching children those who internalize information successfully through classroom learning (sitting still) are the best and the brightest.
      - teaching children to fear and reject forms of governance other than one's own; creating an us and them mentality and superiority mindset.
      - teaching children there is only one right answer.

      Thanks for asking, Bernd. :)
  • Oct 9 2011: yes this is great idea.
    I also believe that to a large extent, we must teach teachers (and students) to listen and question.
    The teacher's job should be not only to lend information, but also take in information. To quote my old
    history teacher (who taught other teachers): 'teachers are the hardest to teach." I don't know to what extent of that
    is true, but i can see why that might be a problem.

    I also believe that students should be taught to be more or less autonomous. They should be put in an environment that commends new and fresh ideas, and intellectual discussion. They should also always look to challenge others (and the teacher).

    I think the teacher should put in motion the very mechanisms of learning such as active listening, asking questions, challenging the information, research, networking, and speaking out.

    I was fortunate enough to have a few of these kind of teachers.
    Then there wouldn't be a problem of a bad teacher.
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    Oct 9 2011: If we must teach the teachers first.. ok but who should teach the teacher.
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      Oct 9 2011: Hi Rafi, Many qualify teachers can make that happen, it's just meter of time to make your society with high quality education.
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      Oct 10 2011: There are many organizations ( both for profit and not for profit )working for the teacher training in India.They do have their own limitations. Their presence is very less when compared to the volume of activity. In fact I belong to a not for profit org. which is working for a better education would like to venture into teacher training. Government should involve in the process of teacher training. Though it is providing, its not adequate and meaningful. So Govt. and NGOs should teach the teachers. Conceptually no one can teach someone. We can inspire, motivate to learn something. So all the persons who have knowledge in the process may render their services. As Albert mentioned, they are hardest. Yes to some extent. Intervening into their own area may be wrongly perceived as a threat to their dignity. So we should be careful, after all they dedicated their careers to the lives of our hopes.
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    Oct 8 2011: Learning should be a two-way street. Teachers should work to improve their communication skills. Students should work to improve their listening and learning skills.

    One good way to facilitate this is have them do things together, like read, write, etc, and share their work. Over time, they could witness their personal growth and have a shared experience of learning and growing together, an experience no one could take away. This develops trust.

    "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
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    Oct 8 2011: If we TEACH them they will TEACH students, creative spontaneous learning will remain as it is now.
    Touching just Teachers is not the solution......need total reform...... all stakeholders should be included in reform
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    Oct 8 2011: In my country i have experienced my school & college teachers(all professionally trained) never used to update them self.They go on teaching whatever is in the curriculum like they were teaching when they started teaching in there life. On thing i observed was the students knew this fact.As most of them just want to pass the threshold they don't care that much. But when they realize that all they need in life to get educated is themselves, they get decoupled by the teaching system and learn on there own or all together themselves stop updating.Resulting in a circle of old ritualistic education. If this would have been different , the pace of development might have changed, but at least it doesn't dips down.
    The problem starts when the untrained & low par teachers educate the people in the rural or poor localities. The scenario there changes. I have made a point to study this point in future.
    But for a much better future, Teachers have to be a student for there teaching life.They have to realize that.(Most teachers will give a blind eye to this point in my country)
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    Oct 7 2011: I agree with Nikko on many points and would wish to add that organizations have the following filter. I will hire someone who: Looks more like me than the other candidates, went to the same college I did, is of the same gender as me, is of the same ethnicity as me, shares the same cultural background as me, I think I will be able to work with. I got this from talking with a hiring manager for a large company. You can see this played out in some school systems where only women are hired for the younger grades and men are hired for high school. Where men are given the problem students because they are the "father figure" (yes I have had it happen to me over and over again and been told that is why I got them when my class was already over crowded). The filters are the same ones we use to invite people into our lives to one degree or another and even if we are aware of them it is a struggle to over come them.
    Wrong ideas are coming from a couple of areas: poor text books, political correctness, lazy teachers that now have tenure and refuse to continue to learn, administrators that have not been in classrooms in many many years but still think they are super teachers etc.
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    Oct 7 2011: I believe within all successful organizations there are specific principles that are necessary. If you look at a successful business like Disney you will see that they look for a specific type of person. It is crucial that the person must believe in what it is the organization wishes to accomplish. This concept is lacking greatly in our society today because people often do not search for jobs because they believe in the purpose, most are not even aware of the real purpose of their job, many tend to search for jobs based on other things, such as money. When an organization wishes to be successful they must ensure that the people they are hiring for that role understands clearly what role it is they are playing within the organization. The organization must make sure that these people know what it is they are supposed to be doing and they have the proper knowledge to do so. There are four levels of learning and if any of these levels is not properly accomplished then the others are not possible, Knowledge and information, this is the acquisition of the knowledge and information on a given subject and the first step of learning. The second step is application, being able to take that information and apply it to develop a skill. The third step is understanding, to be able to take that knowledge and skill that you have developed and truly understand it, what is it that you are really accomplishing with this knowledge. The final step is teaching, passing on this knowledge, skill, understanding that you have learned and teaching it to someone else in a way that makes sense to them. The problem is though that in order to get a teaching degree you really only need the first step and that step does not need to be without flaw. If you again look at a successful organization like Disney, you will see all of these steps present in the training of everyone of their staff.
    I agree with Bilal Saad... teachers must be students before they can properly teach.
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    Oct 7 2011: That's what a curriculum is for.
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      Oct 7 2011: Hi Matthieu, All of them. The problem spreading wrong ideas.
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        Oct 9 2011: What are some examples of wrong ideas to you, Bilal?
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          Oct 9 2011: Hi Linda, what i meant in ideas like

          1- They don't understanding a curriculum so they just reading it.
          2- They aren't Qualify enough to teaching a curriculum.

          as you know they must understanding Psychology before they are teaching.
          That my opinion on that issue so no more no less.
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        Oct 9 2011: I see. Thanks for clarifying, Bilal. In the US, it is certainly expected teachers understand a curriculum before they teach it. And you make a good point in regards to some just reading it. My son attends a university in Texas, and he recently shared they show TED talks in some of his classes. Sounds like a great improvement over a boring lecture by someone who has not internalized the information, doing little more than reading it.

        There are a couple of TED conversations going on right now discussing creativity in the classroom, and improving education you might find of value. They seem to be addressing this topic very well, Bilal. :)
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    Oct 7 2011: Not all teachers are like that, of course. But there are some teachers like that. I think they are qualified but maybe not sufficiently motivated.
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    Nov 6 2011: who was first the hen or the egg?. We need changing learning by changing teaching, but teachers were learners some time. It´s time for politicians and educational authoryties to take decisions. Laws and rules were made for avoiding wrong behaviours and changing minds and actions. Change shouldn´t be rude but must be early. We should claim for a change of mind in rulers and governants, we must convince them about the huge profit we are missing.
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    Nov 4 2011: Maybe we have to learn how to teach, but also the students must learn how to study. Really I hope to find real students...not just a bunch of lazy people who spoke with nonsense and common places in the universities.
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    Oct 10 2011: Great examples, Bernd!

    Some others that come to mind are:

    - teaching children the best measure of success is monetary wealth or power.
    - teaching children those who internalize information successfully through classroom learning (sitting still) are the best and the brightest.
    - teaching children to fear and reject forms of governance other than one's own; creating an us and them mentality and superiority mindset.
    - teaching children there is only one right answer.

    Thanks for asking, Bernd. :)
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    Oct 10 2011: if we teach the teacher's then how they can teach us.......,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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      Oct 10 2011: Hi Cllinton, Not them teaching us another qualify teachers because if we learned something wrong we will spread it, that the problem we should focus on.
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    Oct 9 2011: I see. Thanks for clarifying, Bilal. In the US, it is certainly expected that teachers understand a curriculum before they teach it. And you make a good point in regards to some just reading it. My son attends a university in Texas, and he recently shared they show TED talks in some of his classes. Sounds like a great improvement over a boring lecture by someone who has not internalized the information, doing little more than reading it.

    There are a couple of TED conversations going on right now discussing creativity in the classroom, and improving education you might find of value. They seem to be addressing this topic very well, Bilal. :)
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    Oct 8 2011: what are the most important lessons you would teach teachers?
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      Oct 9 2011: Yeah, Good question.
      1. Every child is unique, let them be in their own pace, no comparison and little competition
      2. Make their students self-learners, Teachers are there are to facilitate the learning process not the only source of learning
      3. Collate and Comprehend the learnings , do not conclude.
      4. Not only teacher everyone is a student. Teacher is older than student. Should continue learning.
      5. Should perceive the importance of teaching profession in sculpting the young minds. Teaching is simply not a profession its beyond that.
      6. Motivation is not a tool to get things done. It should be the outcome of the learning.

      And many things will come if we keep on writing..."Ideal being" in a straight sense..
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        Oct 9 2011: Great contributions all of them!
        ... open ended lessons
        ... motivation not as a hook but as an outcome (why does this make think of TED?)
        ... teachers as lifelong learners
        ... teaching as more than an 8 to 5 job, but a life-altering calling
        ... teachers as facilitators, not instructors, and certainly NOT the source
        ... every child is unique, no more mass delivered instruction

        As a teacher myself, I believe these wholeheartedly. Glad to know the same is true in other corners of this good old earth.
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          Oct 9 2011: Though the same things, well said. That is the Value and Power of the teacher. As Salim asked for complete reform which is difficult for execution, Teacher is the important stakeholder who can change the fate of the education.
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          Oct 17 2011: Yes Karina. I agree. I would also like to add that we need to teach students that it is okay to make mistakes. They don't have to always be right. They need to make mistakes in order to learn what is right and correct them from happening again. This is part of the thrill of discovery. How many times did Thomas Edison make mistakes before he perfected the light bulb? (rhetorical, but I believe it was over 100+) -G
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          Nov 4 2011: yes.Students should not be passive receptacle of predigested idea.
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        Nov 4 2011: Good analysis.