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Staff Competition Runner-up

Runner Up
American school systems and One thing that should always remain
PETER WORLEY
business schools have already been at the centre of education is social
Primary and Secondary Consultant Philosopher, London
adopted in the UK and some UK interaction. As social animals, we
universities have overseas campuses, have an innate need to interact with
Synopsis:
so it could trigger a ‘battle of the each other and regardless of how
best education system’. This may advanced our world may become, For my vision of a future teacher I would like to draw upon the past. Nearly
force improvement in the standards nothing can beat a nice human to two and a half thousand years ago the ancient Greek philosopher Plato
of all schools as they respond to human chat! Ultimately, tomorrow’s wrote a dialogue called the Meno that begins with the question: can virtue
the competition. Alternatively, the teacher will be today’s learner. be taught?, but quickly develops into an extraordinary discussion of the
variety on offer could lead to global nature and form of teaching itself. I believe there is a great deal we can
partnerships for all. These organisa- learn from Plato and others, even to this day, helping answer what might
tions may employ ‘non-specialist be our secondary question: what are the virtues of teaching? Although
facilitators’ rather than teachers. technology will no doubt play a part in how tomorrow’s teacher will
The ability to speak several function I would like to deliberately draw attention to those skills which will
languages will become a bigger remain the teacher’s, with or without technological aids.
priority so the successful tomor-
row’s teacher will be somebody
who is well-travelled and has held Tomorrow’s Teacher: Learning from the Past
managerial posts in industry. Their By Peter Worley
definition of being multi-lingual
won’t be demonstrated by saying Plato: the virtue of teaching Although technology will no doubt
loudly and slowly “Where is the play a part in how tomorrow’s
For my vision of a future teacher I
beach?” in English but by the ability teacher will function I would like to
Judges’ Comment would like to draw upon the past.
to converse in one other European deliberately draw attention to those
‘A very good articulation of mentor Nearly two and a half thousand
language and an Eastern language skills which will remain the teacher’s,
learning and a very readable blend years ago the ancient Greek
of business. of different ideas. Goals will be set with or without technological aids.
and classes advised according to the philosopher Plato wrote a dialogue
learner’s physical, emotional and called the Meno that begins The child-centred questioner
mental well- being’, this focused on with the question: can virtue be
personalised learning taking place in a From the perspective of my future
taught? but quickly develops into
variety of settings’’. teacher some very important
an extraordinary discussion of the
nature and form of teaching itself. I principles emerge from the
believe there is a great deal we can discussion. Socrates, Plato’s
learn from Plato even to this day, protagonist in the dialogue, states
helping answer what might be our that knowledge will not come from
secondary question: what are the teaching but from questioning,
virtues of teaching?

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Staff Competition Runner-up

he says that the student ‘will more firmly and surely than down.” students and will use Socratic irony the students the teacher becomes
recover it for himself’. My teacher (feigned ignorance about a topic) to lost to them. Students do not learn
will put questioning at the heart of Michel De encourage the students to think for communication skills from DVDs and
their teaching so that, as much as Montaigne (1533-1592), On Educating themselves, just as Socrates did with inter-active whiteboards - they learn
possible, the student will be able Children his interlocutors in the marketplace them from their teacher. Tomorrow’s
to arrive at knowledge from their of Athens. No longer will the teacher teacher will build a repertoire of
own starting point: approaching And, as Montaigne himself quoted in feel that they cannot be wrong and stories for young and older students
new knowledge from that which the same essay: “Obest plerumque no longer will they feel the need to for all sorts of contexts from learning
is already known to them. The iis qui discere volunt authoritas portray themselves as a fountain of to speak and write, to the use of
teacher will not only question but eorum qui docent.” [For those who all knowledge. thought experiments to explain
will develop questioning to the level want to learn, the obstacle can Newton’s concept of absolute space
of an art so that they can fashion often be the authority of those who Aoidos in ‘A’ level physics, thereby putting
any part of a curriculum around teach.] learning into a narrative context -
An aoidos (literally: ‘singer’) was
good questioning, and thereby the ancient Greek name for a putting the ‘story’ back into ‘history’.
fully engage the students with the Aporia
teller of epic poems and Homer,
learning process. Learning to put the In the Meno Plato also discusses
Logos
of The Odyssey/Illiad fame, was
child at the centre of the learning the importance of ignorance and an aoidos. The Odyssey itself was Also in the Meno Socrates speaks
process is comparable to the Coper- perplexity (aporia in ancient Greek) told, following an oral tradition, of the difference between true
nican revolution of putting the sun at in the learning process. For many, for hundreds of years before it knowledge and true opinion. In
the heart of the solar system in place not knowing and confusion are seen was written down (probably not other words about knowledge
of the Earth and, as Montaigne, the in a negative light, often signifying by Homer). There are many other supported by sound reasoning
16th century writer acknowledged, stupidity or failure. Plato did not examples of oral traditions of story- (true knowledge) and the right
this is no easy task: think so: only by going through telling in other cultures too, but with answer got by some other method
this essential stage of the learning the advent of the printed word and such as being told (true opinion).
“It is good to make him [the student]
process can one hope to arrive at now DVDs, and other media this skill He thought that getting the right
trot in front of this tutor in order to
insight and clarity. The teacher of has been lost to all but a very few answer was all well and good but
judge his paces and to judge how far
tomorrow will celebrate this state as we have learnt to relinquish these if it was not arrived at by a reliable
down the tutor needs to go to adapt
and use it to show how this signifies skills to technology. Tomorrow’s method then it was not worth much.
himself to his ability. If we get that
a proper engagement with the teacher will revive this tradition Tomorrow’s teacher will prefer a
proportion wrong we spoil every-
subject; communicate how this can with aplomb because of the unique good
thing; knowing how to find it and to
be harnessed to reach deeper levels way a story, well told, can hold an
remain well-balanced within it is one
of thought and insight and use audience, and engages its listeners.
of the most arduous tasks there is. It
aporia to motivate rather than stifle Technology has its own spell, but
is the action of a powerful, elevated
a student. Tomorrow’s teacher will one which is not weaved by the
mind to know how to come down
also not be afraid of their own aporia teacher, and by distancing the
to the level of the child and to guide
and will use it to collaborate with the teacher from that which engages
his footsteps. Personally, I go uphill

17
Staff Competition Runner-up

Runner Up
understanding of the processes young people and preserve it as
KIRSTEN STEVENS-WOOD
and concepts involved in learning older people. The students will
FE Lecturer, Ystrad Mynach College, Caerphilly
rather than simply getting the right best learn this not from books but
answer by any means. This idea is by having these skills modelled
Synopsis:
captured in the ancient Greek word for them by a good teacher who
logos, which translates as ‘reason’, demonstrates these skills each time A snapshot of a day in the life of a teacher of the 20somethings.
or, better still, ‘account’ as this trans- they stand before their students in
lation captures the importance of the classroom.
the process rather than the outcome Cathy’s Busy Day
of reasoning. Learning to dance
by Kirsten Stevens-Wood
The future teacher will work towards
Dialectic
the development of ‘a well-formed
Tomorrow’s teacher will encourage rather than a well-filled brain’, in On her way into work Cathy Maund, and dynamic process than the
logos, in the right sense described the words of Montaigne. To borrow a realtime educator, reflects on mere transmission of information
above, by encouraging a dispo- some more of his words: the future the recent and past changes in and there was a return to students
sition towards dialectic in his or teacher will give the students an education. She swipes her carbon enrolling into learning environments
her students, first of all among the understanding but not content with card as she descends from the with recognised time / level commit-
class as a group but then - perhaps that, she will then aim to make their electrobus and walks the hundred ments and a programme of learning
more importantly - as an internal understanding dance: metres to the learning environment tailored to each individual. Students
process inside the head of each where she will deliver a number could now dip in and out of learning
student, as if they had transported “Take Palvel and Pompeo, those
of realtime lectures as well as and accumulate credits according
the whole class into their head. excellent dancing masters when I
uploading a new podcast on the to their own set of choices. Cathy
Dialectic is sometimes described was young: I would like to have seen
interactive learning environment (an reflects on how it was interesting
as a ‘collaborative search for truth them teaching us our steps just by
investigation into the banking crash to see how education fell apart
through discourse, questioning watching them without budging
of the early 2010’s). without the role of educators and
and reasoning’. The ancient Greek from our seats, like those teachers
that new technology was not able to
philosopher Aristotle thought that who seek to give instruction to our Cathy’s workplace is a learning replace the responsive and reflective
the best character attributes were understanding without making it environment - Learning environ- knowledge base of professional
learned as habits rather than skills, dance…” ments are carbon neutral community educator trained humans.
which may or may not be used. If based accommodation with iris
the process of dialectic is learned at Judges’ Comment
Montaigne, ibid
access for all registered students. On arrival Cathy logs on and checks
an early age both as an external and ‘Extraordinarily insightful, her i-mails( a small symbol in the
internal process then the students a brilliant exposition of why After the fiasco of the 2020’s (where corner tells her who else is on line).
every future teacher could educators were made redundant in
will carry with them a naturalised do well to learn the lessons She has an hour before the upload
disposition towards learning that of the past’. a major switch over to exclusively suite is available and so she
will feed their natural curiosity as e-learning) came the realisation
that learning was a much deeper

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