Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Cassell Education)

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If we focus on the teaching process , we still realise that there are a great number of changes in this field as well, and all of them have an influence on the role of teachers. First of all, teachers in modern classrooms are no longer lecturers, they are facilitators, their main task is to set goals and organise the learning process accordingly. Then, in the past, teachers used to follow a syllabus which was compulsory for them.

Nowadays, teachers have a National Curriculum, a Core Curriculum and a local school curriculum that they have to consider, but - on the other hand - they have independence to choose the teaching materials textbook , make up a syllabus of their own and teach their pupils so that they can perform well both at examinations and in life. Curriculum design is a task teachers have to be prepared for, although the present generation of teachers has been growing into making up syllabi for years.

Another difference between the past and present tasks of teachers is represented by the technical background they need to be able to use and handle effectively computer, photocopier, power point, projectors, etc. One of the biggest challenges for teachers is that their role in the school management has also changed.

Voices from within: Teaching in higher education as a moral practice

The school needs them as individuals, who can make decisions and cope with the stress of the changing world of schools. At the same time teachers need to be able to work in teams, co-operate with colleagues and parents, they have to write projects to gain money for the school programmes, they have to be PR experts and need to do all these things for a modest monthly income. The main question is how these changes manifest themselves for the society, for the participants teachers, learners, parents of education.

One of the mentioned European Union documents deals with teachers' role in the changing process. According to the document, teachers realize the changes, but it is not sure whether they are able to face the new requirements or not. In the EU documents, a great emphasis is placed on both initial and in-service teacher education programs which are to prepare teachers to meet new demands.

All the above-mentioned changes have a common root. But what is the difference between a master and an artist? How can a teacher be both? This is an evergreen question which often cannot be answered without understanding the real contexts of teaching. They have come up with the importance of content knowledge teachers' subjects , pedagogic content knowledge how to adapt content to the learners , general pedagogic knowledge e.

Among the characteristic features, cooperation, flexibility and the ability to relate learners appear rather important. In the first years of the 21 st century, teachers have been asked to fill in a questionnaire about their teaching practices and professional needs in the southern region of Hungary 3. The teachers were subject teachers of foreign languages and primary classroom teachers prepared for foreign language teaching to young learners.

The main aim was to explore the differences in the ideas and practices of language teachers with different training backgrounds. The questionnaire included two groups of questions which aimed to reveal teacher's thoughts on the characteristic features of a good language teacher and their teaching arsenal methods and aids they use.

They were also asked about the professional needs of practising teachers. We would like to give a glance on the relationship between the answers of practising teachers and the image of future teachers in EU documents.

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On answering this question, teachers were asked to mark the 5 most important features of good language teachers out of About half of the offered answers were characteristic features of teachers in general. The characteristic features of modern professional teachers such as open character, empathy, motivation, etc. The questionnaire results reveal that language teachers think that content knowledge is by far the most important, while pedagogic knowledge and methodology are not so relevant.

It is a striking point in the light of the European Union documents and, also, according to some Hungarian experts who write about the most important features of teaches.

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He says that the characteristic features of teachers shine through their content knowledge and determine the quality of teaching. First we thought that the answer to this question would show how much teachers are aware of the fact that education and society and the requirements towards teaching are in the process of change.

About one third of the answerers think that syllabus-design planning , textbook evaluation and classroom techniques are necessary for their development as practising teachers. Some of the answers computer skills, methodology course, etc. They refer to the fact that teachers are mostly interested in practical, 'right-into-teaching' skills.

Learning To Teach, Methods For StudyingKNOWLEDGE BASES OF

These answers also reveal that the answerers are not very good at computing and they do not speak more than one foreign languages. On the other hand, we can say that skills and competences which seem to be fairly important in the near future in education do not really appear among the needs of practising teachers. As we asked and interviewed some final year undergraduates as well in the data collection process, we can say that there are no significant differences between the needs of practising teachers and teachers-to-be undergraduates.

Neither of the groups of teachers feels that convertible and renewable content knowledge, open and pedagogically well-trained teachers are the key figures of the future education. In my view, teacher education - rather than teacher training - needs to change in the near future.

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Some experts say it is too late to begin the changes, as we need new competencies in teaching right now. Daun, H. Educational restructuring in the context of globalization and national policy. US: Routledge Falmer.

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