Teaching_in_a_Contemporary_World.pdf - Issues in Contemporary Teaching Volume 2 By David Lynch Bruce Allen Knight Chapter 1 Teaching in a Contemporary

Teaching_in_a_Contemporary_World.pdf - Issues in...

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Issues in Contemporary Teaching Volume 2 By David Lynch , Bruce Allen Knight
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Chapter 1: Teaching in a Contemporary World Bruce Allen Knight & David Lynch This chapter sets the scene for this book which is the second volume in a series that explores issues that relate to the work of the contemporary teacher in a Knowledge Economy circumstance. After briefly setting the scene for the 21 st century educator and emphasising the concept of learning management, the chapter concludes with an outlining of the contents of the book. Introduction The world is experiencing dramatic and fundamental change. The term Knowledge Economy (see; Moser, 2003; Doyle, Kurth & Kerre, 2000), defined in the literature as an economy built on the wealth created from ‘know - how’, is used to describe such changes. Consequently, there are pressures on schools to respond. Commentators (see; Smith and Lynch 2010; Hattie, 2005; Hargreaves, 1997,1998 ) argue schooling, as an artefact of the Industrial Age, is outdated and outmoded when contrasted with this knowledge age circumstance. This creates issues for the contemporary classroom teacher. Schools today, in a context of a Knowledge Economy, face a different kind of world to that of the past. For example, the structure and character of families has changed from the nuclear family of the ‘home’ and the nurturing family assumed in much curriculum development. And there are new patterns of employment and underemployment, greater mobility and new concentrations of poverty in both rural and urban settings (Edgar, 1999). School systems and their students reflect such social and demographic changes in the diversity of their experiences with different cultures and ethnic groups (Smith and Lynch, 2010). Some commentators believe that the psychological effects from such social change, including levels of anxiety, depression, lack of discipline, aggression, inadequate literacy skills and a greater need for adult role models, are all indicators for education systems to change the way they do business (see Education Queensland,
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2000; Lynch & Smith, 2002; Smith and Lynch, 2010). Consequently, there are now expectations that schools and classroom teachers should provide much of what was traditionally delivered by parents through family life (Edgar, 1999). For teachers trained in an educational era centred on the ‘three R’s’ and a compliant, stable, client base this is a difficult agenda (Hargreaves, 1998). Also, there are whole-of-government, semi-government and community-based organization initiatives aimed at forging partnerships with communities in ‘One Stop School’ strategies so as to provide support mechanisms traditionally offered through the family and characteristic of a previously stable and contained societal era (Edgar, 1999; Lynch & Smith, 2002). Such initiatives rely on different sets of skills and different kinds of preparation and training for teachers (Education Queensland 2000; Smith 2000).
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