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In education, a teacher is a person who educates others. A teacher who educates an individual student may also be described as a personal tutor.The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out by way of occupation or profession at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher at state-funded schools must first obtain professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college. These professional qualifications may include the study of pedagogy, the science of teaching. Teachers may use a lesson plan to facilitate student learning, providing a course of study which covers a standardized curriculum. A teacher's role may vary between cultures. Teachers teach literacy and numeracy, or some of the other school subjects. Other teachers may provide instruction in craftsmanship or vocational training, the Arts, religion or spirituality, civics, community roles, or life skills. In some countries, formal education can take place through home schooling.

Informal learning may be assisted by a teacher occupying a transient or ongoing role, such as a parent or sibling or within a family, or by anyone with knowledge or skills in the wider community setting.

Religious and spiritual teachers, such as gurus, mullahs, rabbis pastors/youth pastors and lamas may teach religious texts such as the Quran, Torah or Bible.

Professional educators

Teaching may be carried out informally, within the family which is called home schooling (see Homeschooling) or the wider community. Formal teaching may be carried out by paid professionals. Such professionals enjoy a status in some societies on a par with physicians, lawyers, engineers, and accountants (Chartered or CPA).

A teacher's professional duties may extend beyond formal teaching. Outside of the classroom teachers may accompany students on field trips, supervise study halls, help with the organization of school functions, and serve as supervisors for extracurricular activities. In some education systems, teachers may have responsibility for student discipline.

Around the world teachers are often required to obtain specialized education, knowledge, codes of ethics and internal monitoring.

There are a variety of bodies designed to instill, preserve and update the knowledge and professional standing of teachers. Around the world many governments operate teacher's colleges, which are generally established to serve and protect the public interest through certifying, governing and enforcing the standards of practice for the teaching profession.

The functions of the teacher's colleges may include setting out clear standards of practice, providing for the ongoing education of teachers, investigating complaints involving members, conducting hearings into allegations of professional misconduct and taking appropriate disciplinary action and accrediting teacher education programs. In many situations teachers in publicly funded schools must be members in good standing with the college, and private schools may also require their teachers to be college members. In other areas these roles may belong to the State Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Education Agency or other governmental bodies. In still other areas Teaching Unions may be responsible for some or all of these duties.

Pedagogy and teaching

In education, teachers facilitate student learning, often in a school or academy or perhaps in another environment such as outdoors. A teacher who teaches on an individual basis may be described as a tutor.

The objective is typically accomplished through either an informal or formal approach to learning, including a course of study and lesson plan that teaches skills, knowledge and/or thinking skills. Different ways to teach are often referred to as pedagogy. When deciding what teaching method to use teachers consider students' background knowledge, environment, and their learning goals as well as standardized curricula as determined by the relevant authority. Many times, teachers assist in learning outside of the classroom by accompanying students on field trips. The increasing use of technology, specifically the rise of the internet over the past decade, has begun to shape the way teachers approach their roles in the classroom.

The objective is typically a course of study, lesson plan, or a practical skill. A teacher may follow standardized curricula as determined by the relevant authority. The teacher may interact with students of different ages, from infants to adults, students with different abilities and students with learning disabilities.

Teaching using pedogogy also involve assessing the educational levels of the students on particular skills. Understanding the pedogogy of the students in a classroom involves using differentiated instruction, as well as, supervision to meet the needs of all students in the classroom. Pedogogy can be thought of in two manners. First, teaching itself can be taught in many different ways, hence, using a pedogogy of teaching styles. Second, the pedogogy of the learners comes into play when a teacher assesses the pedogogic diversity of his/her students and differentiates for the individual students accordingly.

Perhaps the most significant difference between primary school and secondary school teaching is the relationship between teachers and children. In primary schools each class has a teacher who stays with them for most of the week and will teach them the whole curriculum. In secondary schools they will be taught by different subject specialists each session during the week and may have 10 or more different teachers. The relationship between children and their teachers tends to be closer in the primary school where they act as form tutor, specialist teacher and surrogate parent during the course of the day.

This is true throughout most of the United States as well. However, alternative approaches for primary education do exist. One of these, sometimes referred to as a "platoon" system, involves placing a group of students together in one class that moves from one specialist to another for every subject. The advantage here is that students learn from teachers who specialize in one subject and who tend to be more knowledgeable in that one area than a teacher who teaches many subjects. Students still derive a strong sense of security by staying with the same group of peers for all classes.

Co-teaching has also become a new trend amongst educational institutions. Co-teaching is defined as two or more teachers working harmoniously to fulfill the needs of every student in the classroom. Co-teaching focuses the student on learning by providing a social networking support that allows them to reach their full cognitive potential. Co-teachers work in sync with one another to create a climate of learning.

Criticism of the concept of teaching

Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning. It incorrectly assumes that for every ounce of teaching there is an ounce of learning by those who are taught. However, most of what we learn before, during, and after attending schools is learned without it being taught to us. A child learns such fundamental things as how to walk, talk, eat, dress, and so on without being taught these things. Adults learn most of what they use at work or at leisure while at work or leisure. Most of what is taught in classroom settings is forgotten, and much or what is remembered is irrelevant.

Rights to enforce school discipline

Throughout the history of education the most common form of school discipline was corporal punishment. While a child was in school, a teacher was expected to act as a substitute parent, with all the normal forms of parental discipline open to them.

Medieval schoolboy birched on the bare buttocks


In past times, corporal punishment (spanking or paddling or caning or strapping or birching the student in order to cause physical pain) was one of the most common forms of school discipline throughout much of the world. Most Western countries, and some others, have now banned it, but it remains lawful in the United Statesmarker following a US Supreme Court decision in 1977 which held that paddling did not violate the US Constitution.

30 US states have banned corporal punishment, the others (mostly in the South) have not. It is still used to a significant (though declining) degree in some public schools in Alabamamarker, Arkansasmarker, Georgiamarker, Louisianamarker, Mississippimarker, Oklahomamarker, Tennesseemarker and Texasmarker. Private schools in these and most other states may also use it. Corporal punishment in American schools is administered to the seat of the student's trousers or skirt with a specially-made wooden paddle. This often used to take place in the classroom or hallway, but nowadays the punishment is usually given privately in the principal's office.

Official corporal punishment, often by caning, remains commonplace in schools in some Asian, African and Caribbean countries. For details of individual countries see School corporal punishment.

Currently detention is one of the most common punishments in schools in the United States, the UK, Ireland, Singapore and other countries. It requires the pupil to remain in school at a given time in the school day (such as lunch, recess or after school) - or even to attend school on a non-school day, e.g. "Saturday detention" held at some US schools. During detention, students normally have to sit in a classroom and do work, write lines or a punishment essay, or sit quietly.

A modern example of school discipline in North America and Western Europe relies upon the idea of an assertive teacher who is prepared to impose their will upon a class. Positive reinforcement is balanced with immediate and fair punishment for misbehaviour and firm, clear boundaries define what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Teachers are expected to respect their students, and sarcasm and attempts to humiliate pupils are seen as falling outside of what constitutes reasonable discipline.

Whilst this is the consensus viewpoint amongst the majority of academics, some teachers and parents advocate a more assertive and confrontational style of discipline. Such individuals claim that many problems with modern schooling stem from the weakness in school discipline and if teachers exercised firm control over the classroom they would be able to teach more efficiently. This viewpoint is supported by the educational attainment of countries -- in East Asia for instance -- that combine strict discipline with high standards of education.

It's not clear, however that this stereotypical view reflects the reality of East Asian classrooms or that the educational goals in these countries are commensurable with those in Western countries. In Japanmarker, for example, although average attainment on standardized tests may exceed those in Western countries, classroom discipline and behavior is highly problematic. Although, officially, schools have extremely rigid codes of behavior, in practice many teachers find the students unmanageable and do not enforce discipline at all.

Where school class sizes are typically 40 to 50 students, maintaining order in the classroom can take divert the teacher from instruction, leaving little opportunity for concentration and focus on what is being taught. In response, teachers may concentrate their attention on motivated students, ignoring attention-seeking and disruptive students. The result of this is that motivated students, facing demanding university entrance examinations, receive disproportionate resources, while the rest of the students are allowed, perhaps expected to, fail. Given the emphasis on attainment of university places, administrators and governors may regard this policy as appropriate.

Obligation to honor students rights

Main article: Discipline in Sudbury Model Democratic Schools
Sudbury model democratic schools claim that popularly-based authority can maintain order more effectively than dictatorial authority for governments and schools alike. They also claim that in these schools the preservation of public order is easier and more efficient than anywhere else. Primarily because rules and regulations are made by the community as a whole, thence the school atmosphere is one of persuasion and negotiation, rather than confrontation since there is no one to confront. Sudbury model democratic schools experience shows that a school that has good, clear laws, fairly and democratically passed by the entire school community, and a good judicial system for enforcing these laws, is a school in which community discipline prevails, and in which an increasingly sophisticated concept of law and order develops, against other schools today, where rules are arbitrary, authority is absolute, punishment is capricious, and due process of law is unknown.

Stress

As a profession, teaching has very high levels of stress which are listed as amongst the highest of any profession in some countries. The degree of this problem is becoming increasingly recognized and support systems are being put into place.

There are many factors that contribute to stress among teachers. These factors include the amount of time spent in class, preparing for class, counseling students, and traveling to teacher conferences; working with a large number of students with various needs, abilities, disabilities, and cognitive levels; learning new technology; changes in administrative leadership; lack of financial and personnel support; and time pressures and deadlines. While trying to deal with these issues teachers also have to deal with personal problems and issues. These stresses can also affect teaching quality.

There are many healthy and unhealthy forms of stress management. Finding time and ways to relax, developing a healthy lifestyle, accepting what cannot be changed, and avoiding unnecessary stress are all ways to deal with the stresses of teaching.

Misconduct

Misconduct by teachers, especially sexual misconduct, has been getting increased scrutiny from the media and the courts. A study by the American Association of University Women reported that 0.6% of students in the United States claim to have received unwanted sexual attention from an adult associated with education - be they a volunteer, bus driver, teacher, administrator or other adult - sometime during their educational career.

A study in England showed a 0.3% prevalence of sexual abuse by any professional, a group that included priests, religious leaders, and case workers as well as teachers. It is important to note, however, that the British study referenced above is the only one of its kind and consisted of "a random ... probability sample of 2,869 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 in a computer-assisted study" and that the questions referred to "sexual abuse with a professional," not necessarily a teacher. It is therefore logical to conclude that information on the percentage of abuses by teachers in the United Kingdom is not explicitly available and therefore not necessarily reliable. The AAUW study, however, posed questions about fourteen types of sexual harassment and various degrees of frequency and included only abuses by teachers. "The sample was drawn from a list of 80,000 schools to create a stratified two-stage sample design of 2,065 8th to 11th grade students"Its reliability was gauged at 95% with a 4% margin of error.

In the United Statesmarker especially, several high-profile cases such as Debra LaFave, Pamela Rogers, and Mary Kay Latourneau have caused increased scrutiny on teacher misconduct.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said that teachers who have sex with pupils over the age of consent should not be placed on the sex offenders register and that prosecution for statutory rape "is a real anomaly in the law that we are concerned about." This has led to outrage from child protection and parental rights groups.

Teaching around the world

There are many similarities and differences among teachers around the world. In almost all countries teachers are educated in a university or college. Governments may require certification by a recognized body before they can teach in a school. In many countries, elementary school education certificate is earned after completion of high school. The high school student follows an education specialty track, obtain the prerequisite "student-teaching" time, and receive a special diploma to begin teaching after graduation.

International schools generally follow an English-speaking, Western curriculum and are aimed at expatriate communities.

Canada

Teaching in Canadamarker requires a post-secondary degree Bachelor Degree where the last year would be a focus on Teaching. Salary ranges from $35,000/year to $85,000/yr. Teachers have the option to teach for a public school which is funded by the provincial government or teaching in a private school which is funded by the private sector, businesses and sponsors.

England and Wales

Salaries for Nursery, Primary and Secondary School teachers ranged from £20,133 to £41,004 in September 2007, although some salaries can go much higher depending on experience. Preschool teachers may earn £20,980 annually. Teachers in state schools must have at least a bachelor's degree, complete an approved teacher education program, and be licensed.

Many counties offer alternative licensing programs to attract people into teaching, especially for hard-to-fill positions. Excellent job opportunities are expected as retirements, especially among secondary school teachers, outweigh slowing enrollment growth; opportunities will vary by geographic area and subject taught.

France

In Francemarker, teachers, or professors, are mainly civil servants, recruited by competitive examination.

Republic of Ireland

Salaries for primary teachers in the Republic of Irelandmarker depend mainly on seniority (i.e. holding the position of principal, deputy principal or assistant principal), experience and qualifications. Extra pay is also given for teaching through the Irish language, in a Gaeltacht area or on an island. The basic pay for a starting teacher is 31,028 p.a., rising incrementally to €57,403 for a teacher with 25 years' service. A principal of a large school with many years' experience and several qualifications (M.A., H.Dip., etc.) could earn over €90,000.

Scotland

In Scotlandmarker, anyone wishing to teach must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Teaching in Scotland is an all graduate profession and the normal route for graduates wishing to teach is to complete a programme of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at one of the seven Scottish Universities who offer these courses. Once successfully completed, 'Provisional Registration' is given by the GTCS which is raised to 'Full Registration' status after a year if there is sufficient evidence to show that the 'Standard for Full Registration' has been met.

For salary year beginning April 2008, unpromoted teachers in Scotlandmarker earned from £20,427 for a Probationer, up to £32,583 after 6 years teaching, but could then go on to earn up to £39,942 as they complete the modules to earn Chartered Teacher Status (requiring at least 6 years at up to two modules per year.) Promotion to Principal Teacher positions attracts a salary of between £34,566 and £44,616; Deputy Head, and Head teachers earn from £40,290 to £78,642.

United States

An American teacher writing on a blackboard.


In the United Statesmarker, each state determines the requirements for getting a license to teach in public schools. Public school teachers are required to have a bachelor's degree and the majority must be certified by the state in which they teach. Many charter schools do not require that their teachers be certified, provided they meet the standards to be highly qualified as set by No Child Left Behind. Additionally, the requirements for substitute/temporary teachers are generally not as rigorous as those for full-time professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 1.4 million elementary school teachers, 674,000 middle school teachers, and 1 million secondary school teachers employed in the U.S.

In the past, teachers have been paid relatively low salaries. However, average teacher salaries have improved rapidly in recent years. US teachers are generally paid on graduated scales, with income depending on experience. Teachers with more experience and higher education earn more than those with a standard bachelor’s degree and certificate. Salaries vary greatly depending on state, relative cost of living, and grade taught. Salaries also vary within states where wealthy suburban school districts generally have higher salary schedules than other districts. The median salary for all primary and secondary teachers was $46,000 in 2004, with the average entry salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree being an estimated $32,000. Median salaries for preschool teachers, however, were less than half the national median for secondary teachers, clock in at an estimated $21,000 in 2004. For high school teachers, median salaries in 2007 ranged from $35,000 in South Dakota to $71,000 in New York, with a national median of $52,000. Some contracts may include long-term disability insurance, life insurance, emergency/personal leave and investment options. The American Federation of Teachers' teacher salary survey for the 2004-05 school year found that the average teacher salary was $47,602. In a salary survey report for K-12 teachers, elementary school teachers had the lowest median salary earning $39,259. High school teachers had the highest median salary earning $41,855.. Many teachers take advantage of the opportunity to increase their income by supervising after-school programs and other extracurricular activities. In addition to monetary compensation, public school teachers may also enjoy greater benefits (like health insurance) compared to other occupations. Also merit pay systems are on the rise for teachers, paying teachers extra money based on excellent classroom evaluations, high test scores and for high success at their overall school.

Spiritual teacher

In Hinduism the spiritual teacher is known as a guru. In the Latter Day Saint movement the teacher is an office in the Aaronic priesthood, while in Tibetan Buddhism the teachers of Dharma in Tibet are most commonly called a Lama. A Lama who has through phowa and siddhi consciously determined to be reborn, often many times, in order to continue their Bodhisattva vow is called a Tulku.

There are many concepts of teachers in Islam, ranging from mullahs (the teachers at madrassas) to ulemas.

A Rabbi is generally regarded as the Jewish spiritual teacher.

References

  1. Russell L. Ackoff and Daniel Greenberg (2008), Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track (pdf) HTML buy. Over the past 50 years, virtually everything has changed except education. In this book, two of this generation's most provocative thinkers and practical doers have reimagined education from the ground up. They offer a powerful blueprint for a thriving society of passionate lifelong learners. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  2. Greenberg, H. (1987), "The Silent Factor," The Sudbury Valley School Experience. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  3. Greenberg, H. (1987), "The Art of Doing Nothing," The Sudbury Valley School Experience. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  4. Mitra, S. (2007) Talks Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves (video – 20:59). Can Kids Teach Themselves? Sugata Mitra's "Hole in the Wall" and Minimally Invasive Education (MIE) experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they're motivated by curiosity. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  5. Ingraham v. Wright.
  6. The Crisis in American Education — An Analysis and a Proposal, The Sudbury Valley School (1970), Law and Order: Foundations of Discipline (pg. 49-55). Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  7. Teacher Support for England & Wales
  8. Teacher Support for Scotland
  9. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/teaching/tips/tips_0102.cfm
  10. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm
  11. Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature see page 8 and page 20
  12. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432881,00.html
  13. http://www.tda.gov.uk/upload/resources/pdf/t/teacher_salaries.pdf 'Teacher Salaries from September 2007' TDA (Training and Development Agency)
  14. Department of Education & Science - - Education Personnel
  15. Training to be a teacher GTC Scotland
  16. Teach in Scotland
  17. Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
  18. Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
  19. Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
  20. "Make It Happen: A Student's Guide," National Education Association. Retrieved 7/5/07.
  21. 2005 "Survey & Analysis of Teacher Salary Trends," American Federation of Teachers. Retrieved 8/5/07.
  22. 2008 "Teacher Salary- Average Teacher Salaries" PayScale. Retrieved 9/16/08.


See also



External links

  • Certification Map Outline of teacher certification requirements in each state of the USA



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