Tony Gurr

Imagineering the 21st Century Teacher…

In Classroom Teaching, Our Schools, Our Universities on 18/09/2011 at 7:19 pm

In one of my very first posts I tried to outline what I thought were the ingredients for great teaching (or even “great teachers”) – I did this because a couple of bloggers had criticised my over-emphasis on LEARNing (had to set the record straight).

I is a “teacher”, too!


But, perhaps (more importantly) I did this because I’d also been invited to speak to a group of “4th year under-grads” – who had put me on the spot by asking me to talk to them about “what makes a great teacher”!

The chat with the under-grads went something like this:

I have to admit – I even surprised myself with that!


Feeling as if I might have short-changed them a bit, I sat down and tried to elaborate on a couple of themes we had touched upon (they had, you see, also asked me if I had a blogthey could “follow”gulp)!

In version 1.0 I said this – having “switched”, sharpish, to the idea of the “effective teacher” – teachers should:

  • Treat students with respect and a caring attitude
  • Present themselves in class as “real people”
  • Spend more time working with small groups throughout the day
  • Provide a variety of opportunities for students to apply and use knowledge and skills in different learning situations
  • Use active, hands-on student learning
  • Vary instructional practices and modes of teaching
  • Offer real-world, practical examples

But, also I made the piont that it was the  level of “LEARNing Literacy” (or “learnacy”) of the teacher her or himself – that was the “critical factor“:

Not everybody liked my choice of “image” – but, I do love my South Park!


I did, for a nano-second or two, actually believe that I might have “coined” my first original  educational phrase (as I had done a few years back with “Assessment Literacy” – damn you, Stiggins) – I had to settle with a pretty “neat” set of questions that teachers could, perhaps, use to reflect, learn, growand get off the planet quicker!

In more recent posts, I have been waxing lyrically on “How to make a mushroom omelette” (my other hobby is cooking – with a good glass of vino by my side, of course)…

The mushroom was, of course, a bit of a metaphor…we do love our literacies (and fluencies) in education.

And, if we want 21st Century Learners…surely, we need 21st Century Teachers who speak the same language(s) so as to co-create the LEARNing that everyone demands of us all.


And, so…thought it was time for version 2.0…

the “effective” 21st Century Teacher!

My darling wife has just called me to “act” on my love of allthingscooking – tis Sunday evening after all (and Dexter wants his dinner, too) – have a thunk and we can chat later!


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