Margslungið og skapandi hlutverk kennarans

Höfundur er Kolbrún Þ. Pálsdóttir, forseti Menntavísindasviðs Háskóla Íslands

Í dag er alþjóðadagur kennara. Mikilvægi kennarastarfsins er óumdeilt og hvert það samfélag sem kappkostar að hlúa vel að kennurum allra skólastiga mun uppskera ríkulega. Á tímum örra breytinga er hlutverk kennarans í sífelldri þróun, og í raun má segja að aldrei hafi verið jafn mikil þörf fyrir eiginleika á borð við sveigjanleika, samstarfshæfni og skapandi hugsun hjá kennurum, kennaranemum og skólastjórnendum. En sígild stef kennarastarfsins hafa síður en svo glatað gildi sínu, stef á borð við ígrundun og skilning á því hvernig börn á ólíkum aldri leika, hugsa, læra og þroskast, hvernig ungt fólk tileinkar sér ólíka hæfni og færni, og þekking kennara á faggreinum og námssviðum. Hjartað í kennarastarfinu er síðan ávallt hin mannlegu samskipti, tengslin sem myndast milli kennara, barna og ungs fólks. Kennarar eru og hafa verið áhrifavaldar í lífi okkar flestra.

Hlutverk kennara í síbreytilegum heimi

Skólinn sem stofnun, hvort sem er um að ræða leikskóla, grunnskóla, framhaldsskóla eða háskóla, hefur gjörbreyst í áranna rás og sama gildir um hugmyndir okkar um menntun. Þjóðir víða um heim hafa skilgreint lykilhæfni 21. aldar í aðalnámskrám sínum, en það er sú hæfni sem snýr að nemandanum sjálfum og er ætlað að stuðla að alhliða þroska hans. Þetta er hæfni á borð við sköpunargáfu, félags- og samvinnufærni, sjálfstæð vinnubrögð, tjáningu og miðlun, gott siðferði, læsi á upplýsingar, gagnrýna hugsun, skilning á náttúru, menningu, sögu og samfélagi. Kennarar og skólastjórnendur bera hitann og þungann af því að innleiða ofangreindar áherslur í nám og kennslu, leik og starfi. Það er hvorki einfalt verk né fljótunnið og verðskuldar athygli, hvatningu og þátttöku frá samfélaginu öllu, allt frá foreldrum til stjórnvalda.

Kennsla er samstarf

Mikilvægt er að rifja upp að menntun er ekki fyrst og fremst tæknilegt viðfangsefni heldur siðferðilegt og felst í gagnvirku samspili kennara og nemenda, skóla og samfélags. Hér áður fyrr var litið svo á að kennarinn væri fyrst og síðast fræðari, með öll réttu svörin í handraðanum stóð hann ábúðarfullur upp við töflu og jós úr viskubrunni sínum til nemenda sem sátu fremur óvirkir og hlýddu á. Þetta hefur góðu heilli breyst. Gerð er sífellt ríkari krafa um að nemendur séu virkir í eigin námi, hvort sem um er að ræða faggreinanám í framhaldsskóla, útinám í leikskóla eða lestrarnám í grunnskóla. Kennarinn þarf ósjaldan að beita ýmsum brögðum við að kveikja áhuga nemenda og getur þurft að vera allt í senn, fræðari, leiðbeinandi, félagi og fyrirmynd.

Sjónarhorn barna og ungs fólks, þeirra reynsluheimur, upplifun, vöxtur og námsstíll er að sjálfsögðu sífelld uppspretta lærdóms fyrir kennarann sjálfan. Þá lærir kennarinn einnig með og af samstarfsfólki og öðru fagfólki, innan skóla sem utan. Eitt af því sem gerir starf kennarans flókið er að árangur nemenda hvílir á mörgum stoðum og er í raun samstarfsverkefni allra í samfélaginu. Það sem gerist fyrir utan skólann, félagslegur veruleiki nemenda, seytlar inn í skólann og um leið tekst kennarinn á við það vandasama verkefni að koma til móts við hvern einstakling, efla hann og styrkja.

Menntun kennara er ævilöng

Markmið kennaramenntunar hlýtur að vera að útskrifa nemendur sem búa yfir faglegri þekkingu og hæfni sem gerir þeim kleift að endurnýja sig í starfi og leiða þróun nýrra starfshátta. Þjóðir sem þykja bjóða upp á framúrskarandi kennaramenntun leggja ríka áherslu á að slíkt nám sé í senn fræðilegt og hagnýtt. Meginþungi fræðilega hlutans felst í því að kennaranemar öðlist þekkingu á ólíkum faggreinum og námssviðum, kynnist nýjustu rannsóknum og kenningum á sviði menntavísinda og þjálfist í aðferðum til að rannsaka og ígrunda eigið starf. Hagnýti þáttur námsins snýr þá að því að læra um aðferðir og verkfæri sem nýtast í kennslu, og að nemendur fái ríkuleg tækifæri til starfsnáms í skólum undir leiðsögn starfandi kennara. Í raun er erfitt að greina mun á því sem telst fræðilegt og þess sem teljast mætti hagnýtt. Menntarannsóknir snúast ekki síst um það að greina, skilja og meta áhrif ólíkra kennslu- og starfshátta, og leiða til þekkingar sem varpar ljósi á þau flóknu öfl sem móta nám og kennslu.

Því fer fjarri að menntun kennara ljúki við útskrift úr formlegu námi. Starfsþróun er ekki jaðarverkefni heldur þungamiðja kennarastarfsins og þegar vel tekst til, er það veigamikill þáttur í að gera kennara ánægða, sterka og sátta í starfi. Í þeim efnum vill Menntavísindasvið Háskóla Íslands gjarnan leggja enn þyngri lóð á vogarskálarnar í samstarfi við sína bandamenn.

Veit kennari af ánægju þinni?

Samkvæmt alþjóðlegri viðhorfskönnun (TALIS) sem íslenskir kennarar og skólastjórnendur taka þátt í, kemur fram að þeir fá harla litla endurgjöf og hrós fyrir störf sín. Líklega endurspeglar það þá staðreynd að Íslendingar eru almennt óduglegir við að hrósa hver öðrum. Ég vil hvetja alla landsmenn til að veita störfum kennara athygli í vetur, láta í ljós ánægju sína með vel unnin störf, sýna störfum kennara áhuga og hvetja þá áfram í þeirra mikilvægu verkefnum. Við Íslendingar treystum kennurum til að skapa námsumhverfi þar sem að börn og unglingar geta látið drauma sína rætast, geta byggt á styrkleikum sínum og fá tækifæri til að hafa áhrif á eigið nám. Það er bæði margslungið og skapandi verkefni sem krefst áhuga, hvatningar og stuðnings okkar allra. Kennarar, til hamingju með daginn.

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