The Role Of An Educator

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The Role Of An Educator

The Role Of An Educator


What is a educator? When you ask this question to people, you will find that everyone has an answer. It makes sense; we have all grown up having educators in our life. The other thing you will notice, however, is that people will have different definitions of a educator. Even more telling will be the responses you get when you ask people who their favorite educator was: educators that teach to our individual learning styles will most often stick out in our minds as favorites. Despite our experience in elementary school and beyond, the role of a educator in modern education varies.

Most of the time, a educator is qualified based on his or her educational level as opposed to his/her teaching style and ability. This line of thought has something to do with our current tenure system. What hasn't been addressed, however, is what the role of a educator is meant to be. One philosophy of the role of educators is based on the knowledge that a educator imparts. This philosophy makes it easier to hire and oversee educators because it is easy enough to gage the amount of knowledge that a educator has in his/her subject of expertise or the amount of knowledge that has been learned by the students. It is also very pragmatic: if you are learning about math, it's easiest to learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. The problem with this style of teaching is that it leaves the "why" behind learning to the students, and often times, to chance. Another philosophy of teaching that has received less attention from our culture is teaching based on encouraging thought. Put it one way, this is teaching students how to learn (as opposed to what to learn). This style focuses on training students to use their minds to think about an issue first.

Then, once they have thought through the issue, they will be able to solve any problem that is set before them. This style of teaching often looks similar to imparting knowledge, but you will find students discussing the reason for their answers instead of just the answers themselves. One benefit that this style brings with it is the chance to pinpoint where a student has gone wrong and give them a reason why. This style of teaching will give a student the same addition problem, but will also have that student write out the reason why they gave the answer that they did.

Teaching styles

Anthony Grasha identified the following five teaching styles as description of prevalent aspects of faculty presence in the classroom.


Possesses knowledge and expertise that students need. Strives to maintain status as an expert among students by displaying detailed knowledge and by challenging students to enhance their competence. Concerned with transmitting information and insuring that students are well prepared.

Formal Authority

Possesses status among students because of knowledge and role as a faculty ...
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