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Since 1994, World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated annually on October 5th. This celebration draws attention to the contributions of teachers in educating their communities and developing a more inclusive and sustainable society.
In 2020, World Teachers’ Day will focus on the theme Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and, now more than ever, we must work with teachers to protect the right to education and guide it into the unfolding landscape brought about by the pandemic.
This year, in view of the current situation, the celebrations will take place online. As well as the WTD Opening Ceremony and UNESCO-Hamdan Prize Awards Ceremony on 5 October, and the Closing Ceremony on 12 October, there will be a series of national, regional and global events throughout the week.
UNESCO will host a webinar on the Industry Experience of TVET Teachers in Times of Crisis on 8 October at 14:00-15:30 (CET).This webinar is jointly organized by OECD and UNESCO in collaboration with World Bank, ETF and ILO. It will highlight the status, challenges and feasible solutions for TVET teachers and teaching in times of crisis from the perspectives of various stakeholders.
The published synthesis reports in French and English, as well as the webinar recordings are available here
One necessary skill for the future is resilience. A teacher can only support students to build resilience by being a model of resilience themselves. Students should be encouraged to have a sense of meaning and purpose, to build positive relationships, and engage in collaborative activities with their peers.
Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, my strategy has evolved from the face-to-face teaching of my students to facilitating their learning through digital platforms such as WhatsApp, Zoom and Google classroom. I have also kept them engaged with interactive assignments, projects and sessions that promote their understanding of the course material.
If there's one thing the pandemic has taught us, it's that we're all connected. Our actions influence the lives of others, for better or for worse, and when we realize that, the responsibility each of us has to society becomes even more apparent.
Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
My strategy as a teacher has changed and adapted as the days and weeks have gone by, and we've realized that online classes are here to stay.
The first thing has been to listen with empathy: the students are scared, incredulous and distressed in this uncertain present. The second, to adopt an optimistic attitude. Optimism is contagious and with a positive attitude, we are all capable of learning better.
I have also had to develop my own digital skills. I would like to say that they were "rusty", but the truth is that in many cases, they were non-existent! The good thing is that since young people live in a much more digital world than we adults, they are also empathetic and patient with me. We have to learn from them too!
The evaluation for learning has become more important, the constant feedback as a guiding mechanism and the co-evaluation and self-evaluation, have been fundamental for students to acquire more confidence in their abilities and evolve more autonomously in the remote-learning process.
Finally, I believe that working in a collaborative way with my peers as well as with the students themselves is fundamental. By trying to find innovative solutions, new ways to present processes and results, adapted ways of working in teams, and giving feedback at every possible occasion, students see our concern for their learning and they appreciate it
Though I think we were forced to change, I do believe we also gained some structured methods from this situation, and in a sense, opened ourselves to new and effective teaching methods and learning tools.
Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 crisis was and has been a predicament for the school system, the length of lockdown and suspension of ‘in person’ schools could hinder or in some cases stop the ability to learn and study. For this reason, it became a necessity to develop some instruments to ‘see’ students even without seeing them in person. Furthermore, it was necessary to stop solely talking and dictating to students through cameras and start producing step-by-step activities in order to encourage students to work: read, write and talk to each other. Technology has come in handy, along with shared documents and presentations that have allowed us to reach and teach students.
The future of education, in my opinion, is sure to be reshaped by COVID-19 towards a more digitalized trajectory. But Internet and AI technology will never replace human beings in terms of empathetic intelligence.
Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
In order to adapt to the “new normal” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve tried to shift my teaching strategies in the following three aspects.
Firstly, a shift from classroom-based teaching to internet-based teaching. I’ve worked out the most suitable internet-based platforms and tools in recording instructional videos, conducting live streaming lectures and giving feedback so as to foster learning and stimulate interest.
Secondly, a shift from teacher’s instruction to the construction of a learning community. Teaching methods, such as case studies, discussions, academic games or competitions, and student-led discovery, are all effective in helping students to learn through online collaborative interaction.
Thirdly, a shift from input-oriented evaluation to output-oriented evaluation. I’ve put more focus on enabling students to achieve outcomes that need adaptability, creativity, and collaboration to better prepare them for an ever-changing world.
The repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic have cast a shadow over the whole world. Among them, the education and vocational training sector.
The current situation calls for solutions to change the pattern of the traditional training strategy. Furthermore, in order to maintain social distancing, solutions and alternatives are needed to change the training paradigm. Some of them are:
Global disruptions – including climate change, digitalization, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, demographic change and migration – are having an unprecedented impact on our lives, the world of work and the world of learning. The resulting transformations, especially the emergence of new job roles, call for learners to continuously upgrade their knowledge, skills and competences to remain relevant in a rapidly changing labour market. These shifts in turn are changing not only the content and format TVET programmes, but also TVET teaching and training methods (both theoretical and practical).
Ongoing reforms have resulted in an expansion of support mechanisms for TVET teaching staff in many countries, specifically concerning new pedagogies, curricula and use of new technologies. However, given the sheer scale and speed of labour market shifts, training providers are often unable to keep pace or to offer holistic competencies that are future-oriented. Moreover, TVET teachers and trainers have to be motivated to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to remain current with sectoral and methodological changes.
In recent years, both topics – the future of work and the future of learning – have been widely researched and debated in the context of global disruptions. However, the implications of global disruptions for the future of TVET teaching and learning are yet to be fully unpacked, understood and synthesized into an actionable framework. There continues to be a lack of evidence on and insight into how TVET teaching and learning can be better organized and TVET teaching staff better supported to deliver the skills demanded in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex labour market. As a first step to developing an actionable framework for improving TVET responsiveness to future skills needs through capacity development of TVET staff, UNESCO-UNEVOC commissioned a study to identify trends shaping the future of TVET teaching and learning.
The following report presents the results of the trends mapping study on the future of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) teaching, conducted by UNESCO-UNEVOC. The study aimed to engage the international TVET community to: (i) imp ...