Is teaching really a way to bond?
The article mentions another writer who says that a general trend in education is to tone down the ideas of teaching and education, while emphasizing learning. Here the teacher is seen as a facilitator, rather than someone who has something to give to the students.
The author of the article considers that traditional teaching limits the freedom of students, turns them into objects, and suggests that the other side of this is to establish the controlling power of teachers.
Citing another source, the article states that teachers influence their students, are influenced by them, and affect their lives in the way they relate to them as people. Here, teaching is seen as a “relational bond”. It is interactive and recognizes both teachers and students. Teaching is not only a professional endeavor, but it is also a matter of personal and interpersonal relationships.
So is education really a way to bond? Is the teacher a facilitator or does he teach power and control?
I agree with the idea of teaching as a way to bond. Teaching involves interpersonal relationships with human beings at the center. There are give and take. There is exchange, interaction, questions and answers. And there is mutual solidarity and sharing.
The bond is social, interdependent, moral and ethical.
The link does not imply an upper part and a lower part. This undermines the goal of promoting equality and common benefits. It is recognizing the interdependence of the relationship which results in mutually beneficial exchanges of a cultural and intellectual nature.
Teaching facilitates the making of connections for the sharing of ideas and perspectives, and encourages analysis and choice of new and different ways of seeing and understanding issues. There is no better answer or better view here, since everything is subject to healthy criticism.
And the teacher as a facilitator operates in an atmosphere of mutual respect between teacher and student. She does not take the moment back, but shares it with the students. As a facilitator, the teacher and the students make things happen. Teaching and education become the property of all in the process of improving each one. It is the collective well-being of each and everyone committed to making learning matter for both.
The idea of facilitation involves collective and mutual responsibilities in creating opportunities. Honesty and principles become the guiding lights for achieving goals. And education, as a means of bonding, aligns interests, while promoting growth.
Is teaching about power and control? It would be the opposite of the bond and produces mistrust, aversions and an atmosphere where creativity and enthusiasm are subdued.
Traditionally, teaching has been seen as the exercise of power and control, and anything less would be rejected. But with new and ever-evolving perspectives on education and its role, teaching has become a means of making connections. It means a more human approach to learning and a smoother, gentler way to deal with problems in the workplace.
The result is an atmosphere of collaboration, mutual respect and friendship.
* Oliver Mills is a former Lecturer in Education at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. He holds an MA in Education from Dalhousie University in Canada, an MA from the University of London and a Graduate Diploma in HRM and Training from the University of Leicester. He is a former Permanent Secretary of Education with the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands