The futures of teaching - Background paper prepared for the Futures of Education Initiative
The Futures of Education initiative, launched by UNESCO in November 2019, seeks to mobilize ideas and action that can enable education to respond to the enormous challenges that humans are confronting. This paper explores the value and role of teachers and discusses some of the paradoxes and challenges that they face. Conversations about the futures of teaching tend to focus on technological change. This paper argues that teaching is a heavily contextualized practice and that current educational contexts pose conflicting demands.
The paper concludes by presenting reflections on the futures of teaching and recommendations on how to foster the role of teachers as central educational agents. These futures are not reduced to the question of whether there should be more or fewer digital devices in classrooms, or more or less evaluation or accountability. Instead, the quest for better futures should invite social dialogue and critical interventions so that schools, teachers and students are better equipped to engage with the multiple and conflicting demands they are confronting.