The Teacher

CHANCELLOR’S MESSAGE: RESEARCH DAY 2014

Research Day 2014, as the Call for Paper states, is to provide an opportunity for the sharing of ideas, reflections, and praxis concerning the ‘Teacher’ in the maelstrom of contemporary events. The theme is of the ‘Teacher’ organized around four sub-themes: Conceptualizing the Teacher: What New? Effective Pedagogy and Andragogy for the 21st century; Identifying and Managing Disabling Conditions in the Classroom and Social Responsibility and Professionalism. This is, indeed, a very wide and inclusive mandate which gives scope to participants to situate themselves comfortably at some location within the framework.

Without desiring to induce unnecessary discomfort, I am constrained to make three observations.

  1. ‘The Teacher’ never teaches a-contextually. Historically and sociologically, ‘Teachers’ teach within the context of some society, culture and civilization and their relation to other societies, cultures, and civilizations. It would seem almost impractical for ‘the maelstrom of contemporary events’ not to include contentions involving Jamaican society and Caribbean civilization within the context of globalization, regionalization, the re-ordering geopolitics and the civilizations from which our forebears came which are now on our doorsteps.
  2. The Teacher is almost always caught in the tensions and contentions between conversation and change with respect to who they are, whose interests should they serve and how to deal with technological innovations and developments.
  3. Teachers invariably teach in relation to some vision of themselves, their students and the future they desire to help to create and therefore with respect to the values and the virtues that make that vision authentic.

I look forward to the results of Mico University College Research Day 2014 with respect to how participants address the Theme and Sub-themes hopefully taking some account of the three observations made above.