An Outlook in the future: Education in the year 2030 and the role of the Teacher as a Professional
to be held as a distance conference, on the 11th of September 2021
Organizer: International, Interdisciplinary Society entitled SY.N.THE.SI. The Heuristic Teachers’ Society
Under the Aegis of
Read the decision of the Municipality of Athens here (greek text)
An introductory text by: Chrysoula Kosmidou-Hardy – Jack Whitehead
Full time employment seems to be a characteristic of another era. Clever machines, which are more reliable and less expensive than people, are in a process of our replacement whereas the development of algorithms contributes to the continuous increase of work automation.
The next target of this fourth industrial revolution is the creation white-collar workers, which is the nucleus of middle class. The film “a world without jobs” directed by Philippe Borrel explores the notorious end of work.
(Summary of the documentary “Jobless World?” directed by Philippe Borrel. A coproduction by: Cinétévé France 5/ TECHNOLOGY/ ROBO/ IA/ UBER, 2018)
Questions for thinking::
Due to the rapid development of technology, we live in an era of time space compression and acceleration. Acceleration promotes only surface perception and people tend to practice only superficial mental activities and analyses. Almost nothing is carefully analyzed and examined because everything takes place very quickly. Accelerated consciousness is not in a position to put into practice the critical examination of reality because the slow sand short-lived skills required for the careful examination of things are inhibited.
However, today we don’t experience only the era of acceleration but also the era of skills requirement, since we are bombarded by arguments supporting the view that in order to survive in the era of acceleration and technology we need to develop various skills. Such skills are particularly important for teachers who are obliged to find ways of their development. Thus, we don't often come across with the term ‘knowledge! It is emphasized that teachers need to develop skills.
In the relevant literature it is argued that teachers’ autonomy is limited due to the fact that the management is using important elements of technology mainly for exercising power. Thus teachers lose control of their own work and are led towards proletarisation having as the only ‘right’ to implement work packages which are decided from above by those who have the responsibility of curriculum design, while teachers are turned into simple ‘technicians’ (Apple, 1986) who are not involved in activities or projects where praxis with phronesis, in the Aristotelean sense of the word, is required but they simply act.
As it is quite well known, a general characteristic of the present society is the increase of the individual’s interaction with the computer and with communities created in the cyberspace through the internet. The limiting of interpersonal communication and the increase of interaction with technological media of communication differentiates the conditions of communication and increases its complexity. In this way a linear model of communication is promoted (Κosmidou-Hardy 1996a, 1996b), which promotes asymmetric relationships between the powerful transmitter and the passive receiver/viewer who seems to practice ‘the silence of the crowd’ (Sennett, 1978, p. 282).
For some months now we have been experiencing such a ‘silence’ in the time of the pandemic caused by covid-19. Teachers have been called to replace the face to face interaction with their students through distance teaching and learning. What are the characteristics of this process in teaching? In September 2019 in the ‘Summit for Education’ held in Brussels with the initiative of the Commissioner for Education, the dominant theme was the use of new technologies in education. The main ‘players/actors’ on the stage of presentation were Ministers of Education invited from all Europe as well as certain technocrats of private companies. The teachers who participated in the plenary sessions were very few. The vast majority of the audience were teachers who were limited in ‘the silence of the crowd’ since it was only once or twice that the plenary session’s coordinator who was a journalist allowed for a short comment.
If one takes into serious consideration the basic and indicative themes referred to above, in combination with the fact that:
The Teacher as a Professional: Identity and Job profile
Some indicative of those questions follow:
As q subtitle of our book on the Teacher as a Professional published after the previous international conference held in Athens in 2019 under the aegis of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and the Athens Municipality, it is stated that the publication is:
A First Step in the Process of recognizing a burning issue
Through this International Conference to be organized we continue this process with a ‘Second Step’.
We hold the view that quite often teachers may be the ‘prisoners’ of theories developed by those who have the status to produce theories and impose them as ‘knowledge’ through the positions they hold and the right the dominant ideology offers them. Thus, teachers are called to live in a penumbra, marginalized and ‘chained’ by others’ decisions. As a result they don’t have a clear perspective or a deeper understanding of things, since they see only shadows. What they need is to move towards the light according to Plato’s allegory. For such a task or enterprise they need to make a serious effort leaving behind the convenience of past habits. They need to find the courage in order to:
“Your fate is the uphill road: don’t be afraid to walk upwards”
Aim of the Conference
The general aim of this international conference is to explore the present macrocosm of our socioeconomic, political and cultural world and its influences in education in general and in the microcosm of the teacher as a professional in particular. Some basic objectives in this exploration are:
Booklet of summaries
You can view the booklet with summaries by clicking here.
You can view Conference's program here.
(keep in mind that times mentioned in the program are in GMT +3 [Eastern European Summer Time] format.)
Apple, W. M., (1986), Teachers & Texts: A Political Economy of Class & Gender Relations in Education. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Kosmidou-Hardy, Chr. (1996a), «A Critical Developmental Model for Careers Education and Counselling: A Luxury or a Necessity?». Careers Education and Counselling Review. Publication of an International Conference (Editor: Kosmidou-Hardy) 38-39. 25-52. (in Greek)
Kosmidou-Hardy, Chr. (1996b), «Media Education: From the Passive Receiving of information towards its Critical Reading». Careers Education and Counselling Review. 36-37. 56-71. (in Greek)
Sennett, R. (1978), The Fall of Public Man. New York: Vintage Books