Insights on Role of the Adult Educator

When we talk about a teacher, which image comes to our mind? Is it that of an autocrat molding the behavior of the learners as per his wishes, or an emphatic trainer who molds his teaching-learning material as per the needs of his learners. Certainly all educationists would agree with the later one. As we know that teaching and learning are the two sides of the same coin, thus only that teaching is meaningful which succeeds in bringing the desired learning among the learners. A teacher is like a salesman whose goods have value only if the buyers viz. the students are ready to buy them. This statement doesn’t in any way intend to negate the holy significance of the teacher, but is only a reference to realize the significance of the learner in the teaching-learning process from the viewpoint of the educator. We all know that the society is constantly in a state of change with the incorporation of advanced techniques of knowledge sharing and rapid developments taking place in the global economy. Teaching learning process is a system in which the teacher tries to shape the behavior of the learner in tune with the changing needs of society and education.

Undoubtedly learning aims to bring a desired change in the behavior but the ways of achieving that aim have undergone a complete metamorphosis. Modern theories of teaching learning recognize that learner is the pivot of the teaching learning process. So the teaching-learning activities should be framed keeping into consideration the needs of the learners. As a teacher I feel that we should always be receptive to new knowledge and skills in this fast changing globalized world. Today’s teacher is more of a facilitator, collaborator, communicator who is adaptive to the needs of the students. A teacher should always be ready for his continuous professional development to learn how to incorporate the existing technologies in the teaching learning process.

As a facilitator the adult educator helps the learners in achieving their desired learning objectives by giving them flexible learning options including face-to-face and online as suitable to their learning styles while providing guidance whenever they require it. Instead of standing in front of the class and dispensing information, the educator plays the role of a collaborator by working in unison with the adult learners and paying due respect to their valuable experiences and ideas and learning from them as well. He is an arranger of group activities like discussions, role plays, simulations in which the learners are encouraged to contribute actively so that they may become active creators of new experiences. In another role, he is a communicator who makes effective communicative link between the learning resources and the learners. Above all, he himself is a life long learner who keeps on upgrading his skills and knowledge through professional development programs to keep pace with the changing trends and increasing information in his field of professional practice. At the same time he also encourages his learners to continuously work for their professional development.

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