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Education reform — starting with teachers

Feb 02,2015 - Last updated at Feb 02,2015

What do we want our students to know or be able to do when they end 12 years of high school education?

Theoretically, we want them to be critical thinkers, creative, able to face and tackle crises and life challenges.

To become so, we need well-educated teachers who are able to mould students to become all of the above, but very often that is not the case in Jordan.

Teachers here mostly work with the assigned book as per the curriculum. 

They do not try to create something new or make the students think of something different — which is called “hidden curriculum”.

Teachers should became acquainted with new approaches in education and how to implement them.

They advocated for the teachers union, but when it was approved, it was immediately politicised.

Teachers’ unions exist primarily to support educators and look after their welfare. They exist to provide a variety of services to their members, including setting wages and work conditions, representing workers in employment disputes and protecting pensions, in order to create an environment where educators can thrive, both personally and professionally, and that makes them better educators.

It is important to engage parents, schools and the government in the efforts to reform schools.

Administrators, political leaders, teachers and parents should all have a voice when it comes to the quality education for our children.

For sure, everyone needs satisfaction, and we, educators, will never be the sung heroes. 

Our satisfaction will come through our students when they reach key positions in the country.

We need a new vision for true reform, a clear path that brings together the union, diverse teachers, parents and the government in the spirit of collaboration and compromise.

We need a vision for reform that gives recognition to all stakeholders while making students its focus.

I used to think that teaching was a job. Then I thought it was a profession and now I believe it is a calling: a very noble calling.

Let us start working with the teachers to create well-educated people for the future of Jordan.

The writer is an education adviser with more than 30 years of experience in education planning, curriculum development and leading international schools. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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