This article is about usage in formal initial education. For college and universities, see professor. For private settings, see tutor. For teacher assistant, see Paraprofessional educator. For spiritual or religious teachers, see spiritual teacher. For other uses, see Teacher (disambiguation).
"Teachers" redirects here. For other uses, see Teachers (disambiguation).
A teacher (also called a school teacher or, in some contexts, an educator) is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values.
Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task). In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family (homeschooling), rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college. Some other professions may involve a significant amount of teaching (e.g. youth worker, pastor).
In most countries, formal teaching of students is usually carried out by paid professional teachers. This article focuses on those who are employed, as their main role, to teach others in a formaleducation context, such as at a school or other place of initial formal education or training.
Duties and functions
A teacher's role may vary among cultures.
Teachers may provide instruction in literacy and numeracy, craftsmanship or vocational training, the arts, religion, civics, community roles, or life skills.
Formal teaching tasks include preparing lessons according to agreed curricula, giving lessons, and assessing pupil progress.
A teacher's professional duties may extend beyond formal teaching. Outside of the classroom teachers may accompany students on field trips, supervise study halls, help with the organization of school functions, and serve as supervisors for extracurricular activities. In some education systems, teachers may have responsibility for student discipline.
Competences and qualities required by teachers
Teaching is a highly complex activity. This is in part because teaching is a social practice, that takes place in a specific context (time, place, culture, socio-political-economic situation etc.) and therefore reflects the values of that specific context. Factors that influence what is expected (or required) of teachers include history and tradition, social views about the purpose of education, accepted theories about learning, etc.
The competencies required by a teacher are affected by the different ways in which the role is understood around the world. Broadly, there seem to be four models:
- the teacher as manager of instruction;
- the teacher as caring person;
- the teacher as expert learner; and
- the teacher as cultural and civic person.
The OECD has argued that it is necessary to develop a shared definition of the skills and knowledge required by teachers, in order to guide teachers' career-long education and professional development. Some evidence-based international discussions have tried to reach such a common understanding. For example, the European Union has identified three broad areas of competences that teachers require:
- Working with others
- Working with knowledge, technology and information, and
- Working in and with society.
Scholarly consensus is emerging that what is required of teachers can be grouped under three headings:
- knowledge (such as: the subject matter itself and knowledge about how to teach it, curricular knowledge, knowledge about the educational sciences, psychology, assessment etc.)
- craft skills (such as lesson planning, using teaching technologies, managing students and groups, monitoring and assessing learning etc.) and
- dispositions (such as essential values and attitudes, beliefs and commitment).
It has been found that teachers who showed enthusiasm towards the course materials and students can create a positive learning experience. These teachers do not teach by rote but attempt to find new invigoration for the course materials on a daily basis. One of the challenges facing teachers is that they may have repeatedly covered a curriculum until they begin to feel bored with the subject, and their attitude may in turn bore the students. Students who had enthusiastic teachers tend to rate them higher than teachers who didn't show much enthusiasm for the course materials.
Teachers that exhibit enthusiasm can lead to students who are more likely to be engaged, interested, energetic, and curious about learning the subject matter. Recent research has found a correlation between teacher enthusiasm and students' intrinsic motivation to learn and vitality in the classroom. Controlled, experimental studies exploring intrinsic motivation of college students has shown that nonverbal expressions of enthusiasm, such as demonstrative gesturing, dramatic movements which are varied, and emotional facial expressions, result in college students reporting higher levels of intrinsic motivation to learn. But even while a teacher's enthusiasm has been shown to improve motivation and increase task engagement, it does not necessarily improve learning outcomes or memory for the material.
There are various mechanisms by which teacher enthusiasm may facilitate higher levels of intrinsic motivation. Teacher enthusiasm may contribute to a classroom atmosphere of energy and enthusiasm which feeds student interest and excitement in learning the subject matter. Enthusiastic teachers may also lead to students becoming more self-determined in their own learning process. The concept of mere exposure indicates that the teacher's enthusiasm may contribute to the student's expectations about intrinsic motivation in the context of learning. Also, enthusiasm may act as a "motivational embellishment", increasing a student's interest by the variety, novelty, and surprise of the enthusiastic teacher's presentation of the material. Finally, the concept of emotional contagion, may also apply; students may become more intrinsically motivated by catching onto the enthusiasm and energy of the teacher. 
Interaction with learners
Research shows that student motivation and attitudes towards school are closely linked to student-teacher relationships. Enthusiastic teachers are particularly good at creating beneficial relations with their students. Their ability to create effective learning environments that foster student achievement depends on the kind of relationship they build with their students. Useful teacher-to-student interactions are crucial in linking academic success with personal achievement. Here, personal success is a student's internal goal of improving himself, whereas academic success includes the goals he receives from his superior. A teacher must guide her student in aligning her personal goals with her academic goals. Students who receive this positive influence show stronger self-confidence and greater personal and academic success than those without these teacher interactions.
Students are likely to build stronger relations with teachers who are friendly and supportive and will show more interest in courses taught by these teachers. Teachers that spend more time interacting and working directly with students are perceived as supportive and effective teachers. Effective teachers have been shown to invite student participation and decision making, allow humor into their classroom, and demonstrate a willingness to play.
In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college. These professional qualifications may include the study of pedagogy, the science of teaching. Teachers, like other professionals, may have to, or choose to, continue their education after they qualify, a process known as continuing professional development.
The issue of teacher qualifications is linked to the status of the profession. In some societies, teachers enjoy a status on a par with physicians, lawyers, engineers, and accountants, in others, the status of the profession is low. In the twentieth century, many intelligent women were unable to get jobs in corporations or governments so many chose teaching as a default profession. As women become more welcomed into corporations and governments today, it may be more difficult to attract qualified teachers in the future.
Teachers are often required to undergo a course of initial education at a College of Education to ensure that they possess the necessary knowledge, competences and adhere to relevant codes of ethics.
There are a variety of bodies designed to instill, preserve and update the knowledge and professional standing of teachers. Around the world many teachers' colleges exist; they may be controlled by government or by the teaching profession itself.
They are generally established to serve and protect the public interest through certifying, governing, quality controlling, and enforcing standards of practice for the teaching profession.
The functions of the teachers' colleges may include setting out clear standards of practice, providing for the ongoing education of teachers, investigating complaints involving members, conducting hearings into allegations of professional misconduct and taking appropriate disciplinary action and accrediting teacher education programs. In many situations teachers in publicly funded schools must be members in good standing with the college, and private schools may also require their teachers to be college members. In other areas these roles may belong to the State Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Education Agency or other governmental bodies. In still other areas Teaching Unions may be responsible for some or all of these duties.
See also: Child abuse
Misconduct by teachers, especially sexual misconduct, has been getting increased scrutiny from the media and the courts. A study by the American Association of University Women reported that 9.6% of students in the United States claim to have received unwanted sexual attention from an adult associated with education; be they a volunteer, bus driver, teacher, administrator or other adult; sometime during their educational career.
A study in England showed a 0.3% prevalence of sexual abuse by any professional, a group that included priests, religious leaders, and case workers as well as teachers. It is important to note, however, that this British study is the only one of its kind and consisted of "a random ... probability sample of 2,869 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 in a computer-assisted study" and that the questions referred to "sexual abuse with a professional," not necessarily a teacher. It is therefore logical to conclude that information on the percentage of abuses by teachers in the United Kingdom is not explicitly available and therefore not necessarily reliable. The AAUW study, however, posed questions about fourteen types of sexual harassment and various degrees of frequency and included only abuses by teachers. "The sample was drawn from a list of 80,000 schools to create a stratified two-stage sample design of 2,065 8th to 11th grade students". Its reliability was gauged at 95% with a 4% margin of error.
In the United States especially, several high-profile cases such as Debra LaFave, Pamela Rogers, and Mary Kay Letourneau have caused increased scrutiny on teacher misconduct.
Chris Keates, the general secretary of National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said that teachers who have sex with pupils over the age of consent should not be placed on the sex offenders register and that prosecution for statutory rape "is a real anomaly in the law that we are concerned about." This has led to outrage from child protection and parental rights groups. Fears of being labelled a pedophile or hebephile has led to several men who enjoy teaching avoiding the profession. This has in some jurisdictions reportedly led to a shortage of male teachers.
Pedagogy and teaching
Main article: Pedagogy
Teachers facilitate student learning, often in a school or academy or perhaps in another environment such as outdoors.
The objective is typically accomplished through either an informal or formal approach to learning, including a course of study and lesson plan that teaches skills, knowledge or thinking skills. Different ways to teach are often referred to as pedagogy. When deciding what teaching method to use teachers consider students' background knowledge, environment, and their learning goals as well as standardized curricula as determined by the relevant authority. Many times, teachers assist in learning outside of the classroom by accompanying students on field trips. The increasing use of technology, specifically the rise of the internet over the past decade, has begun to shape the way teachers approach their roles in the classroom.
The objective is typically a course of study, lesson plan, or a practical skill. A teacher may follow standardized curricula as determined by the relevant authority. The teacher may interact with students of different ages, from infants to adults, students with different abilities and students with learning disabilities.
Teaching using pedagogy also involve assessing the educational levels of the students on particular skills. Understanding the pedagogy of the students in a classroom involves using differentiated instruction as well as supervision to meet the needs of all students in the classroom. Pedagogy can be thought of in two manners. First, teaching itself can be taught in many different ways, hence, using a pedagogy of teaching styles. Second, the pedagogy of the learners comes into play when a teacher assesses the pedagogic diversity of his/her students and differentiates for the individual students accordingly. For example, an experienced teacher and parent described the place of a teacher in learning as follows: "The real bulk of learning takes place in self-study and problem solving with a lot of feedback around that loop. The function of the teacher is to pressure the lazy, inspire the bored, deflate the cocky, encourage the timid, detect and correct individual flaws, and broaden the viewpoint of all. This function looks like that of a coach using the whole gamut of psychology to get each new class of rookies off the bench and into the game."
Perhaps the most significant difference between primary school and secondary school teaching is the relationship between teachers and children. In primary schools each class has a teacher who stays with them for most of the week and will teach them the whole curriculum. In secondary schools they will be taught by different subject specialists each session during the week and may have ten or more different teachers. The relationship between children and their teachers tends to be closer in the primary school where they act as form tutor, specialist teacher and surrogate parent during the course of the day.
This is true throughout most of the United States as well. However, alternative approaches for primary education do exist. One of these, sometimes referred to as a "platoon" system, involves placing a group of students together in one class that moves from one specialist to another for every subject. The advantage here is that students learn from teachers who specialize in one subject and who tend to be more knowledgeable in that one area than a teacher who teaches many subjects. Students still derive a strong sense of security by staying with the same group of peers for all classes.
Co-teaching has also become a new trend amongst educational institutions. Co-teaching is defined as two or more teachers working harmoniously to fulfill the needs of every student in the classroom. Co-teaching focuses the student on learning by providing a social networking support that allows them to reach their full cognitive potential. Co-teachers work in sync with one another to create a climate of learning.
Teachers and school discipline
Main articles: School discipline and School punishment
Throughout the history of education the most common form of school discipline was corporal punishment. While a child was in school, a teacher was expected to act as a substitute parent, with all the normal forms of parental discipline open to them.
In past times, corporal punishment (spanking or paddling or caning or strapping or birching the student in order to cause physical pain) was one of the most common forms of school discipline throughout much of the world. Most Western countries, and some others, have now banned it, but it remains lawful in the United States following a US Supreme Court decision in 1977 which held that paddling did not violate the US Constitution.
30 US states have banned corporal punishment, the others (mostly in the South) have not. It is still used to a significant (though declining) degree in some public schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Private schools in these and most other states may also use it. Corporal punishment in American schools is administered to the seat of the student's trousers or skirt with a specially made wooden paddle. This often used to take place in the classroom or hallway, but nowadays the punishment is usually given privately in the principal's office.
Official corporal punishment, often by caning, remains commonplace in schools in some Asian, African and Caribbean countries. For details of individual countries see School corporal punishment.
Currently detention is one of the most common punishments in schools in the United States, the UK, Ireland, Singapore and other countries. It requires the pupil to remain in school at a given time in the school day (such as lunch, recess or after school); or even to attend school on a non-school day, e.g. "Saturday detention" held at some schools. During detention, students normally have to sit in a classroom and do work, write lines or a punishment essay, or sit quietly.
A modern example of school discipline in North America and Western Europe relies upon the idea of an assertive teacher who is prepared to impose their will upon a class. Positive reinforcement is balanced with immediate and fair punishment for misbehavior and firm, clear boundaries define what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Teachers are expected to respect their students; sarcasm and attempts to humiliate pupils are seen as falling outside of what constitutes reasonable discipline.[verification needed]
Whilst this is the consensus viewpoint amongst the majority of academics, some teachers and parents advocate a more assertive and confrontational style of discipline. Such individuals claim that many problems with modern schooling stem from the weakness in school discipline and if teachers exercised firm control over the classroom they would be able to teach more efficiently. This viewpoint is supported by the educational attainment of countries—in East Asia for instance—that combine strict discipline with high standards of education.
It's not clear, however that this stereotypical view reflects the reality of East Asian classrooms or that the educational goals in these countries are commensurable with those in Western countries. In Japan, for example, although average attainment on standardized tests may exceed those in Western countries, classroom discipline and behavior is highly problematic. Although, officially, schools have extremely rigid codes of behavior, in practice many teachers find the students unmanageable and do not enforce discipline at all.
Where school class sizes are typically 40 to 50 students, maintaining order in the classroom can divert the teacher from instruction, leaving little opportunity for concentration and focus on what is being taught. In response, teachers may concentrate their attention on motivated students, ignoring attention-seeking and disruptive students. The result of this is that motivated students, facing demanding university entrance examinations, receive disproportionate resources. Given the emphasis on attainment of university places, administrators and governors may regard this policy as appropriate.
Obligation to honor students rights
Main article: Discipline in Sudbury Model Democratic Schools
Sudbury model democratic schools claim that popularly based authority can maintain order more effectively than dictatorial authority for governments and schools alike. They also claim that in these schools the preservation of public order is easier and more efficient than anywhere else. Primarily because rules and regulations are made by the community as a whole, thence the school atmosphere is one of persuasion and negotiation, rather than confrontation since there is no one to confront. Sudbury model democratic schools' proponents argue that a school that has good, clear laws, fairly and democratically passed by the entire school community, and a good judicial system for enforcing these laws, is a school in which community discipline prevails, and in which an increasingly sophisticated concept of law and order develops, against other schools today, where rules are arbitrary, authority is absolute, punishment is capricious, and due process of law is unknown.
Main article: Occupational hazard
Teachers face several occupational hazards in their line of work, including occupational stress, which can negatively impact teachers' mental and physical health, productivity, and students' performance. Stress can be caused by organizational change, relationships with students, fellow teachers, and administrative personnel, working environment, expectations to substitute, long hours with a heavy workload, and inspections. Teachers are also at high risk for occupational burnout.
A 2000 study found that 42% of UK teachers experienced occupational stress, twice the figure for the average profession. A 2012 study found that teachers experienced double the rate of anxiety, depression, and stress than average workers.
There are several ways to mitigate the occupational hazards of teaching. Organizational interventions, like changing teachers' schedules, providing support networks and mentoring, changing the work environment, and offering promotions and bonuses, may be effective in helping to reduce occupational stress among teachers. Individual-level interventions, including stress-management training and counseling, are also used to relieve occupational stress among teachers.
Apart from this, teachers are often not given sufficient opportunities for professional growth or promotions. This leads to some stagnancy, as there is not sufficient interests to enter the profession. An organisation in India called Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) is working to reduce this hazard, by trying to open opportunities for teachers in India.
Teaching around the world
There are many similarities and differences among teachers around the world. In almost all countries teachers are educated in a university or college. Governments may require certification by a recognized body before they can teach in a school. In many countries, elementary school education certificate is earned after completion of high school. The high school student follows an education specialty track, obtain the prerequisite "student-teaching" time, and receive a special diploma to begin teaching after graduation. In addition to certification, many educational institutions especially within the US, require that prospective teachers pass a background check and psychiatric evaluation to be able to teach in classroom. This is not always the case with adult further learning institutions but is fast becoming the norm in many countries as security concerns grow.
International schools generally follow an English-speaking, Western curriculum and are aimed at expatriate communities.
Main article: Education in Australia
Education in Australia is primarily the responsibility of the individual states and territories. Generally, education in Australia follows the three-tier model which includes primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary education (universities or TAFE colleges).
Main article: Education in Canada
Teaching in Canada requires a post-secondary degree Bachelor's Degree. In most provinces a second Bachelor's Degree such as a Bachelor of Education is required to become a qualified teacher. Salary ranges from $40,000/year to $90,000/yr. Teachers have the option to teach for a public school which is funded by the provincial government or teaching in a private school which is funded by the private sector, businesses and sponsors.
Main article: Education in France
In France, teachers, or professors, are mainly civil servants, recruited by competitive examination.
Main article: Education in Germany
In Germany, teachers are mainly civil servants recruited in special university classes, called Lehramtstudien (Teaching Education Studies). There are many differences between the teachers for elementary schools (Grundschule), lower secondary schools (Hauptschule), middle level secondary schools (Realschule) and higher level secondary schools (Gymnasium). Salaries for teachers depend on the civil servants' salary index scale (Bundesbesoldungsordnung).
Main article: Education in the Republic of Ireland
Salaries for primary teachers in Ireland depend mainly on seniority (i.e. holding the position of principal, deputy principal or assistant principal), experience and qualifications. Extra pay is also given for teaching through the Irish language, in a Gaeltacht area or on an island. The basic pay for a starting teacher is €27,814 p.a., rising incrementally to €53,423 for a teacher with 25 years service. A principal of a large school with many years experience and several qualifications (M.A., H.Dip., etc.) could earn over €90,000.
Teachers are required to be registered with the Teaching Council; under Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act 2001, a person employed in any capacity in a recognised teaching post - who is not registered with the Teaching Council - may not be paid from Oireachtas funds.
From 2006 Garda vetting has been introduced for new entrants to the teaching profession. These procedures apply to teaching and also to non-teaching posts and those who refuse vetting "cannot be appointed or engaged by the school in any capacity including in a voluntary role". Existing staff will be vetted on a phased basis.
Main article: Education in the United Kingdom
Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom having separate systems.
Main article: Education in England
Salaries for nursery, primary and secondary school teachers ranged from £20,133 to £41,004 in September 2007, although some salaries can go much higher depending on experience and extra responsibilities. Preschool teachers may earn £20,980 annually. Teachers in state schools must have at least a bachelor's degree, complete an approved teacher education program, and be licensed.
Many counties offer alternative licensing programs to attract people into teaching, especially for hard-to-fill positions. Excellent job opportunities are expected as retirements, especially among secondary school teachers, outweigh slowing enrollment growth; opportunities will vary by geographic area and subject taught.
Main article: Education in Scotland
In Scotland, anyone wishing to teach must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Teaching in Scotland is an all graduate profession and the normal route for graduates wishing to teach is to complete a programme of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at one of the seven Scottish Universities who offer these courses. Once successfully completed, "Provisional Registration" is given by the GTCS which is raised to "Full Registration" status after a year if there is sufficient evidence to show that the "Standard for Full Registration" has been met.
For the salary year beginning April 2008, unpromoted teachers in Scotland earned from £20,427 for a Probationer, up to £32,583 after 6 years teaching, but could then go on to earn up to £39,942 as they complete the modules to earn Chartered Teacher Status (requiring at least 6 years at up to two modules per year.) Promotion to Principal Teacher positions attracts a salary of between £34,566 and £44,616; Deputy Head, and Head teachers earn from £40,290 to £78,642. Teachers in Scotland can be registered members of trade unions with the main ones being the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association.
Main article: Education in Wales
Education in Wales differs in certain respects from education elsewhere in the United Kingdom. For example, a significant number of students all over Wales are educated either wholly or largely through the medium of Welsh: in 2008/09, 22 per cent of classes in maintained primary schools used Welsh as the sole or main medium of instruction. Welsh medium education is available to all age groups through nurseries, schools, colleges and universities and in adult education; lessons in the language itself are compulsory for all pupils until the age of 16.
Teachers in Wales can be registered members of trade unions such as ATL, NUT or NASUWT and reports in recent years suggest that the average age of teachers in Wales is falling with teachers being younger than in previous years. A growing cause of concern are that attacks on teachers in Welsh schools which reached an all-time high between 2005 and 2010.
Main article: Education in the United States
Further information: Paraprofessional educator
In the United States, each state determines the requirements for getting a license to teach in public schools. Teaching certification generally lasts three years, but teachers can receive certificates that last as long as ten years. Public school teachers are required to have a bachelor's degree and the majority must be certified by the state in which they teach. Many charter schools do not require that their teachers be certified, provided they meet the standards to be highly qualified as set by No Child Left Behind. Additionally, the requirements for substitute/temporary teachers are generally not as rigorous as those for full-time professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 1.4 million elementary school teachers, 674,000 middle school teachers, and 1 million secondary school teachers employed in the U.S.
In the past, teachers have been paid relatively low salaries. However, average teacher salaries have improved rapidly in recent years. US teachers are generally paid on graduated scales, with income depending on experience. Teachers with more experience and higher education earn more than those with a standard bachelor's degree and certificate. Salaries vary greatly depending on state, relative cost of living, and grade taught. Salaries also vary within states where wealthy suburban school districts generally have higher salary schedules than other districts. The median salary for all primary and secondary teachers was $46,000 in 2004, with the average entry salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree being an estimated $32,000. Median salaries for preschool teachers, however, were less than half the national median for secondary teachers, clock in at an estimated $21,000 in 2004. For high school teachers, median salaries in 2007 ranged from $35,000 in South Dakota to $71,000 in New York, with a national median of $52,000. Some contracts may include long-term disability insurance, life insurance, emergency/personal leave and investment options. The American Federation of Teachers' teacher salary survey for the 2006-07 school year found that the average teacher salary was $51,009. In a salary survey report for K-12 teachers, elementary school teachers had the lowest median salary earning $39,259. High school teachers had the highest median salary earning $41,855. Many teachers take advantage of the opportunity to increase their income by supervising after-school programs and other extracurricular activities. In addition to monetary compensation, public school teachers may also enjoy greater benefits (like health insurance) compared to other occupations. Merit pay systems are on the rise for teachers, paying teachers extra money based on excellent classroom evaluations, high test scores and for high success at their overall school. Also, with the advent of the internet, many teachers are now selling their lesson plans to other teachers through the web in order to earn supplemental income, most notably on TeachersPayTeachers.com.
Assistant teachers are additional teachers assisting the primary teacher, often in the same classroom. There are different types around the world, as well as a variety of formal programs defining roles and responsibilities.
One type is a Foreign Language Assistant, which in Germany is run by the Educational Exchange Service (Pädagogischer Austauschdienst).
British schools employ teaching assistants, who are not considered fully qualified teachers, and as such, are guided by teachers but may supervise and teach groups of pupils independently. In the United Kingdom, the term "assistant teacher" used to be used to refer to any qualified or unqualified teacher who was not a head or deputy head teacher.[original research?]
The Japanese education system employs Assistant Language Teachers in elementary, junior high and high schools.
Learning by teaching (German short form: LdL) is a method which allows pupils and students to prepare and teach lessons or parts of lessons, with the understanding that a student's own learning is enhanced through the teaching process.
- ^Williamson McDiarmid, G. & Clevenger-Bright M. (2008), 'Rethinking Teacher Capacity', in Cochran-Smith, M., Feiman-Nemser, S. & Mc Intyre, D. (Eds.): Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. Enduring questions in changing contexts. New York/Abingdon: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
- ^For a review of literature on competences required by teachers, see F Caena (2011) 'Literature review: Teachers’ core competences: requirements and development' accessed January 2017 at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/teacher-competences_en.pdf
- ^for a useful discussion see, for example: Cochran-Smith, M. (2006): 'Policy, Practice, and Politics in Teacher Education', Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
- ^see for example Cummings, W.K. (2003) 'The InstitutionS of Education. A Comparative Study of Educational Development in the Six Core Nations', Providence, MA: Symposium Books.
- ^F Caena (2011) 'Literature review: Teachers’ core competences: requirements and development' accessed January 2017 at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/teacher-competences_en.pdf citing Altet et al., 1996; Conway et al., 2010; Hansen, 2008; Seifert, 1999; Sockett, 2008
- ^'Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers', 2005, Paris: OECD publications 
- ^F Caena (2011) 'Literature review: Teachers’ core competences: requirements and development' accessed January 2017 at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/teacher-competences_en.pdf
- ^Williamson McDiarmid, G. & Clevenger-Bright M. (2008) 'Rethinking Teacher Capacity', in Cochran-Smith, M., Feiman-Nemser, S. & Mc Intyre, D. (Eds.). 'Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. Enduring questions in changing contexts'. New York/Abingdon: Routledge/Taylor & Francis cited in F Caena (2011)
- ^Teaching Patterns: a Pattern Language for Improving the Quality of Instruction in Higher Education Settings by Daren Olson. Page 96
- ^Motivated Student: Unlocking the Enthusiasm for Learning by Bob Sullo. Page 62
- ^Barkley, S., & Bianco, T. (2006). The Wonder of Wows. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 42(4), 148-151.
- ^Patrick, B.C., Hisley, J. & Kempler, T. (2000) "What's Everybody so Excited about?": The Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on Student Intrinsic Motivation and Vitality", The Journal of Experimental Education, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 217-236
- ^Brooks, Douglas M. (1985). "The Teacher's Communicative Competence: The First Day of School". Theory Into Practice. 24 (1): 63.
- ^Motz, B. A.; de Leeuw, J. R.; Carvalho, P. F.; Liang, K. L.; Goldstone, R. L. (2017). "A dissociation between engagement and learning: Enthusiastic instructions fail to reliably improve performance on a memory task". PLoS ONE. 12 (7): e0181775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0181775.
- ^All Of Us Should Be Teachers, Even If Just For One Day, Huffington Post, 27 September 2016
- ^Amatora, M. (1950). Teacher Personality: Its Influence on Pupils. Education, 71(3), 154-158
- ^Patrick, B.C., Hisley, J. & Kempler, T. (2000) "What's Everybody so Excited about?": The Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on Student Intrinsic Motivation and Vitality", The Journal of Experimental Education, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 217-236
- ^Baker, J. A., Terry, T., Bridger, R., & Winsor, A. (1997). Schools as caring communities: A relational approach to school reform. School Psychology Review, 26, 576-588.
- ^ abBryant, Jennings . 1980. Relationship between college teachers' use of humor in the classroom and students' evaluations of their teachers. Journal of educational psychology. 72, 4.
- ^Fraser, B. J., & Fisher, D. L. (1982). Predicting students' outcomes from their perceptions of classroom psychosocial environment. American Educational Research Journal, 19, 498- 518.
- ^ abHartmut, J. (1978). Supportive dimensions of teacher behavior in relationship to pupil emotional cognitive processes. Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht, 25, 69-74.
- ^ abcOsborne, E.;. Salzberger, I.; Wittenberg, G. W. 1999. The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching. Karnac Books, London.
- ^ abBaker, J. A.Teacher-Student Interaction in Urban At-Risk Classrooms: Differential Behavior, Relationship Quality, and Student Satisfaction with School. The Elementary School Journal Volume 100, Number 1, 1999 by The University of Chicago.
- ^Moos, R. H. (1979). Evaluating Educational Environments: Measures, procedures, findings, and policy implications. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- ^Goorian, Brad (December 1999). "Sexual Misconduct by School Employees"(PDF). ERIC Digest (134): 1. ERIC #: ED436816. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- ^Shakeshaft, Charol (June 2004). "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature"(PDF). U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary. p. 28. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- ^Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature see page 8 and page 20
- ^"Union Official: Teachers Who Engage in Consensual Sex With Teen Pupils Shouldn't Face Prosecution". Fox News. 2008-10-06.
- ^Kissen, Rita (2002). Getting Ready for Benjamin: Preparing Teachers for Sexual Diversity in the classroom. p. 62.
- ^Walter Evans (1965) letter to Roy Glasgow of Naval Postgraduate School, quoted by his son Gregory Walter Evans (December 2004) "Bringing Root Locus to the Classroom", IEEE Control Systems Magazine, page 81
- ^"Ingraham v. Wright". Bucknell.edu. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
- ^The Crisis in American Education — An Analysis and a Proposal, The Sudbury Valley School (1970), Law and Order: Foundations of Discipline (pg. 49-55). Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- ^Greenberg, D. (1987) The Sudbury Valley School Experience "Back to Basics - Political basics."
For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation).
Guru (Sanskrit: गुरु. IAST: guru) is a Sanskrit term that connotes someone who is a "teacher, guide, expert, or master" of certain knowledge or field. In pan-Indian traditions, guru is someone more than a teacher, in sanskrit Guru means the one who dispels the darkness and takes towards light, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a "counselor, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student". The term also refers to someone who primarily is one's spiritual guide, who helps one to discover the same potentialities that the gurus already realized.
The oldest references to the concept of guru are found in the earliest Vedic texts of Hinduism. The guru, and gurukul – a school run by guru, were an established tradition in India by the 1st millennium BCE, and these helped compose and transmit the various Vedas, the Upanishads, texts of various schools of Hindu philosophy, and post-Vedic Shastras ranging from spiritual knowledge to various arts. By about mid 1st millennium CE, archaeological and epigraphical evidence suggest numerous larger institutions of gurus existed in India, some near Hindu temples, where guru-shishya tradition helped preserve, create and transmit various fields of knowledge. These gurus led broad ranges of studies including Hindu scriptures, Buddhist texts, grammar, philosophy, martial arts, music and painting.
The tradition of guru is also found in Jainism, referring to a spiritual preceptor, a role typically served by a Jain ascetic. In Sikhism, the guru tradition has played a key role since its founding in the 15th century, its founder is referred to as Guru Nanak, and its scripture as Guru Granth Sahib. The guru concept has thrived in Vajrayāna Buddhism, where the tantric guru is considered a figure to worship and whose instructions should never be violated.
In the Western world, the term is sometimes used in a derogatory way to refer to individuals who have allegedly exploited their followers' naiveté, particularly in certain tantra schools, self-help, hippie and other new religious movements.
Guru is not just a person but it is considered as the divine guiding energy which helps humanity to realise its true nature. This energy works through an able person who is pure enough to hold it. This is the reason in Hinduism Guru is considered as God himself.
Definition and etymology
The word guru (Sanskrit: गुरु), a noun, connotes "teacher" in Sanskrit, but in Indian traditions it has contextual meanings with significance beyond what teacher means in English. The guru is more than someone who teaches specific type of knowledge, and includes in its scope someone who is also a "counselor, a sort of parent of mind and soul, who helps mold values and experiential knowledge as much as specific knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who reveals the meaning of life." The word has the same meaning in other languages derived from or borrowing words from Sanskrit, such as Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Bengali, Gujarati and Nepali. The Malayalam term Acharyan or Asan are derived from the Sanskrit word Acharya.
As a noun the word means the imparter of knowledge (jñāna; also Pali: ñāna). As an adjective, it means 'heavy,' or 'weighty,' in the sense of "heavy with knowledge,"[Note 1] heavy with spiritual wisdom, "heavy with spiritual weight," "heavy with the good qualities of scriptures and realization," or "heavy with a wealth of knowledge." The word has its roots in the Sanskrit gri (to invoke, or to praise), and may have a connection to the word gur, meaning 'to raise, lift up, or to make an effort'.
Sanskrit guru is cognate with Latin gravis 'heavy; grave, weighty, serious' and Greek βαρύς barus 'heavy'. All three derive from the Proto-Indo-Europeanroot*gʷerə-, specifically from the zero-grade form *gʷr̥ə-.
Darkness and light
गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारः स्यात् रुशब्दस्तन्निरोधकः।
अन्धकारनिरोधित्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते॥ १६॥
The syllable gu means darkness, the syllable ru, he who dispels them,
Because of the power to dispel darkness, the guru is thus named.
— Advayataraka Upanishad, Verse 16
Another etymological theory considers the term "guru" to be based on the syllables gu (गु) and ru (रु), which it claims stands for darkness and "light that dispels it", respectively.[Note 2] The guru is seen as the one who "dispels the darkness of ignorance."[Note 3][Note 4]
Reender Kranenborg disagrees, stating that darkness and light have nothing to do with the word guru. He describes this as a folk etymology.[Note 5]
Joel Mlecko states, "Gu means ignorance, and Ru means dispeller," with guru meaning the one who "dispels ignorance, all kinds of ignorance", ranging from spiritual to skills such as dancing, music, sports and others. Karen Pechelis states that, in the popular parlance, the "dispeller of darkness, one who points the way" definition for guru is common in the Indian tradition.
In Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion, Pierre Riffard makes a distinction between "occult" and "scientific" etymologies, citing as an example of the former the etymology of 'guru' in which the derivation is presented as gu ("darkness") and ru ('to push away'); the latter he exemplifies by "guru" with the meaning of 'heavy'.
Further information: list of Hindu gurus
The Guru is an ancient and central figure in the traditions of Hinduism. The ultimate liberation, contentment, freedom in the form of moksha and inner perfection is considered achievable in the Hindu belief by two means: with the help of guru, and with evolution through the process of karma including rebirth in some schools of Hindu philosophy. At an individual level in Hinduism, the Guru is many things, including being a teacher of skills, a counselor, one who helps in the birth of mind and realization of one's soul, who instils values and experiential knowledge, an exemplar, an inspiration and who helps guide a student's (śiṣya) spiritual development. At a social and religious level, the Guru helps continue the religion and Hindu way of life. Guru thus has a historic, reverential and an important role in the Hindu culture.
The word Guru is mentioned in the earliest layer of Vedic texts. The hymn 4.5.6 of Rigveda, for example, states Joel Mlecko, describes the guru as, "the source and inspirer of the knowledge of the Self, the essence of reality," for one who seeks.
The Upanishads, that is the later layers of the Vedic text, mention guru. Chandogya Upanishad, in chapter 4.4 for example, declares that it is only through guru that one attains the knowledge that matters, the insights that lead to Self-knowledge. The Katha Upanisad, in verse 1.2.8 declares the guru as indispensable to the acquisition of knowledge. In chapter 3 of Taittiriya Upanishad, human knowledge is described as that which connects the teacher and the student through the medium of exposition, just like a child is the connecting link between the father and the mother through the medium of procreation. In the Taittiriya Upanishad, the guru then urges a student, states Mlecko, to "struggle, discover and experience the Truth, which is the source, stay and end of the universe."
The ancient tradition of reverence for the guru in Hindu scriptures is apparent in 6.23 of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, which equates the need of reverence and devotion for guru to be the same as for god,
यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ ।
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः ॥ २३ ॥
He who has highest Bhakti (love, devotion) of Deva (god),
just like his Deva, so for his Guru,
To him who is high-minded,
these teachings will be illuminating.
— Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.23
The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue where Krishna speaks to Arjuna of the role of a guru, and similarly emphasizes in verse 4.34 that those who know their subject well are eager for good students, and the student can learn from such a guru through reverence, service, effort and the process of inquiry.
Capabilities, role and methods for helping a student
The 8th century Hindu text Upadesasahasri of the Advaita Vedanta philosopher Adi Shankara discusses the role of the guru in assessing and guiding students. In Chapter 1, he states that teacher is the pilot as the student walks in the journey of knowledge, he is the raft as the student rows. The text describes the need, role and characteristics of a teacher, as follows,
When the teacher finds from signs that knowledge has not been grasped or has been wrongly grasped by the student, he should remove the causes of non-comprehension in the student. This includes the student's past and present knowledge, want of previous knowledge of what constitutes subjects of discrimination and rules of reasoning, behavior such as unrestrained conduct and speech, courting popularity, vanity of his parentage, ethical flaws that are means contrary to those causes. The teacher must enjoin means in the student that are enjoined by the Śruti and Smrti, such as avoidance of anger, Yamas consisting of Ahimsa and others, also the rules of conduct that are not inconsistent with knowledge. He [teacher] should also thoroughly impress upon the student qualities like humility, which are the means to knowledge.
— Adi Shankara, Upadesha Sahasri 1.4-1.5
The teacher is one who is endowed with the power of furnishing arguments pro and con, of understanding questions [of the student], and remembers them. The teacher possesses tranquility, self-control, compassion and a desire to help others, who is versed in the Śruti texts (Vedas, Upanishads), and unattached to pleasures here and hereafter, knows the subject and is established in that knowledge. He is never a transgressor of the rules of conduct, devoid of weaknesses such as ostentation, pride, deceit, cunning, jugglery, jealousy, falsehood, egotism and attachment. The teacher's sole aim is to help others and a desire to impart the knowledge.
— Adi Shankara, Upadesha Sahasri 1.6
Adi Shankara presents a series of examples wherein he asserts that the best way to guide a student is not to give immediate answers, but posit dialogue-driven questions that enable the student to discover and understand the answer.
Gurukula and the guru-shishya tradition
Main articles: Brahmacharya, Guru-shishya tradition, Parampara, and Gurukula
Traditionally, the Guru would live a simple married life, and accept shishya (student, Sanskrit: शिष्य) where he lived. A person would begin a life of study in the Gurukula (the household of the Guru). The process of acceptance included proffering firewood and sometimes a gift to the guru, signifying that the student wants to live with, work and help the guru in maintaining the gurukul, and as an expression of a desire for education in return over several years. At the Gurukul, the working student would study the basic traditional vedic sciences and various practical skills-oriented sastras along with the religious texts contained within the Vedas and Upanishads. The education stage of a youth with a guru was referred to as Brahmacharya, and in some parts of India this followed the Upanayana or Vidyarambha rites of passage.
The gurukul would be a hut in a forest, or it was, in some cases, a monastery, called a matha or ashram or sampradaya in different parts of India. These had a lineage of gurus, who would study and focus on certain schools of Hindu philosophy or trade, and these were known as guru-shishya parampara (teacher-student tradition). This guru-driven tradition included arts such as sculpture, poetry and music.
Inscriptions from 4th century CE suggest the existence of gurukuls around Hindu temples, called Ghatikas or Mathas, where the Vedas were studied. In south India, 9th century Vedic schools attached to Hindu temples were called Calai or Salai, and these provided free boarding and lodging to students and scholars. Archaeological and epigraphical evidence suggests that ancient and medieval era gurukuls near Hindu temples offered wide range of studies, ranging from Hindu scriptures to Buddhist texts, grammar, philosophy, martial arts, music and painting.
The Guru (teacher) Shishya (disciple) parampara or guru parampara, occurs where the knowledge (in any field) is passed down through the succeeding generations. It is the traditional, residential form of education, where the Shishya remains and learns with his Guru as a family member. The fields of study in traditional guru-sisya parampara were diverse, ranging from Hindu philosophy, martial arts, music, dance to various Vedangas.
Gender and caste
The Hindu texts offer a conflicting view of whether access to guru and education was limited to men and to certain varna (castes). The Vedas and the Upanishads never mention any restrictions based either on gender or on varna. The Yajurveda and Atharvaveda texts state that knowledge is for everyone, and offer examples of women and people from all segments of society who are guru and participated in vedic studies. The Upanishads assert that one's birth does not determine one's eligibility for spiritual knowledge, only one's effort and sincerity matters.
In theory, the early Dharma-sutras and Dharma-sastras, such as Paraskara Grhyasutra, Gautama Smriti and Yajnavalkya smriti, state all four varnas are eligible to all fields of knowledge; while verses of Manusmriti state that Vedic study is available only to men of three varnas, unavailable to Shudra and women.[Note 6] In practice, state Stella Kramrisch and others, the guru tradition and availability of education extended to all segments of ancient and medieval society. Lise McKean states the guru concept has been prevalent over the range of class and caste backgrounds, and the disciples a guru attracts come from both genders and a range of classes and castes. During the bhakti movement of Hinduism, which started in about mid 1st millennium CE, the gurus included women and members of all varna.
The Advayataraka Upanishad states that the true teacher is a master in the field of knowledge, well-versed in the Vedas, is free from envy, knows yoga, lives a simple life that of a yogi, has realized the knowledge of the Atman (Soul, Self). Some scriptures and gurus have warned against false teachers, and have recommended that the spiritual seeker test the guru before accepting him. Swami Vivekananda said that there are many incompetent gurus, and that a true guru should understand the spirit of the scriptures, have a pure character and be free from sin, and should be selfless, without desire for money and fame.[full citation needed]
According to the Indologist Georg Feuerstein, in some traditions of Hinduism, when one reaches the state of Self-knowledge, one's own soul becomes the guru. In Tantra, states Feuerstein, the guru is the "ferry who leads one across the ocean of existence." A true guru guides and counsels a student's spiritual development because, states Yoga-Bija, endless logic and grammar leads to confusion, and not contentment. However, various Hindu texts caution prudence and diligence in finding the right guru, and avoiding the wrong ones. For example, in Kula-Arnava text states the following guidance:
Gurus are as numerous as lamps in every house. But, O-Goddess, difficult to find is a guru who lights up everything like a sun.
Gurus who are proficient in the Vedas, textbooks and so on are numerous. But, O Goddess, difficult to find is a guru who is proficient in the supreme Truth.
Gurus who rob their disciples of their wealth are numerous. But, O Goddess, difficult to find is a guru who removes the disciples' suffering.
Numerous here on earth are those who are intent on social class, stage of life and family. But he who is devoid of all concerns is a guru difficult to find.
An intelligent man should choose a guru by whom supreme Bliss is attained, and only such a guru and none other.
— Kula-Arnava, 13.104 - 13.110, Translated by Georg Feuerstein
A true guru is, asserts Kula-Arnava, one who lives the simple virtuous life he preaches, is stable and firm in his knowledge, master yogi with the knowledge of Self (soul) and Brahman (ultimate reality). The guru is one who initiates, transmits, guides, illuminates, debates and corrects a student in the journey of knowledge and of self-realization. The attribute of the successful guru is to help make the disciple into another guru, one who transcends him, and becomes a guru unto himself, driven by inner spirituality and principles.
In modern Hinduism
See also: Contemporary Hindu movements
In modern neo-Hinduism, Kranenborg states guru may refer to entirely different concepts, such as a spiritual advisor, or someone who performs traditional rituals outside a temple, or an enlightened master in the field of tantra or yoga or eastern arts who derives his authority from his experience, or a reference by a group of devotees of a sect to someone considered a god-like Avatar by the sect.
The tradition of reverence for guru continues in several denominations within modern Hinduism, but he or she is typically never considered as a prophet, but one who points the way to spirituality, Oneness of being, and meaning in life.
Further information: Tibetan Buddhism
In some forms of Buddhism, states Rita Gross, the concept of Guru is of supreme importance.
In Vajrayana Buddhism's Tantric teachings, the rituals require the guidance of a guru. The guru is considered essential and to the Buddhist devotee, the guru is the "enlightened teacher and ritual master", states Stephen Berkwitz. The guru is known as the vajra guru (literally "diamond guru"). Initiations or ritual empowerments are necessary before the student is permitted to practice a particular tantra, in Vajrayana Buddhist sects found in Tibet and South Asia. The tantras state that the guru is equivalent to Buddha, states Berkwitz, and is a figure to worship and whose instructions should never be violated.
The guru is the Buddha, the guru is the Dhamma, and the guru is the Sangha. The guru is the glorious Vajradhara, in this life only the guru is the means [to awakening]. Therefore, someone wishing to attain the state of Buddhahood should please the guru.
— Guhyasanaya Sadhanamala 28, 12th-century
There are Four Kinds of Lama (Guru) or spiritual teacher (Tib. lama nampa shyi) in Tibetan Buddhism:
- gangzak gyüpé lama — the individual teacher who is the holder of the lineage
- gyalwa ka yi lama — the teacher which is the word of the buddhas
- nangwa da yi lama — the symbolic teacher of all appearances
- rigpa dön gyi lama — the absolute teacher, which is rigpa, the true nature of mind
In various Buddhist traditions, there are equivalent words for guru, which include Shastri (teacher), Kalyana Mitra (friendly guide, Pali: Kalyāṇa-mittatā), Acarya (master), and Vajra-Acarya (hierophant). The guru is literally understood as "weighty", states Alex Wayman, and it refers to the Buddhist tendency to increase the weight of canons and scriptures with their spiritual studies. In Mahayana Buddhism, a term for Buddha is Bhaisajya guru, which refers to "medicine guru", or "a doctor who cures suffering with the medicine of his teachings".
Guru is the spiritual preceptor in Jainism, and typically a role served by Jain ascetics. The guru is one of three fundamental tattva (categories), the other two being dharma (teachings) and deva (divinity). The guru-tattva is what leads a lay person to the other two tattva. In some communities of the Śvētāmbara sect of Jainism, a traditional system of guru-disciple lineage exists.
The guru is revered in Jainism ritually with Guru-vandan or Guru-upashti, where respect and offerings are made to the guru, and the guru sprinkles a small amount of vaskep (a scented powder mixture of sandalwood, saffron, and camphor) on the devotee's head with a mantra or blessings.