“Teacher” is an inaccurate title
People, both as children and adults, are constantly learning new things. The more actively engaged in the learning process they are, the more likely they are to learn something well and retain that knowledge. So what exactly is the person “teaching” a course doing? Their title implies that they are somehow loading knowledge into student brains. While that may fit the assumptions behind the “lecture model” of instruction, that is not the way learning works.
So what title is appropriate for people who:
- Decide on, or create a sequence of topics and tasks that engage, but do not overwhelm
- Set the stage, pique student interest, then let students play while they learn
- Constantly assess group and individual progress, both informally and formally
- Provide encouragement or intervention as needed to keep students on track
- Serve as a catalyst for student reflection and meta-cognition
- Are a role model, mentor, advisor, and resource
Learning Facilitator? Accurate, but bland and slightly passive.
Leader? Accurate, but a bit ambiguous.
Instructor? Slightly better than “Teacher”, but still assumes the old model.
Essentialist? Gets at the right spirit of things, but nobody knows what it means.
Coordinator? Fairly accurate, but too passive.
Organizer? Accurate, but sounds organized labor connections are strong.
Guide? Tempting, but tourist industry connections are strong.
Director? Accurate in many ways, and drama connection is good – I like it.
Instigator? Has a nice subversive or irreverent feel to it – I like it.
I have not come up with “the perfect title” yet… ideas?