I’ve long been passionate about education. I come from a family of teachers and from the earliest time, I’ve wanted to be a teacher. My mom and aunt – who were teachers – used to bring me to their schools so I could watch them teach. My life changed course because of amazing teachers when I was a teenager…individuals who took the time to make me believe that we could be as amazing as we wanted to be, no mater what!
Over the years,however, as I pursued my passion in academia, I’ve been confronted with seismic shifts in the higher education landscape. Not only have I seen the value of good teaching get undermined in the name of research impact, I have also seen technological advancements fundamentally question the value of teachers in the classroom.
Higher education is no longer what it used to be. We now have MOOCs, blended learning and other hybrid models that question the typical face-to-face top-down mode of teaching. The role of the professor as the “expert” imparting his/her knowledge to a rapt audience of students is no longer tenable. So what is the role of a university professor? Why do we even need a university professor in the age of Google? Compounding this is our new reality where physical spaces in universities have been forced to shut down, and students/professors learn and teach from home.
We are already in a new age. There is no turning back. As I walk through through this evolving/ shifting landscape, these reflections serve as a note on my journey. I am not sure where it will take me. It is not, as they say, the destination that matters, but the journey. At the end, I hope that they can serve as a publication of my thoughts, from the personal to the public, on my my role as an educator.