Become a Great Teacher/Curriculum

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Reflect on your own experiences

Think back about your own learning experiences, particularly the good ones which were mediated by a teacher.

What qualities will you need as a teacher?

Describe any teacher/educator role models.

While learning, engage in peer learning - teach and learn from/with your friends ...

Is this a positive experience?

If you have had a good teacher, think about the relationship:

  • Inspiring?
  • Mutual respect?
  • etc.

Foundation knowledge

In order to teach a subject, you will need at least enough knowledge to:

  • Guide, facilitate and catalyse the learning process for the learners (a knowledge of the curriculum as a whole), and
  • "connect"
    • link different parts of the curriculum to reinforce concepts and build new levels of understanding
    • link learners to other sources of knowledge or perspectives.
  • Inspire learners to take responsibility for their own learning and development.
    • via attitude of the teacher and styles of interactions among teacher and learners
    • via learning design - activities which are inherently fascinating and inspirational.
    • update and adapt yourself according to new teaching-learning paradigms.
    • to cause the learners to view the knowledge as one by emphasizing multidisciplinary approaches in the classroom.
    • to extend the range of application of curriculum beyond the institutional boundaries by linking it with practical and concrete illustrations existing in the surrounding.
    • to cause the learners to emerge as an enlightened soul who could use the gained knowledge to become a good human being by indulging in constructive activities beneficial for the humanity at large.
    • to cause the learners to bring attitudinal changes trancending the narrow vision related with caste,class,region,religion or gender and to develop broader perspective for the fellow human being.

> Comments

Self Assessment

Suitability for the role of educator.

  • Ability to inspire learners, stimulate their interests.
  • Personal passion for knowledge, learning and teaching.


Understanding the theoretical basis and expanding one's knowledge of different activities and approaches that may be used in the learning process. Accessing resources such as ICT and knowing how to be successful as a teacher even with limited resources.

  • Design learning experiences which bring out the curiosity, creativity and innovation potential of learners.
    • Design explorative learning experiences (e.g. "progressive inquiry").
  • Allow space for informal social interaction, and where appropriate, integrate collaborative group work into the learning activities.
  • Include practical, experiential learning.
  • Design learning experiences which lead learners to "ahah" experiences and in some case life-changing insights.

Access to Tools and Resources

  • Technology
  • Thinking tools
    • mind maps
    • decision tables
    • venn diagrams
    • etc.

Affective aspects of Being a Teacher

During the NADEOSA workshop where the idea for this course started, several participants recounted stories of teachers who had inspired them (their most positive stories of learning). In most cases, there was a good' rapport between the teacher and the learner (though in one case, a negative relationship spurred the learner on to greater heights). Similar workshops at other events almost invariably surfaced stories of inspirational teachers/ educators, or something about the relationship between the teacher/mentor and learner.

Sensitivity to Local Context

Africa faces some social challenges which need to be understood and approached with a high degree of understanding and sensitivity. These include HIV/AIDS, child-led households, health, nutrition and other issues which affect the learning environment.

The replication of the problems stated in the context of Africa can be found in South Asia also. Here the problems of overpopulation, malnutrition,illiteracy, gender discrimination, poverty, corruption, regional conflicts are prominent.

In the context of these broader problems, it is highly required from the curriculum framers to accommodate all these issues within the curriculum on a priority basis, particularly within the curriculum of the social sciences. One cannot talk about the global perspective without considering the local context with sensitivity and genuineness. Under the colonial impact, curriculum in the developing as well as in the under-developed countries revolves around abstraction, unfamiliar and unknown phenomena which is clearly against the learning principles. The basic learning principles expects from the knowledge transmitters to always move from simple to complex, known to unknown and concrete to abstract. While following these principles, local context will automatically gets alive and makes the teaching-learning process meaningful for the learners. The major problem of drop-out in the Asian and African countries is somewhere linked with insensitivity about the local context. It caused the learners to develop passive attitude about the whole transaction as they fail to relate their life experience with the transmitted knowledge. It has been seen particularly with the first generation learners who enroll themselves first time in the formal set up and then leave after finding the whole offerings as meaningless.

In order to achieve the goal of 'Education For All', it is vital to revamp the whole curriculum according to local needs and requirements. It is the only way through which the participation in the education system can be enhanced.

Teacher-Learner Relationship

The relationship between the student and the teacher is important, and the same teacher will not be able to relate to all the learners as effectively. There is a personal "chemistry" aspect.

The ability to "connect" learners to alternative knowledge sources (see base knowledge above) is important.

Balance between challenging while not undermining the student's confidence.

> Comments

Teaching Style

An encouraging approach which builds confidence among the learners.

Building confidence can require high interactivity, individual curricula and mentoring --fasten

Learners identifying with the approach (e.g. team approach vs individual 1:1) and the teacher being able to identify and adapt to approaches that work with the learners.

See for example learning trails --fasten

> Comments

Life Skills

How to survive in the real world with an emphasis on the challenges in your local environment/situation.

Being able to take apprpriate opportunities at the right time (life stages).

Local Knowledge Generation

Acknowledging the assets and resources available in the community and sharing local knowledge of relevance to the community.

Relevance and Quality go hand in hand.


  • A great teacher is a student throughout his life. One can't impart knowledge to others unless one acquires it. Learning is a prerequisite to teaching and teaching aids in learning - Dr. Manisha Jain 22 January 2009.


Please add:


Participants at the NADEOSA conference who contributed to the initial thinking. List your name here if you want to. The curriculum was captured initially in a flipchart: