Schooling at home taking off
Effective teachers are mentors who mediate learning process
TODAY it seems more and more parents are asking the question: “To school or not to school?”
According to the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, the number of registered homeschooled students is on the rise from 8 per cent in 2012 to 27 per cent in 2015.
The largest percentage of registered children being home schooled is in Sydney’s western suburbs followed by the Hunter region.
It is a trend being reflected in other parts of Australia and countries such as the US where homeschooling is becoming part of mainstream education.
Many parents who take on the responsibility of home schooling believe they can provide a more personalised curriculum and engaging learning environment that allows their child to explore their own interests and learn at their own pace.
For other parents, the decision to home school is due to their child not getting enough support or assistance at school or concerns over bullying.
The rise of home schooling begs the question – will teachers still be relevant especially given that parents and learners have greater access to online resources and learning platforms?
That depends on how we define the role of school teachers.
If the prevailing view of the teacher as simply a deliverer of a pre-packaged curriculum still persists, then it might be argued teachers are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Yet learning and teaching is much deeper and broader than delivering a curriculum or content.
In today’s connected world, the role of teachers is shifting from being knowledge-experts and content
The largest percentage of registered children being homeschooled is in Sydney’s western suburbs
deliverers to designers of learning environments that enable students to gain 21st century skills.
Effective teachers act as guides and mentors who mediate learning for students rather than control it.
Personalised and engaging learning is not just the realm of home schoolers, it needs to be present in every learning space in every school.
While parents are always the first educators of their child, teachers still have a critical role to play in learning and teaching.