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Teachers as Intellectuals, Not Technicians

Many 21st-century teachers view themselves primarily as technicians: they are professional educators who have been trained with a set of skills that, when correctly employed, will produce the desired outcomes. In this seminar, however, I argue that teachers should view themselves primarily as intellectuals, not as technicians. Teachers are master learners whose primary job is to model a life of learning for their students and to lead students on a path of learning that they also are traveling. In addition to examining the conceptual differences between these two paradigms, we also will consider some practical applications of this understanding of teachers as intellectual guides. In particular, we will focus on how teachers conceive of their purpose, how they interact with students in and out of the classroom, and what teachers and administrators alike understand to be excellent teaching and worthwhile professional development.