Should the term “teacher” be changed? A transformative educator thinks so

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Forward-thinking educators are proposing renaming teachers as “learning engineers.”

Photo: Bigstock

Ben Johnson, a school administrator and educator, is the man behind this proposition. “So much tradition and social history are connected to the word teacher, I suggest that we give serious thought to using a different term, one that fully describes what we do as teachers,” says Johnson.

He continues saying that “in a Google search of the word, 26 out of the first 30 images were of an instructor in traditional teaching mode: standing in front of the class talking, writing, or pointing in front of a chalkboard or whiteboard.” Moreover, he’s right; when people hear the word “teacher,” they think of their own experience as a student, usually in a traditional setting.

The new title “learning engineer” comes from the idea that a teacher does so much more than “teach.” They inspire creativity, curiosity, persistence, and forge the workforce of tomorrow; all this while instructing students in a specific topic.

This change will also involve changing the term “curriculum” or “lesson plans” to “learning plans,” enforcing the idea that education is moving toward engaging with the students by letting them take charge of their learning process.

From personalized learning to artificial intelligence in the classroom, it is clear that education is already changing. Maybe it is time to consider including the word “learning” to the term teacher. Because, as Ben Johnson says, teachers work “with the mindset of an engineer.”

Poll: rethinking the teacher’s role

Should the term "teacher" be modernized?