Something that this global pandemic highlighted with respect to teaching, is that politicians, educationalists, headteachers, parents and students alike for once are all in agreement. Everyone is in agreement about the value of the human aspect of teaching – it is irreplaceable.
We all remember different teachers who were pivotal to our development, each of them individual human beings with unique personalities and approaches, none of whom could ever have been replaced by a robot. What made them special was all these unique traits and the connection you felt with them. Back in the day, (I know I sound old) we didn’t have lessons with incredible visual graphics or animations and while important to today’s generation, nobody’s life changed by a blackboard, an overhead projector, or powerpoint. It was the teacher, the person who made you feel good about yourself and helped you strive for success.
It is a fact, no robot teacher will ever be able to emotionally cater for a child. I’m not even sure if a robot will even be able to help a child learn effectively, for learning encompasses so many factors not just subject knowledge but social skills, relationship building, resilience. Children tend to follow by example, they tend to mimic those who they admire, those who inspire them and not just those who tell them what to do. Out of all sectors, education professionals probably share the lowest probability of automation and being replaces by robots.
Maybe schools have a place for automation to improve some of the less human-dependent tasks in teaching such as admin work and planning, freeing up the teacher’s time to focus on actually talking to and nurturing their pupils. Oh, how I long for that day! A little back to the future maybe?
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