Working in education, we are bound to see the potential rather than what could go wrong. We see room for improvements and not the political battles to get there. We do not understand why anything that could enhance the pedagogical interaction would be too pricy. In a word, we are idealists as we should be. And idealism is needed more than anything right now. Especially in education. There are a lot of trends and new features which could and should be integrated in class and every respectable teacher is going to do so. Hopefully!
It Is All Political
Being an Austrian, I often hear a lot of reasons not do something rather than reasons to be in favor of change. Every system has its downsides and in Austria, political motives are one of them. Some measures that could enhance education are not being put into practice because of the political heritage of the regional leaders. In some areas the wrong people are in charge because of their political membership or their political relations. Not that qualifications are unimportant. But the political membership might be just as an important factor. Implementing changes in spite of those challenges is what makes my job so interesting.
New Age, New Challenges
Looking at the environment we live in, you can tell that there is a lot of potential. Future generations are going to need different competences than previous ones. The digitalization is omnipresent. Now, there are more levels of communication, more hazards and there is more potential to make life easier. What should you do, as a teacher, in case a student of yours is exposed to cyber bullying?
How do you react, if a student is going to correct you because the knowledge is at his/her fingertips? How do you deal with the pace the knowledge is about to change because we live in faster times? One answer might be to spread the pedagogical interaction. It is not about the teacher standing in front of his/her class hoping that no-one is going to fall asleep, anymore. The Future Classroom might give you a glimpse of the pedagogical potential nowadays.
Is Idealism Necessary?
To some extend, yes. If I was not an idealist, the level of frustration in education would quickly be too big. We want the best for our children and if I see better ways to get there, come hell or high water. Idealism in necessary to block out external distractions and focus on what is most important. Idealism is necessary to ignore political decisions not serving education. But most importantly: Idealism is necessary to educate future generations to think critically and participate successfully in our society.