When Teachers Are Afraid to Learn, Who Fails?

There has been a lot of changes in publicly funded education recently. In our Board, the biggest change has been the introduction of virtual learning environments (VLEs) like Desire2Learn and Office365 into instructional pedagogy. Some teachers are seeing the value in extending the learning experience beyond their classrooms. Teachers who have been quick to take up VLEs into their instructional style generally report the following experiences:

1. They stop tanning by the photocopier. They learn to upload.

2. They are quick to add discussion boards. They ask students probing questions.

3. They change their lessons. They flip it. They add video. They ask students to embed and to share.

4. They may even change their assessments. They start asking students to publish instead of to submit.

There are a lot of reasons why teachers deliberately opt out of this learning however. Just like our students, the reasons teachers may have not to learn new ways of teaching are legitimate and real. But, what happens when there’s never any evidence of growth and professional development over time? Can teachers fail teaching? Or, do they just fail our students?