New Degree Candidate - Spring '10 Yang Gyeltshen asks: Why do we teach?

I have been teaching in one of the teacher education colleges in Bhutan for the last fifteen years or so. How I got into teaching some may say is one’s destiny, and others might say it is through opportunities availed. Whichever may be the case, teaching is one thing that was never in my mind until I tripped over it during my initial job as an educational media illustrator. The drawings I analyzed to illustrate some teaching materials meant for primary education lead me into the minds of how children look at art and learning. I started reading more and more books on children’s art and saw the correlation between art and learning, hence, did a research on children’s art and wrote a thesis – The Role & Place of Children’s Art in Bhutanese Primary Schools. Opposed to my earlier thinking, I became a teacher, profession which I now take with great pride.

If we take it seriously, teaching is not as simple as most assume it to be. Why do we teach? We teach so that learners will learn. How do learners learn? Well, each individual is different and their learning styles vary. Despite such variations, should all learners simply follow and adapt to how the teacher teaches, or, should the teacher cater to each learning style and individual’s needs? Should one follow the latter, what it tales for a good teacher to accomplish such Proficiency?

Confronting such thoughts and issues has motivated me to seek further tools and answers. Young or old, good learning can bring great changes in one's life and teachers are the agents of that change. For a number of years I have been involved in classroom teaching and learning discussions for children - the Pedagogy. This seems to differ from how adults learn - the andragogy. The venue for such academic discussion can’t be better than Center for International Education, UMass. I am very happy and proud to be here at CIE and look forward to accomplish as much as what CIE has to offer.