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Teaching styles – what type of teacher are you?

Teacher
Mark Kingham Mark Kingham

For many years, there has been a debate in education surrounding ‘progressive’ and ‘traditional’ teaching methods. As outlined in a blog post from ‘Scenes from the battleground’, student-centred teaching methods gained prominence in the first decade of the 21st century.

Ofsted inspectors tended to favour progressive teaching, and schools were criticised for failing to prioritise such methods. However, according to an article in the Telegraph, there was a considerable drop in these instances in early 2014 after Sir Michael Wilshaw made a direct appeal to inspectors.

Nevertheless, whether teachers adopt progressive teaching practices or traditional ones, their influence in students’ lives is immense. Aristotle once said, “Those who educate children well are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”

Teachers come from many different walks of life and have different reasons for choosing the profession. And their individual personalities contribute to their own unique teaching style.

What type of teacher are you?

LKMco compiled a research study,  Why Teach, in association with education company Pearson. It explored why teachers choose to join the profession and what motivates them to stay. The study surveyed over 1,000 teachers in England and outlined four broad teaching styles based on their answers.

Idealists

These teachers care about making a difference – not just to their pupils but also to their community and society. Their ambition to do good for society is the driving force behind their work. Idealists describe themselves as being good at teaching. However, the desire to change the world remains primary. They look for a job where they can have the greatest impact, and are more likely to teach in local authority and community schools than other teacher types. Idealist teachers love their subject and are committed to education and the profession.

Practitioners

This type consists of those who always wanted to be teachers. Their main aim is to contribute to the development of their own students. They are in the profession because they enjoy their craft and want to improve what they do. They are committed to teaching and believe in the importance of continued professional development.

Moderates

These teachers are less likely to raise strong opinions on any subject. They are moderately influenced by external factors. They tend to be open-minded, flexible, and neutral. Moderates are motivated by several different factors that keep them in the profession – their interest in the subject and their desire to make a difference to pupils’ lives.

However, when it comes to recommending the profession, this type is less enthusiastic compared with the Practitioners. They are also more likely to have considered leaving teaching than the Idealists.

Rationalists

These are teachers who have made a rational decision about being in the profession. They tend to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding to teach. Rationalists believe they can make a difference but at the same time, they also realise they need a job with decent pay and holidays. They don’t prioritise work over their personal lives and sometimes they tend to feel frustrated about their profession. Unlike other groups, they are less likely to recommend this profession to others or to their younger selves.

To quote a line from this research study, ‘it takes someone special to be a teacher’. These categories are not exhaustive and might overlap in some cases.

So, what kind of teacher are you? Are you an idealist with a pragmatic approach? Or are you a rationalist who blends elements from all of these categories?

Unlocking some interesting myths about e-Safety

Interesting myths
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson

It can be difficult to verify stories that circulate regarding the safety of children online.

EU Kids Online surveyed 25,000 children and their parents across Europe. Their research revealed some interesting myths associated with potential risks facing children online.

Professor Sonia Livingstone, who headed the project said: “Often people don’t appreciate that the digital world brings both risks and opportunities for young people, or that risk isn’t automatically a bad thing as it may give children a chance to learn how to cope and become resilient. It’s only by understanding and balancing these things that we’ll be able to give children the practical help they need to get the best from the Internet.”

She also added: “The work our team of researchers has done offers governments, parents and teachers the most comprehensive insight yet into how to help.”

Here are some interesting myths about e-Safety

Digital natives know it all

Only 36 percent of 9-16-year-olds agreed that they know more about the Internet than their parents.

Everyone creates their own content

The above study revealed that only one in five children have recently used a file-sharing site, whereas only half that number have started a blog. This means most children use the Internet for ready-made content.

Children under the age of 13 cannot use social networking sites

Even though many social networking sites have set up age limits for signing up, the research shows that age limits don’t work – 38 percent of 9-12-year-olds have an online profile.

Online Pornography is popular among young people

This myth is partly created by media hype says the study, as only one in seven children viewed sexual images online.

Bullies are villains

Interestingly, the study showed that 60 percent who bully (online or offline) have been bullied in the past. Bullies and victims are often the same people.

People you meet on the Internet are strangers

Children are familiar with most of their online contacts. Only nine percent met new online contacts offline. The majority didn’t go alone and just one percent had a bad experience.

Offline risks migrate online

Only children who lead risky offline lives are more likely to expose themselves to danger online. Similarly, it can’t be assumed that those who are low-risk offline are safe online either.

Placing the computer in the living room will help to keep children safe

This advice is out of date, as children can easily go online at a friend’s house or on a smartphone. It is advisable for parents to talk to their children about their Internet habits.

Children can get around safety software

Surprisingly, one in three 11-16-year-olds say they can change filter preferences. Most of them also said that the actions their parents take to limit their Internet activity are helpful.

In the words of Stephen Hawking: “We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.”

Would you like to find out more about e-Safety? Contact Securus today.

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