The Teacher Is the Future

Invited Talk at VSNU Symposium on the Future of Education

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Technical universities, especially in Europe, are facing an important challenge in attracting more diverse groups of students, and in keeping the students they attract motivated and engaged in the curriculum. What should we do about the future of higher education?

We define a hierarchy of needs for teachers in higher education. We identify needs from survival to parenting.
Among the survival needs, we discuss basics (e.g., defining course objectives, and designing and delivering course material), and control needs (e.g., monitoring and understanding course trade-offs).
Among the growth needs, we discuss affection and belonging needs (e.g., sharing course material and didactics principles, and joining communities of teachers), status and esteem needs (e.g., mastery of traditional didactics and teaching techniques, and ranking that goes deeper than Teacher of the Year), and personal optimum (e.g., learning about the latest didactics and teaching techniques, and creating new techniques or innovative material).
Among the parenting needs, we introduce the concept of an education family (e.g., teaching a new generation of teachers), and directing a new education culture (e.g., seeing your innovations being used and abused outside your direct control, by a new generation of educators).