The Teacher's Task: Empowering the Student

  • Paul Johnson University of Maine
  • Brandi Fairchild University of Maine


A key element in teaching is creating an environment in which students are taught how to learn. Rather than being fact oriented, it should be a setting in which one thinks about ideas. In many respects, teaching is a dialogue between teacher and learner. Yet, for this dialogue to occur, one needs to provide an environment that fosters students' abilities to think conceptually and critically about social work. Hence, teaching at its core is about engaging others in the great adventure of learning. It is an ongoing journey in which one is always looking to provide a setting in which one can take risks, engage in dialogue with one another, and have fun. The classroom should be a place where students look forward to coming and creating an environment that is collaborative and supportive. Ultimately, students are in charge of their own learning.

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