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I would approach this topic by first defining what a "good teacher" actually is and does. If you set up a definition of a teacher as someone who does more than simply facilitates lessons, demonstrates knowledge and assess student performance, then you are set.
You will have to create a definition of an effective teacher. Consider in this definition that the most effective teachers are those who personally invest in individuals' lives, put part of themselves into everything they do, and um, love their students (and their subject material). Computers can't show love. And I absolutely do not think it would be crazy to say that the best teachers in the world DO.
So in essence, your question is can a machine programmed and operated by humans replace humans in the teacher-student equation? The simple answer is no. Even in online or CD-ROM classes, there still needs to be teacher-student interaction in at least the evaluation level. It is a fairly rare student that is able to learn completely independently, at least to the level they need to.
In subjects such as math, foreign language, and hands on vocational courses just to name a few, it is very difficult to completely remove the teacher from the situation because the concepts and skills need individual clarification and reinforcement.
I do not think that there is anyway that computers could simply replace teachers in the sense that a computer would teach a lesson without any teacher around. At least this is true in literature and the social sciences.
This is true because a computer can never lead a discussion and respond in intelligent ways to student questions. In a discussion of history or government or economics (my subjects) a computer would not be able to answer any but the most frequently asked questions. It would be like expecting a student to learn straight from a book without any teacher to explain the text to them or to answer questions that were only tangentially related to the text.
What computers can do is allow one teacher to teach more students and to do so over a longer distance. A teacher could montior students over an open chat room type thing, responding to students' questions. Or, as in online classes, this could be done not in real time with students asking questions and teachers posting answers.
I think that teachers shouldn't be replaced by computers because teachers play a big role in teaching and educating students and they also act as parents in guiding the students and advising them, and teachers also may be good friends too.
I agree. Good point! :-)
There are not many students self-motivated enough to learn alone. Most students need a flesh and blood support system that gives instant feedback and offers spontaneous face-to-face communication. That's why so many college students fail online courses--no self-motivation, no independent study skills, and insufficient time-management.
Outward human response, teacher/student relationship, and regular feedback motivates most students. Computers can't make students feel proud for learning or guilty for not studying. Students won't work hard to impress a computer program that can't play devil's advocate to test oral debate skills, or raise moral or ethical issues that color the black-and-white data. Emotions are a big part of learning, and a computer offers none and acknowledges none.
Relationships and social interaction are still far too important in our society for computers to replace the human.
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