The role of teachers in the context of the Internet era

With the advent of the era of smart education and the increasing intelligence of robots, the use of artificial intelligence in various fields is becoming more and more widespread, and the integration of artificial intelligence technology and education is unstoppable. Compared with human beings, artificial intelligence has undeniable advantages in the process of education and teaching, but we should also be aware that there are limits to the use of artificial intelligence technology in the field of education, which requires teachers to strengthen the consciousness of their role and not to lose themselves under the impact of the era of smart education.

The role of teachers as cultivators of students’ group and individual attributes.

Education is not only the process of transmitting a priori knowledge, but also the process of cultivating human attributes as human beings. Human attributes refer to the characteristics of human beings as a group of individuals, which include both external group attributes, such as social skills and negotiation skills, and internal individual attributes, such as empathy and compassion, which are purely practical and rational. The role of the teacher as a group-dwelling individual is determined by the two attributes of group-dwelling and individuality, namely, the external group-dwelling attribute and the internal individual attribute. Neither teachers nor students can exist in isolation; they exist as members of a group in social life. As part of a group, both teachers and students have external group properties and need to interact with all kinds of other members of the group. Interpersonal skills and ethical concepts are necessary for interaction with others. However, as herd animals, human beings are always in contact with others, yet they are independent individuals with independent personalities. Each person, whether a teacher or a student, has values and meanings that distinguish him or her from others. The process of realizing these values and meanings is the process of acting rationally in accordance with one’s own heart, that is, the process of generating moral wisdom, internalizing morality, and practicing it.

First, teachers should maintain their role as the cultivators of students’ sociality. Sociality is an attribute unique to human beings, and the enhancement of social skills relies not only on the accumulation of declarative knowledge, but also on the precipitation of procedural knowledge and the power of environmental inculcation. Students continuously improve the depth of procedural knowledge by spending time with different social roles. At the same time, the immersion in the ways of people around them and this procedural knowledge together construct students’ principles of interpersonal interaction. The teacher, on the one hand, is one of the social actors with whom students must interact and provides material for the accumulation of procedural knowledge. In the process of interaction between students and teachers, students’ social experience is constantly enhanced, laying a solid foundation for their later entry and adaptation to society. At the same time, as the student’s guide, the teacher’s behavior and style of dealing with people will implicitly influence the way the student will deal with people in the future. As the guide of students’ implicit education, the teacher’s role model, management style and style of behavior will also have different effects on students in the process of interaction with them.

In the era of smart education, AI teachers will more often replace teachers in educational teaching activities, and the opportunities for face-to-face teaching and even face-to-face communication between teachers and students will be reduced. With the increase in the proportion of online learning, teachers will face a series of problems such as poor educational impact and lack of social cultivation channels. In the face of this situation, teachers should still grasp their role as social cultivators of students. Teachers can increase the frequency of teacher-student and student-student communication in the classroom, broaden the breadth of classroom discussion, and extend the depth of the discussion teaching process to shape students’ sound social personality through the penetration rate of online course education. In addition, the penetration of implicit education is also a breakthrough to solve this problem. Teachers’ behavior is the raw material of implicit education. Through teachers’ charisma and exemplary role, the influence of teachers’ behavior is improved, and the purpose of strengthening the penetrating power of implicit education is ultimately achieved.

Secondly, teachers should adhere to their role as the cultivators of students’ virtues. Teachers’ cultivation of students’ virtue is mainly reflected in the enlightenment of their practical rationality. According to Kant’s interpretation, practical rationality is the tendency and ability of the moral subject to insist on appealing the inner moral law to moral behavior. The process of forming practical reason is the process in which the subject constantly develops moral motives and voluntarily obeys the inner moral law, and it is the process in which the moral subject spontaneously applies the “absolute command” to moral behavior in order to achieve freedom. The artificial intelligence currently used in the field of education can only act according to the established algorithm and cannot produce morality or moral law by itself. Because moral law is subjective and flexible, it cannot be achieved without the teacher’s enlightenment and guidance to the students. Therefore, in the era of smart education, the teacher’s role as a nurturer of students’ virtue is irreplaceable by any technology.

The core of practical rationality cultivation lies in stimulating students’ moral will, which in turn enhances their moral motivation and moral judgment. First, teachers must stimulate the spontaneity of students’ moral behavior. The spontaneity of students’ moral behavior is the core of cultivating practical rationality. The compulsory and passive indoctrination moral education in traditional education ignores the principle of voluntariness in the process of forming practical rationality, and stifles the subjectivity of moral education. Moral education in the era of intelligent education opposes the means of “restraint” and “punishment”, and takes moral cultivation as the main method, and transforms students’ moral behavior motivation attribution from external, uncontrollable and unstable factors to internal, controllable and stable factors through contextual teaching with immersive technology such as VR and AR. into internal, controllable and stable factors, thus realizing the spontaneity and stability of students’ moral behavior. Second, teachers should stimulate students’ moral motivation through role modeling and emotional cultivation. Moral motivation is a prerequisite and guarantee for cultivating practical rationality. The modeling role of role models helps the development of good moral habits. In the era of smart education, teachers can make use of the digital teaching resource base supported by the net, cloud and end technology methods in the era of smart education to push role model cases for students in real time, and enhance the infectious power of teaching through the three-dimensional interactive network supported by virtual telecommunication technology, so as to effectively stimulate students’ moral motivation. In addition, teachers constantly strengthen their own moral cultivation on the Internet, exemplify compliance with Internet moral regulations, and surf the Internet civilly, and this kind of role model education supported by excellent teacher morality and teacher style has stronger penetration and infectious power. Finally, teachers should promote the development of students’ moral judgment. The formation of moral judgment is the basis for cultivating practical rationality. In the cultivation of moral judgment, the generalization and comprehension of universal laws and the establishment of a mechanism for cultivating rationality-action are important ways to guide students to shift from other’s discipline to self-discipline. Teachers can use the virtual environment to further strengthen students’ autonomous moral behavior by building an intelligent teaching environment that combines reality and imagination, and establish an effective reflex chain of “will-action” to realize the transformation of moral will into moral behavior.

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