Understanding teaching through open minds

Dr. Kas Mazurek believes that understanding the profession of teaching begins by understanding, and accepting, the education systems of other nations.

A researcher with a special interest in comparative studies in the Faculty of Education, Mazurek emphasizes that, as an educator, there is a responsibility to be open to broader concepts. He is adamant that we should never rely solely on the "knowledge and experience that local researchers, practitioners and education systems possess and generate."

Instead, Mazurek argues that we need to draw on the best practices from the widest pool of information.

"Professional knowledge is out there to be reinvented, in terms of successes and mistakes," says Mazurek.

Dr. Kas Mazurek
Dr. Kas Mazurek trumpets the idea that by accepting ideas from the education systems of other nations, teachers will better understand their profession.

He adds that training teachers to compete in a global economy means, "ensuring that they have an understanding of how educational objectives and practices work with other cultural components within a given society."

Technology has, of course, made it convenient for us to draw from a much broader knowledge base and better understand all educational systems. But in order for future educators to fully understand what is required of them in professional practice, there is no substitute for global experience.

Students in the Faculty of Education have the opportunity to take part in practicum placements in Africa, Europe, Australia and throughout North America. The possibilities for teaching internships in international settings are essentially limitless and with technology improving our ability to communicate between schools and faculties of education throughout the world, it enables faculty supervisors to provide quality support to students without necessarily visiting that location.

For Mazurek, refining knowledge and continual experimentation are fundamental and ongoing aspects of teacher education and practice. He's pleased to see that so many U of L education alumni have such an acute understanding of the value they have to offer the world, and similarly the value a global experience can offer them, through international professional practica.

This story originally appeared in the Legend. For a look at the February issue of the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.