Global Peace Foundation and partners recognized 2021 World Teachers’ Day and the UNESCO theme, “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery,” with a series of webinars from October 5 to November 18, 2021, highlighting the critical role of teachers in the intellectual and social development of youth.
Paraguayan educators and education professionals contributed their perspectives on twenty-first-century education priorities during a webinar, “The Role of Teachers in Transforming Education Globally,” on November 3. The webinar had 476 registrants and 150 participants.
The educational needs of digitally fluent youth mean that educators need to adapt to new teaching methodologies, coordinating and facilitating learning and improving the quality of instruction. The learner today is increasingly the protagonist of his or her own learning; however, the role of teachers continues to be crucial in facilitating learning and in the comprehensive education of the “whole child.”
The role of teachers
Panelists agreed that values education is important to guide the acquired skills and knowledge of formal instruction to solve the current problems of our time. GPF Vice President for Education Dr. Tony Devine described the impact of teachers on their students as fundamental. He said the best-prepared teachers develop core values, encourage competencies in skills, and model empathy and maturity in social and emotional relationships. Students who develop empathy, good communication, and other soft skills are found to be better prepared for the future, he said.
As highlighted in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development “Future of Education and Skills 2030,” collaboration of school staff across classrooms, grade levels and extracurricular activities can help ensure that teachers are more knowledgeable about the academic, social, and emotional, needs of their students.
Panelist Alcides Vera, Vice President of Tava Paraguay Foundation, extended this approach by calling for international collaboration, cross-sector partnerships, and teacher development through the continuous exploration of relevant strategies, content, and activities to enable students to thrive.
Other panelists said the leadership of the teachers is essential to achieving an inclusive quality education, for supporting vulnerable groups, and mitigating learning gaps among youth with limiting conditions. Celeste Mosqueda, Vice-rector of the Hispano Guarani University, said that being a teacher is among the most complex professions, not only because of teaching requirements but also because of the need to support the youth in the varied context of their lives.
Another panelist, Ana María Pérez, Principal of the Schoenstatt School from Fernando de la Mora, also pointed out the fundamental role of the family in the learning process of children. Both school and family must work together to achieve their common goal of the best education for their sons and daughters, she said.
This approach has been put into practice in GPF’s Character and Creativity Initiative, where teachers and school administrators, with the support of professional development experts, share effective education practices to ensure students learn the character competencies and entrepreneurial skills that will help them thrive in the twenty-first century.
All speakers agreed that a transformation in education is necessary for the future: a paradigm shift in teaching, a new emphasis on the role of families, educational inclusion, and more personalized approaches to teaching.
For more information on global efforts to build education networks and infrastructure to address twenty-first century needs, visit:
Character & Creativity Initiative (GPF)
Sustainable Development Goals (UN)
OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030
World Teachers’ Day - (UNESCO)
On-Demand: World Teachers’ Day - Paraguay Webinar