As I was putting together that post on ZPD yesterday, I was reminded of this post On Context. The idea is to derive a functional definition of “teacher” in some way that’s not what a teacher is — sage, guide, coach — so much as what a teacher does — bridge.
The problem with the existential labels is that the terms — sage, guide, coach — are ill-defined. They’re just labels which are not terribly diagnostic, provide only rudimentary guidance on behaviors and attitudes, and remain decidedly difficult to implement.
Bridge is a comparatively clear notion. It plays off Vygotsky’s idea of “scaffold” by extending the reach of an individual’s ZPD and provides a concept that’s loose enough to include classroom teachers, book authors, and movie producers — all of whom are (or can be) teachers.
The question for today is, “Is this idea too simplistic?”