Teacher is the central figure in any formal educational system. He must respond to the duty. He is regarded as an effective agent of social change. Any social change without teacher is a mere figment of imagination. The teacher should know well the needs of the society and the nature and direction of social change. The present democratic society expects that the teacher should really act as an agent of social change. Regarding his role, the following points need special mention:
Model of Modernity
In the process of social change important role can be performed successfully by the teacher only when he makes himself a model of modernity i.e., when he himself imbibes modern values and allows them to manifest in his own conduct. In other words, the following qualities should be imbued in the behaviour of the teacher: scientific attitude, rational thought, empathy, mobility, democratic style, sentiment of respect for individual personality, secularism, faith in change and transformation.
Competent and Skilled
The teacher should be competent and skilled because he is to lead the younger generation, the future citizens of tomorrow.
The teacher must prepare the psychological climate favourable to new attitudes and values.
The teacher should reorientate himself to accelerate the process of social change.
Suggestions for Change
The teacher should come forward with his wise suggestions of bring about social change. He has to be ready for bringing about an implementing social change. Apart from giving wise suggestions, the teacher should welcome the positive changes taking place. He should welcome what science and technology has bestowed on mankind and inculcate proper attitudes and values in students. He is to encourage non-formal education, technical education, population education, inclusive education, adult education, women education, education of the backward classes and participate, actively in these activities in the larger interest of social change.
The teacher is to help remove the obstacles in the way of implementation of social change. The Government wants social change by implementing family planning. The teacher should help the Government by breaking down the resistance of people to this programme.
Scientific Attitude Among Students
The teacher should develop a rational, curious, thoughtful, positive, constructive and scientific attitude in his students by encouraging debate and discussion in the class-room as well as in co-curricular activities.
The teacher should have secular attitude. He should have respect for all religions. He should eschew all caste, community and class considerations in dealing with students and colleagues. If the teacher can modernize the entire atmosphere of the school, he can give powerful impetus to the process of social change because the students of today will become the pillars of society of tomorrow.
National and International Outlook
The teacher should have national and international outlook. He should try to inculcate emotional integration, national integration and international understanding in the students.
Pupil-centered and Community-centered Education
The teacher should impart pupil-centered, life-centered and community-centered education. He should provide opportunities for the maximum and best development of the pupils. He should constantly strive to improve community life through the best possible use of material and human resources of the school and community.
Use of Modernized Instructional Technology
The teacher should make effective use of science and technology in the routine activities of the school and in this way habituate students to their use and give them practice in applying science and technology in other situations. Kit-based instruction for teaching of science, language laboratories for teaching languages, programmed learning for all subjects, wise exploitation of radio and television lessons and educational journals etc. to supplement class-room teaching are essential steps.
Thus, it can be concluded that the teacher through his multifarious roles and activities, can accelerate the process of social change in a very powerful way. To quote E.W. Gordon, “It is the task of the teacher to educate for change, to educate through change and to educate for orderly planned revolution, and if necessary to educate through revolutionary action.