Teachers Then Vs Now!

Teachers! Then Vs Now?

Now more than ever, teachers are likely to serve students from diverse…

If you are reading this without any trouble, you should thank your teacher/s. Teachers shape us into who we are and who we become. Teachers are the representatives of knowledge and positivity who go beyond the call of duty to create a social impact.

Let us take a closer look at how a teacher’s role has evolved over time through history and how they continue to keep the wheel of knowledge spinning.


In India, we can trace the evolution of teachers broadly in 3 eras.

Pre-British rule, During and Post Colonial rule, and The Contemporary Mentors.

Illustration Of Guru Or Shishya Chemistry


In Pan-Indian traditions, a ‘Guru’ is the modern-day equivalent of a teacher, guide, mentor, expert, master, etc.

A Guru was an influential, well respected, and knowledgeable person. Many a time a Guru was more than a teacher. He/she would be a reverential figure who also served as a counsellor, an inspirational leader, spiritual guide, and a knowledge bearer.

Guru would set-up a Gurukul/Ashram/Commune, ideally near a river far from civilization. It was a residential school system where shisyas (students) resided in the same facility with the guru until the education was complete. A Guru taught language, science, mathematics, arts, sports, crafts, warfare, astronomy, yoga, meditation, medicine, humanity, discipline; and the list goes on.

The objectives of the gurukul system were:

  • Personality Development
  • Spiritual Development
  • Intellectual Development
  • Preservation of Knowledge, Cultures & Traditions.
  • Social Awareness

Students were divided into three categories

  • Vasu/s: One who studied until the age of 24
  • Rudra/s: One who studied until the age of 36
  • Aditya/s: One who studied until the age of 48

Before the British rule in India, Gurukuls served as a primary education source for South Asia. Some of the famous gurus in Indian history are Ved Vyasa, Dronacharya, Valmiki, Vashishtha, Brihaspati, Chanakya, Swami Vivekananda, and others.

Present Day Teacher:

A present-day teacher is someone who prepares lessons, gives lessons, and assesses student’s progress based on a standard curriculum. A formal teacher has to obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college before he/she is eligible to teach.

In the present educational system, a teacher is directly appointed by private schools and through eligibility tests in government schools. A group of teachers teaches students in their respective fields of expertise. Teachers are sorted into Preschools, Pre-primary/Elementary schools, primary/middle schools, high-schools/Secondary, Senior-secondary/Pre-University, and University levels.

The Contemporary Teacher:

The teachers on your smartphones, laptops and tablets. Teachers are moving into the digisphere where they can connect with hundreds of students at the same time without being physically present. They are changing the role of a teacher from a knowledge bearer to a facilitator of knowledge. These contemporary teachers are facilitating transformational, experiential, holistic, choice-based, and student-centric learning.

As a parent, what do you feel the future of digital teaching would be, what changes excites you the most?

As a student, how would see the future of learning, upskilling, teaching, and learning, etc?  Do you feel physical classes are still the better choice?  Let us know what excites you.  

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