Should Classrooms Have Closed-Circuit Cameras To Monitor Teachers And Students? Essays Example
How important is free flow of communication between a teacher and a student? It is extremely important and obligatory. However, if closed-circuit cameras are installed in classes and corridors, communication lines that are usually assumed to be open would be narrowed or even blocked for some students, and students would not be willing to speak in confidence with their teachers anymore. Therefore, logic and reason state that classrooms should not have closed circuit cameras to keep a constant eye on teachers, as well as students.
Closed-circuit cameras are installed in various buildings to keep a watchful eye on all subjects in a room, corridor or hall. They are usually installed in examination halls to help prevent cheating. While at home, children are continuously reassured by their parents that if they keep the communication lines open, they will always receive their help and guidance. Mothers keep hinting to their daughters that they can confide in them and tell them their little secrets because no one else will ever know. Fathers tell their sons that they can openly reveal their mischief to them so they can come to the rescue in time. Similarly, teachers keep encouraging their students by telling them to share their problems with them so that they can help them progress towards their goals – both academic and personal. Teachers are willing to go out of the way just to guide a student and to help him step towards greater achievements. However, this practice is discouraged by the use of closed-circuit cameras to monitor teachers and students. While monitoring them without information would definitely be an infringement of their rights, monitoring while the subjects are aware is equally repelling as an idea. This is because it will become the greatest obstacle to developing a teacher-student understanding – an understanding that is very important for the student to keep up with what is taught in class and for the teacher to keep track of the student’s progress.
According to a 2012 report, around one hundred thousand cameras have been installed in classrooms and corridors across Britain (Paton). In the UK, around 85% of the schools are making use of closed circuit cameras (Jones). As if these statistics were not surprising enough, some schools are known to have one camera for every five students (Beckford). Big Brother Watch, a pressure group, founded against state surveillance, has not hesitated to question this policy. The director of Big Brother Watch, namely Nick Pickles, mentioned that the schools need to be above the board about what is being done with the footages (Beckford). According to him, parents need to watch out for the amount of surveillance that their children are being subjected to.
In the wake of this realization, it is important to question the reason for constant surveillance. Supporters of closed circuit cameras in classrooms predicate that by using cameras, the school’s higher-ups can better analyze the teaching methods being employed, standard of education and the improvements that are needed (Shepherd). It can be strongly argued that classes can be monitored once or twice in every quarter of the year to determine the standard of learning. Other than that, objective examinations should be set up in order to determine the level of learning. Paper-checking mechanism should be strengthened. External examiners should be allowed to go through the papers set for annual examinations. However, teachers should be given the freedom to employ the teaching method that suits best for the subject at hand. They should be able to experiment new techniques with new students without the constant tension of being under surveillance.
Similarly, the students need to be mentally free of the thought of being watched in order to fully explore a subject. It is a widely known fact that students need to be helped to overcome the fear of asking a question in front of the thirty other students sitting in a class. However, if cameras are installed, there will be an additional fear that even the principal may be watching, and a supposedly silly question may ruin his/her impression. Such a fear is definitely not favorable to effective learning and, therefore, installing closed circuit cameras goes completely against the interests of all people involved.
According to the general secretary of National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), some teachers have exposed that even their private conversations with students after school hours were filmed (Paton). One of the teacher’s also told that she had been issued a warning for visiting a colleague’s classroom because it was caught on tape (Paton). This is not only silly as an idea, but it is also completely against the idea of creating an environment that is helpful to teaching and learning. Experienced teachers highlight the importance of molding the course of studies in accordance with the students’ pace of learning. They keep changing their pace and method to help the students follow properly. However, if the teacher is constantly monitored, he/she is less likely to move away from the ‘registered’ course of action because that is likely to bring him/her to task. Eventually, the students suffer because of it.
In order to ensure that the student-teacher relationship blossoms and leads to an effective learning environment, it is necessary that action is taken against the practice of installing cameras that continuously monitor classrooms. This is because the communication lines will remain open, and a two-way open communication process will lead to excellent learning.
Beckford, Martin. “More than 200 schools have CCTV in toilets and changing rooms.” Telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group Limited, 12 Sep 2012. Web. 11 March 2015.
Jones, Andrew. “Caught on camera: could CCTV transform your lesson observations?” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited, 31 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 March 2015.
Paton, Graeme. “Classrooms put under 'permanent surveillance' by CCTV.” Telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group Limited, 20 April 2014. Web. 11 March 2015.
Shepherd, Jessica. “Someone to watch over you.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited, 4 Aug. 2009. Web. 11 March 2015.