THE NEW ROLE OF THE PROFESSOR IN THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA: THE IMPORTANCE OF TUTORING

M.L. Lara Ortiz

Jaume I University (SPAIN)
The Bologna process has led to the adaptation of the educational system at universities to the European Higher Education Area. The Bologna system has introduced new learning competencies or skills and it seeks a better student preparation from a theoretical and practical standpoint.

In this educational system, new competencies have been incorporated to promote independent learning by students, but it has been made to the detriment of the lectures than were more usual before. However, autonomous learning of the students could not be achieved regardless of the professor's direction because his role is imperative to guide the students to get those aims.

The autonomous learning system must mean that there is an active involvement of students in the classroom sessions because the student has developed a previous individual learning activity. But the success of this system in order to achieve the skills by the students depends largely on the role of the professor who has to be able to guide properly the students in the previous phase of independent learning.

For all those reasons, it is necessary to change the role of the professor completely in the classroom, inasmuch as he has to give some initial guidelines to drive the student independent learning that will accomplish with the expectation of reaching the skills provided in the current educational system. Through an analysis of the requirements of autonomous learning, this paper aims to find out to what extent the professor must change his traditional role in order to overcome those challenges. About it we anticipate that tutoring and coaching activities are essential in this new way of teaching, so that they must gain prominence.