EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT
I believe that allchildren are born with the innate ability to learn if presented withthe opportunity and learning environment. For me, the teacher has theultimate control in creating the needed environment for learning totake place where learners also develop intellectually, physically,and socially (Carey 2012, 92). The school and the teachers should becapable of providing support, sense of safety, security and a varietyof opportunities to learn that suit every student according to theirunique attributes.
I believe in threecore elements to provide an enabling environment for learning to takeplace. The first is the teacher acting as a guide or facilitator tothe learning process as opposed to being a disseminator ofinformation/knowledge. Second is the element of allowing a child’snatural curiosity to direct the learning process and question thingsin and outside the classroom. Third is the promotion of respect forall things and people in order to develop all-rounded learners whoacknowledge their place in the universe (Carey 2012, 94).
I also believe inallowing learners the opportunity for self-discovery and givingpriority to learners’ life goals and interests. This is based onthe idea that learners are unique in their own and may have uniqueneeds and motivation. Therefore, as a teacher, I will always striveto develop a curriculum based on students’ interests and needs. Thecurriculum shall also seek to stimulate the passion to learn andquestion things in life (Joseph 2011, 32). The approach gives thelearners ownership of the curriculum and creates richer activitiesand is geared towards reaching the goals identified by the learnersas opposed to the goals of the teacher.
As a teacher, I willactively seek to close the gap between the teacher and the learner.This will create an environment of consultation and dialogue withlearners as opposed to the slave-master relationship. However, thisapproach will not be allowed to give way to any form of disrespectfulbehaviour and a strict code of moral conduct based on comradeshipwill be cultivated at all times. Woods (2012, 73) warns that whereteachers lose control in the classroom in an attempt to beingfriendly to learners, little learning takes place and thus calls forfirm approaches where necessary. Such regulated environments willfoster better communication, enhanced self-expression andarticulation of ideas as well as improve self confidence andself-esteem.
My style of teachingis informed mainly by major learner-centred theorists including JeanPiaget, Lev Vygotsky and John Dewey. Specifically, I learn towardsArmstrong in his view that traditional approaches to learningsuppress learner responsibility and hence my style assigns moreresponsibility to leaners. This is also supported by Carl Rogers viewon the formation of character which I believe should take form froman early stage (Miller 2013, 142).
One other area that Ibelieve the self-centred approach will work is addressing the diverseneeds of learners. By adopting either collaborative or cooperativeapproaches to teaching, I will ensure that the needs of individuallearners are met. At the same time, the approach will ensure that thestudents learn the best ways of engaging in discussions with peers aswell as teaching the students on the best ways of supporting eachother in the learning process. Working together in the classroom willalso ensure that the learners develop cross-cultural awareness andimprove communication skills that they will need later in life. Tomake such activities fun, I will seek to integrate games andsimulations as recommended by Jonassen and Land (2012, 3).
My role as teachershall be to offer guidance to all students in acquiringgrade-appropriate standards in independence practice, guidedpractice, and modelling knowledge. I will ensure that I am availableto students with the necessary support to improve their knowledgedevelopment and assists in discovery and implementation andapplication of knowledge acquired using different tools provided. Iwill also provide hands-on activities and adequate time, resources,and support to reinforce lessons learned in class. According to Wood(2012, 76), this approach ensures that learners attain self-efficacyand works well in creating life-long learners.
As a teacher, I remaincommitted to the process of moulding characters and individuals. Irecognize that as a teacher, I am not only responsible for theteaching process but also responsible for the moulding of characters.I will thus seek to form strong relationships with learners and theirfamilies not only to assist in the learning process but also develophuman relationships based on trust and respect (Briggs 2012, 38).This way, the students will be better prepared for life, developbetter character and even relate well with other learners, friends,family, and community members.
Briggs,M. (2012). CreativeTeaching: Mathematics in the Early Years and Primary Classroom.
Carey,T. (2012). Controlin the classroom an adventure in learning and achievement.London:
Jonassen,D. & Land, S. (2012). Theoreticalfoundations of learning environments.Melbourne:
Joseph,P. (2011). Culturesof curriculum.London: Routlegde.
Miller,L., Robbins, H. Tsalikis, M. & Yribarren, L. F?NRCP RCL. InDottin, E. Miller, L.
O’Brien,G. (eds.). StructuringLearning Environments in Teacher Education to Elicit
Dispositions asHabits of Mind: Strategies and Approaches Used and Lessons Learned.Melbourne: Rowman & Littlefield,
Woods,P. (2012) Teacher Strategies: Explorations in the Sociology of theSchool.