My philosophy of education reflects the Progressive philosophy, which focuses more on the child than on the subject matter. I believe that education should be aimed at improving the individual, which ideally leads to a better society. Above all, students must understand themselves, appreciate their talents, and value their insights in order to find their own place in this world.
I believe that my role as an educator is to be a helper, consultant, and encourager to students. The teacher-student relationship should be a partnership because students should be active participants in the learning process. I believe that effective teachers are those who help students to discover and develop their personal values, even when they may conflict with traditional ones. I am a firm believer that children learn by doing. Therefore, experimental, inquiry-based, problem-solving, and situational approaches that relate to student experience are my preferred instructional methods. As for my philosophy for classroom management, I believe that providing a safe, comfortable classroom environment and maximizing opportunities for student learning are the most important factors in governing student behavior. Allowing students to have choices within their own learning environment is important to me. For instance, I believe that students should be able to move freely throughout the classroom in order to determine what works best for them.
The Learning Community
My dedication to providing differentiated instruction allows students to have equal opportunities to reach new possibilities, regardless of abilities. It is our job as educators to know our students in order to effectively plan and modify learning opportunities which best suit the individual. Therefore, communication with students is crucial, and conferences are a great way to further understand the needs of students. In addition to conferencing with students, conferencing with other adults is also crucial. Frequent communication with parents is necessary for student success. My goal is to create a learning community that will engage students and foster the development of active citizens. With that being said, I am passionate about bringing our community into the classroom – at the local, regional, provincial, national, and global levels. I believe that guest speakers, sharing student work with the community, Skype, using the news, and exploring primary source documents are all great tools for encouraging students to be critically literate. Critical literacy is necessary for students to make informed decisions, communicate effectively, and succeed in our ever-changing world.
When assessing students, it is important to remember that assessment is what drives instruction. Therefore, teachers must assess students often in order to give frequent feedback so that they can track their own progress. Assessments should be determined by the strengths and challenges which are shown by a particular group of students. That being said, assessments should be altered depending on the class as a whole, but also on an independent student basis where needed. In line with my overall philosophy, students should not only be given the opportunity to show what they know, but also to show how they can apply that to their world. With this in mind, I favour a hands-on approach to learning over a pen and paper approach. Much like during the learning process itself, students should be active participants in the assessment process. I believe that creating success criteria together with your students allows students to take ownership of their own learning journey.
Learners should be active and learn to solve problems by reflecting upon their experience. Reflecting on work enhances its meaning. In turn, this provides opportunities to encourage more complex learning. The school should assist students in developing their own personal and social values. We must encourage students to produce their own knowledge, rather than simply consuming knowledge that was passed down by the teacher. Teachers must then be sure to ask students many critical thinking questions in order to derive rich meaning from their experiences. Additionally, it is of the utmost importance that teachers themselves take part in reflecting on their own personal experiences. Reflective teaching is a crucial form of professional development because it allows educators to celebrate successes, establish potential improvements, and plan effectively for the future. Our world is constantly changing. So, new ideas are important in order to make the future better than the past.
“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience." - John Dewey
Last updated March 2017