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Philosophy Statement

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Philosophy Statement
EDUC 346
2/25/2011
Manchester College
Heather Ballard
Children need a classroom that is child-centered and geared towards
their individual learning styles. In today’s classroom cherry-picking elements
of different educational philosophies to create a classroom that meets the
needs of all students is the norm. My classroom will be reflective of the
students I am teaching.
Using a combination of philosophies is the best way to serve students.
It is important to be flexible as a teacher. Progressivism is the philosophy that
I tend to follow; however, I also pull elements from other philosophies so that
my classroom is conducive to learning.
Progressivists believe that classrooms should be student centered.
Students should be actively involved in the learning process. Curriculum is
based on students’ interests and questions they have. High ability learners
need a curriculum that is differentiated to meet their unique learning abilities.
Students will have an active voice in the classroom. My classroom
will run based on a democratic system. A classroom is a community of
learners and as such, all students as well as the teacher have a vested interest
to ensure the success of every individual.
Essentialists believe that schooling should be practical, preparing
students to become valuable members of society. As a teacher I will be
preparing students to become a valuable member of society.
Behaviorism is when learning is shaped by desirable behavior. When
the teacher is respectful and makes a child feel proud of something they
accomplished, the child learns that behavior. The students will naturally
strive to achieve that sense of accomplishment again. This is especially true
in the high ability classroom. In a typical classroom children are used to
completing work that doesn’t challenge them. In the high ability classroom
students will feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete work that
has challenged them.
According to LeoNora Cohen (1999), constructivists believe the
teacher mediates between the new material to be learned and the learner's
level of readiness, supporting the child's growth through his or her "zone of
proximal development."
One of the best ways to stay up-to-date with the current trends is to
continue to participate in professional development training. Connecting with
other educators is an excellent way to keep your teaching techniques fresh and
fun. Learning what has worked for other educators and modifying that idea to
your own teaching style is a sign of an effective educator. Education is a
constantly changing institution and the professionals that work in the field
should be constantly changing as well.
As a new teacher professional development will be needed. Classroom
management is always important and other teachers can share their ideas
about what worked for them.
The physical setting in my classroom will have learning centers.
Students’ desks will be in clusters of 3 of 4 so that it feels more like a
community. Everything in my room will be to promote learning and sense of
community. Communities of learners are able to learn more effectively
because they are able to take more risks. Knowing that no one in the room will
make fun of them will mean they are able to speak about what is on their
mind. The students will feel that it is okay to ask questions.
Some of the centers in my rooms will be; reading corner, science
central, math madness, and internet café. Activities that will available at the
centers will have a direct correlation with the units we are studying. The
materials will be used to enhance and spark interest in the current learning
units.
Becoming a partner with parents is also an important aspect of my
philosophy. Parents are a student’s first teacher and as such should be able to
be involved in their formal education. Have parents come into the classroom
to help with tasks. If a parent is particularly good at a subject have them come
in and help with homework.
It is imperative that as a teacher one does not become complacent and stop
evolving. Students have different needs and the teacher needs to be able to
reach and teach each and every single child in their classroom. An effective
teacher will understand that they cannot stick to just one philosophy. Pulling
out key points from different philosophies will be the most effective way to
teach to the learner.
Reference
Cohen, L. M (1999). Philosophy of education. Module one: History and philosophy of education.
Retrieved from: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/PP3.html. On 9 December 2010
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