3 Educational Phylosophy
My Philosophy of Education
Years ago a need of personal growth entered in my life. This need turned into the decision to go back to school. Sitting down in a classroom, after having been away for16 year, a feeling of despair entered my heart. In that moment, I did not know how to define it. However, days later, I understood that it was a strange world that I did not know, but that I decided to re-discover. As a result, my dreams of an education started to define my goals and my goals started to define who I am as human being. Thus, my philosophy of education starts with a self-assessment. During this assessment, I found that I am an active learner who is very motivated to explore and learn new things. I found that I am an agent who wants to find the meaning of things and not simply accept the way they are. I found that I want to be a member of society who wants to produce a positive change within the society for the benefit of our children. I found that education is causing a great impact in my life and therefore, I want to pass this message down. For that reason, grounded with my own beliefs and grounded with my experiences, my philosophy has a philosophical essence of constructivism. Constructivism is a theory of education that focus in how learners create their own knowledge rather than knowledge been deposited by other source (Fetsco & McClure, 2005).
First, as a student I have learned that I learn in different ways. The ways I learn best are by looking, listening, and by action. As a result, I have acquired a set of methods that work best for my own intellectual growth. This experience has helped me to understand the different ways that students learn. Taking into account this fact my role is to teach students the appropriate material. How I will do this is by understanding that each student has individuals needs. Students’ needs should always be consider while teaching. Therefore, I am enriching my knowledge learning and compiling methods and strategies to understand and guide students through the world of learning. I learned that Gardner’s “eight intelligences” is one important tool that I consider of great importance at the time to teach students. These intelligences help teachers to assess students’ abilities to learn (Fetsco & McClure, p. 362). Therefore, the evaluation will empower me with the best approaches to help students learn. For example if a student has a bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, hands on activities will help the student learn better because a student who possesses this intelligence uses his/her body to solve problems. Another theory that I believe is essential when working with students is Piaget’s theory, “the stages of cognitive developmental” (Fetsco & McClure, p.124). This theory enables teachers to know in which developmental stage the students are, facilitating them with the idea of how to provide students with the right material to learn. As an example, if a child is in the preoperational stage, he will have an increase in his ability to think in which he will learn based in language and by creating images. After having a clear picture of how students learn, the following step is to provide students with a safety environment to learn.
The environment plays an important role when delivering education to children. For that reason, teachers should provide students with a free-risk environment to help them grow in intellect. To facilitate children with a healthy environment I will focus in three things, communication, content, and classroom’s arrangement. According to Reese (2007), communication is a powerful tool to develop a good teacher and student relationship and to solve problems. Consequently, I will use communication to inform students the classroom’s standards for behavior and work. Then, I will inform students that procedures for behaviors will be followed according to the school policy. Just then, I will make students aware of the consequences caused by certain behaviors. However, assisted with methods and strategies learned in theories and collected during my own experiences, I will be consistent with the rules built for my classroom. I believe that being consistent with the rules, students will know what to expect when inappropriate behaviors occur. I think that reviewing rules and making expectations clear it is much easy to lead the class. Example, if one of my classroom’s rule is to raise the hand before interrupting the class I will praise the student for following this rule. This strategy will help me to reinforce the student’s behavior and will motivate others to do the same. I believe that praising, reinforcing, and motivating students will stop classroom interruptions by the disrupted behavior of the students.
Another tool that plays an important role to motivate students and provide them with a healthy environment to learn is content. Therefore, I will plan my lesson plans carefully to make it interesting and keep students engaged. I think making a class interesting prevents boredom. Boredom is what I consider one of the reason for students’ misbehavior in class. Hence, I will avoid boredom by presenting students with hands-on projects and engage them into groups so they can work together and motivate each other to learn. Moreover, I will put attention to the physical surroundings of the classroom such as the properly arrangement of the furniture for students to see well. In addition, I will display posters, charts, pictures, and students’ work around the classroom to show students that their work is important and appreciated. As a result, I will motivate students to learn more and participate more in classroom activities.
In approaching the educational field with the idea of constructivism, I plan to teach my students with the hands on method. Using this approach my students will be able to explore new things and to acquire new knowledge. This new knowledge will be collected through experiments where the students could learn that old concepts can be modified by blending old information with the new information collected. In my class, I want to teach my students to be active learners by implementing real world problems for the students to solve and learn by their own experience. In addition, by using the hands on method, I will encourage students to create new knowledge and I will help them to assess how important is the new knowledge collected. In Vygotsky’s theory, I learned that “higher mental functions are generated from learner’s actions and mediated and controlled by learners” (Fetsco & McClure, p.143). Consequently, based in the Zone of Proximal Development, I will analyze what effects the new knowledge is causing to the cognitive development of my students in order to build more knowledge based on the response of my students.
As I continue in the world of teaching, my desire is to encourage my students to be their own agents in the world of learning. I will teach my students that everything in the world has a meaning and we should search for that meaning. In being their own agents of learning students will learn that things should not be accepted the way they are until they construct the meaning based in their own investigation and modified by their own concepts. I will teach students that learning is a compilation of methods, strategies and new concepts that create a new world in which others will come to discover and expand it to other dimensions. I will teach students that learning is the best tool to create knowledge and that knowledge is the best weapon to defeat fear. I will teach students that learning is a permanent change that nobody will be able to destroy. Therefore, I believe that if students search for the truth, linking and compiling new concepts based in their own desire to learn, they will become happy intellectual individuals with the desire to live. I also believe that life is a process of learning and learning is the process of life, therefore learning ends up when life no longer exists.