Thursday, September 10, 2009

=KiNa's philosophy 09=

My personal philosophy of education has been changing since the first moment I stepped into an education course. However, I don't see this as something that is negative. In fact, I think that a teacher's personal philosophy of education should forever be evolving. Teachers should continually make efforts to inform themselves of new technology or innovations that help to facilitate learning in the classroom.

I believe that each student has the capacity to accomplish any goal that is set for them as long as they feel connected to what they are learning; without a link between the students and material, the interest is lost and the learning is harder and may take more time. According to Jean Piaget's theory of development and learning, a developing child builds cognitive structures, or schemes, that connect previous knowledge and/or experiences to new knowledge. This connection cultivates the student's understanding and responding to his or her environment. As a student makes progress, his or her cognitive structures increase in sophistication.

A teacher must also have positive expectations. This means believing in each student and believing that the student can learn and be successful. Students only learn as much as the teacher expects; teachers who set high expectations for their students will receive higher achievement from their students. It is amazing to see what students can accomplish when they know and sense that someone believes in them. It is my aspiration as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential by establishing an environment where my students feel safe, are comfortable taking risks with new learning, and presents them with opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas.

My philosophy of education aligns itself closely to that Jerome Bruner's Theory of Constructivism. In the Constructivist theory, the learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions; its focus is on knowledge construction, not recitation of knowledge. Knowledge is constructed through one's personal experiences, previous knowledge, and beliefs. For me as an educator, this means that I try and encourage students to discover principles by themselves. I give them the opportunity to have dialogue among their peers and with myself. My main task as a teacher is to present information to be learned that matches or closely matches the student's current level of learning. My curriculum is organized in a spiral manner, so that students continually build upon what they have already learned. As the teacher I would also try to modify my teaching strategies to student responses and encourage my students to analyze, interpret, and predict information in the course of their learning. An educator's personal philosophy of education is an important element in their approach to instruction.

From what I have stated, my philosophy of education aligns itself to that of Progressivism. This philosophy greatly impacts the way in which I decide to design and develop a curriculum. My curriculum would focus on promoting progress and in improving the self and society. The emphasis would focus on the learning process, develop thinking skills, better interpersonal relationships, and meeting student interests. The students would be encouraged to be creative, express their own ideas, and appreciate the differences between themselves and others. My responsibility would be to guide and stimulate curiosity and interest in students and push them towards problem solving and scientific inquiry.

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