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Teaching philosophy

“A philosophy is a statement ( or set of statements) that identifies and clarifies the beliefs and understanding of an individual or group with respect to education, it can be thought of as an organised body of knowledge and opinion on education, both as it is conceptualized and as it is practiced.

Drawing on any Two of the four foundations disciplines: History of Education, Philosophy of Education, Sociology of Education, and Psychology of Education in the Teaching Foundations module, write your introductory teaching philosophy.

This teaching philosophy is based on your personal reflection and philosophical framework on your professional approach to teaching and pupil learning based on the theories and philosophies explored within the module. Your Teaching Philosophy examines the rationale behind what you deem will guide your practice, what individual, social and societal factors impact on you as an educator and what personal values inspire your practice.”

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Introduction

Every individual has different beliefs or a different philosophy. Every educator also has a different belief, both personally and professionally, which they bring into the classroom every day. I will explain how my philosophy and beliefs will shape my role as a teacher.

Aspirations

As a future teacher, I have aspiration of what I will bring to the classroom. Rules, Respect, Equality, and a Positive Work Environment are elements that I believe will play a big roll in my teaching. An excellent example of my type of teaching philosophy can be seen in our webinar (Garland, 2020) where it explained how equity is key if we are to provide each child with a fair learning experience. The example showed how to see over the fence; the tallest child needed one box, the second tallest required two boxes to see and the smallest child needed 3 boxes. By catering for everyone’s need each child ended up with the same result. This is what I will strive for as a teacher. 

I want to encourage individuality within the classroom, the growth, and the development of characteristics and skills. For this to occur I need to have a growth mindset. The research is there to suggest the large influence a teacher’s mindset can have on that of their students. Seaton (2017) explains how a teacher’s mindset and the application of it is key to students developing their own beliefs and mindset. This influence a teacher can have is supported further by Hattie (2012) cited by Seaton(2017, pg.41-57) describes how ‘teachers beliefs have the greatest influence of student achievement and may be able to exert the most influence”. 

According to Donohoe et al., (2012) cited by Seaton (2017, pg. 41-57) growth mindset students will look to challenge themselves; they will face a task head-on and they are personally motivated to succeed. 

This highlights how your philosophy can have an enormous impact on a child, positively or negatively. A teacher must have a growth mindset to enable a child to flourish in their classroom, such as the importance as highlighted by Nikki Willis (2019, pg.1) how a ‘growth mindset provides a child with skills for life and also assists in them becoming lifelong learners’. 

As an educator, it will be my philosophy to grow and nurture this belief not only in myself on a day to day basis but vitally the students. 

Style of Learning

The lessons must have the student’s attention and interest. There are different methods of learning that are excellent ways of maintaining the attention and involvement of children. When describing active learning, Prince (2004, pg.223) claims it is a way or style whereby students get involved or engaged in the learning process. This is the style of learning I will promote in the classroom. Having children actively involved in their learning, I believe is key to their development in education and going forward in their life. I also believe that collaborative and group learning is an excellent way for children to enhance their knowledge. This is supported by Wells(1999, pg.331) cited by Derry, (2013 pg. 51) who describes how a teacher’s role is not to just tell children what to do but to ‘sees him or herself as a fellow learner whose prime responsibility is to act as leader of a community committed to the co-construction of knowledge’.

Student Assessment

There are a range of ways to assess children. Observation of tasks, verbal and visual tasks, artistic, musical, and physical tasks. Homework and standardized testing also have its merits, as a way of tracking consistency. It also assists in discovering areas that children are strong in and areas that they require additional assistance. Continuous assessment is also an excellent way of assessment. I believe a good reflection of this is by covering a topic and then coming back to it later. I believe by doing so in a relaxed environment is a great way for children to feel confident in expressing their opinions without the fear of failure or getting it incorrect. There will be no, one way of assessment and I will also be conscious that each child excels in different ways or environments. 

Student Development

The style of educator I want to be is where the student is fully engrossed and actively involved in the lesson. Vygotsky explained how ‘learners must be engaged and actively involved’ if they are to learn ( Derry, 2013, pg. 51). In our webinars (Lynam, 2020) we have spoken about how Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and the scaffolding. By providing a student the tools and support to complete a task for themselves. This would certainly be in line with my philosophy as a teacher; give the child the support and materials to succeed, provide guidance where they are struggling but ultimately allow them to complete the task themselves. I believe this develops it’s independent in many ways. They learn the pride and achievement in completing a task themselves, which improves their self-belief, they learn to deal with challenging task.

Conclusion

I have made clear my teaching philosophy. I believe that as a teacher we are there to assist the child with the learning, we are providing the steps and support for them to learn independently. We are also there to ensure that the classroom has a safe environment and where possible it is filled with happiness and positivity, two key elements that I believe assist in facilitating learning. I believe an excellent quote which sums up a child’s education and learning is by Maria Montessori (How we Montessori, 2013) who states: 

Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves’. 

I believe this quote by Montessori is an excellent example of children learn by being actively involved and not by watching a teacher at the top of the room telling them what to do.

Word Count: 995

References

  • Derry, Jan (2013) . Vygotsky : Philosophy and Education.  John Wiley & Sons Incorporated.  
  • Garland, S.A., (2020) PMEP Foundation of Education. Sociology of Education. (Webinar). 18 June.
  • Lynam, A (2020) PMEP Foundation of Education. Psychology of Education. Webinar 2. (Webinar). 17 June.
  • Willis, N (2019) Growth Mindset: A Practical Guide For Primary Schools. Bloomsbury Education. London.
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Image by Agence Ollaweb Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/Z2ImfOCafFk I feel this is a great image, a powerful one when it comes to education. It is an inclusive message that everyone is included and one I feel is important as a teacher.