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My Philosophy of Education – Part 2

Recently, I blogged about my philosophy of education, or how I teach. Basically it says that I believe the most important aspect of teaching lies in gaining the student’s trust. Without a student’s trust, the class is a dysfunctional blend of boredom and power.

The warning bell for fourth period rings, giving students a one minute alarm to get to their classes. Two of my students are already at their desks. Kevin is an overweight, Caucasian student. He rarely completes his assignments, unless artwork is involved. Yet, he attends my class every day and walks in my room with a smile on his face. His best friend, D’Anthony, is a small, wiry African American student who loves to dance. He completes his assignments every day. His attendance has suffered frequently, and as a result his grades tend to dip and soar. Both young men are joking around in my classroom and attempting to swipe each other’s pencils.

Kevin and D’Anthony have very different learning styles and backgrounds, as do all of my students. As a result, I’ve tailored my lessons to grab their interests. My goal, as a teacher, is to incorporate hands on learning into every lesson that I teach. I believe that reading, listening, and illustrating concepts merely builds a foundation for learning in students, but hands-on activities solidify the experience into long-term memory.

I agree with Howard Gardner when it comes to multiple intelligences. Some students respond positively to written instruction. Some prefer oral lecture. Some find that visual aids help them remember the material. However, tactile-kinesthetic learning seems to be universally remembered (Castelli and Castelli, 2007). When a new student enters my class, I quietly observe their interactions in the classroom. Then I assess his/her learning style using an inventory.

In some ways, I agree with Maria Montessori, and B.F. Skinner. Students should be allowed to learn at their own pace, and in a real world situation. Secondary students also tend to work well with varied age groups (Wikipedia, 2008). However, I have observed that some students are disinclined to learn important concepts that are foundational in scientific understanding. As a result, I do not believe that students should be given the absolute freedom to choose what they would like to learn.

Bloom’s taxonomy greatly influenced my methods of teaching. I believe that students who are capable of manipulating a concept at the highest levels of thinking, will have the most success in understanding the concept. Students blindly believe principles when they are received in lecture format, but they are forced to test out conceptual ideas when given tactile tasks. This produces the greatest degree of learning and knowledge retention.

In all of my classes, I seek to earn the trust of my students, while making the material relevant to their learning styles. I also seek to give students the flexibility to learn at an individual pace, while challenging them with higher order thinking.

Works Cited
Castelli, Ph. D., P., & Castelli, M. Ed., V. (2007). Chalking It Up to Experiences.Highland City, FL: InstantPublisher.com.
Philosophy of Education. (2008). In Wikipedia [Web]. Wikimedia. Retrieved June 5, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_education

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One Response

  1. I wish all teachers put as much thought into their philosophy and their teaching. I am a dancer, dance teacher, new mom, and blogger and I look forward to reading more about your experiences!

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