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philosophy of teaching

philosophy of teaching

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Published by: Ally Elizabeth Shinar on Feb 12, 2012
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11/18/2012

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There are so many different types of personalities that make up our society todaymaking no one individual alike. Because of the diversity of people in the world, teachers mustaccommodate to the uniqueness of each individual. I find that students can learn in so manydifferent ways. Due to this belief, I think that using multiple teaching theories within your owntheory allows you to connect with a wider range of students. The two theories that mostexemplify what I would like my theory of learning to be based upon are Piaget’s theory ofindividual constructivism along with Bandura’s social cognitive theory. By combining thesetwo theories, a new way of learning is discovered that becomes most beneficial to thestudents I will be teaching.The first theory I would like to dig into is the theory of Piaget. Individual constructivismhas three key assumptions. These assumptions are as follows: knowledge is constructedfrom experience, learning results from a personal interpretation of knowledge, and learning isan active process in which meaning is developed on a basis of experience. Piaget believedchildren grasp more as they continue to grow and mature. He developed four stages ofcognitive development. These stages include: sensory-motor stage, pre-operational stage,concrete operational stage, and formal operational stage. By creating these particular stages,people are able to identify the learning capabilities of children more easily. Piaget explainedthat his theory shows how children already have knowledge when growing up but theenvironment must bring about this knowledge by using meaningful, real life methods ofteaching. He believed the activities the children are partaking in, need to be more realistic andlifelike. Thus, the children would be more susceptible to use them in the real world. Anothertwo important key points of Piaget’s theory are assimilation and accommodation. Assimilationinvolves taking new information and linking it with information you already know.Accommodation involves adapting to new information and possibly making changes to oldinformation. All the factors that make up Piaget’s theory are crucial in the growth of students.I believe that involving these components in my role as a teacher will help my studentstremendously has they progress through life. I want to instill in my students that they arecapable of accomplishing the goals in their life by taking in the world around them.The second theory I would like to incorporate in my view of how students learn is thesocial cognitive theory developed by Bandura. The social cognitive theory describes learningin terms of the correlation between behavioral, environmental, and personal factors. All ofthese factors effect each other in some way which dictates how students learn. The socialcognitive theory primarily focuses on learning formed through relationships and experienceswith others. Key concepts of this theory include: self efficacy, learning through models,vicarious learning, and self regulation. Self efficacy is the perception one can be successful ata specific task. Having this belief, boosts students confidence and gives students moremotivation to succeed. Vicarious learning involves learning through somebody else. There areseveral types of models students can learn from. Four of the main models are as follows:power (fathers, coachers), prestige(celebrities), competence (teachers, neighbors), andsimilar (mom, sister). Bandura believed that students learn through the examples portrayedby all these types of people. Self-regulated learning involves setting goals for yourself alongwith giving yourself feedback and knowing what's effective for you to learn. I agree withBandura’s model because I believe we need to be in check with ourselves to learn to the bestof our ability and that interactions with others can be a crucial part to learning.
 
To incorporate the theory of Piaget into my teaching, there are several differentinstructions that I would provide for my class. First, I would focus on the stages developed byPiaget. For the pre-operational stage, I would bring in real life aspects such as insects, food,plants and so fourth for students to interact with. Concepts of perception, ordering and justification would be key components in my classroom. I want my students to be able toexplain their understandings and beliefs. For the concrete operational stage, I wouldencourage students to work with others to exchange ideas they might have in regards to thematerial we are covering in class. Along with working with others, I would have them writepersonal responses to questions I may ask them in order to construct meaning that is uniqueto them. Lastly, for the formal operational stage, I would have students explain how theyarrived at an answer and I would also have them create hypotheses for specific problems. Allof these small tasks I have listed are encouraging the student to think on their own and comeup with their personal beliefs on questions and topics. This is a main focus of mine, becausePiaget states that the learners must construct their own organization of knowledge. As ateacher, I am trying to bring about knowledge they already have. I mentioned early, thatthrough Piaget’s theory, children are able to grasp more as they mature. Due to this, the tasksI have the students doing in each stage, progressively get more complex because thestudents are able to obtain more information as they mature. In order to create assimilationand accommodation, I would challenge students with new concepts and ideas to which theywould need to fit into their already existing knowledge. Lastly, I would have the students keepa journal in order to monitor their progress, jot down any difficulties they have on a regularbasis, and to analyze their study habits.The social cognitive theory involves some instruction that relates to Piaget’s theory aswell. Individual constructivism focuses on the students personal achievements and learnings.Through social cognitive theory, part of the main focus is learning by observing yourself. Toobtain self-regulation in my classroom, I would have students write feedback for themselvesstating how they thought things were going in the class and what they may need to work on inthe future. By figuring out these small characteristics of themselves, they will be able tobecome more confident in their learning, which leads me to self-efficacy. To promote self-efficacy, as a teacher, I would create short term goals for a student, that the student and Icame up with together. By setting goals, students will have something to work towards andaccomplish. Bandura’s belief in the success of models, gave me the idea to bring in specialspeakers, or possibly watch a video on a role model of some sort. Students learn throughthese models in a positive way. I, personally could show examples of what is acceptable andnot acceptable in class or at home to demonstrate to them the possible outcomes that couldoccur from those particular positive and negative behaviors. Lastly, I would form groups fordiscussions and projects, so students could learn from their peers. Collaborative work allowsfor students to grow independently but also allows for them to form positive and beneficialrelationships with peers in their class. Learning to work with others is crucial to a student'ssuccess as they grow and mature.By combining the individual constructivism theory and the social cognitive theory,students are learning in more than one way. I think that by creating different options forstudents to learn, will benefit a more diverse group of learners. Piaget theory allows studentsto work more independently and challenges students to think beyond their comfortable levelof knowledge. Students have the opportunity to connect what they learn in class to real life

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