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Philosophy  Statement  –  Rebecca  Farquhar   As a social studies teacher, my philosophy is I believe that I must educate and engage students

to understand the importance of their role and responsibility as citizens of a democratic nation. As an educator, I should also be a role model to demonstrate to students the importance of being active participants in society, to make connections with the ordinary and extraordinary events to help them make sense of the world around them, to relate and be concerned for others in society rather than create a division of their differences. I believe as an educator I must strive to provide students the knowledge of strategies, resources and skills to help them understand how to use them in the most effective manner so students will be compelled to think, understand and make civic decisions. I believe that it is important for students to understand about the world, both past and present to help them make effective, informed democratic decisions. This can be accomplished through the education of the history of our world, nation, past civilizations, the history of events and to have general understanding of what has occurred before in past society to influence what our society is today. I believe that students can most effectively relate and understand history through the use of primary sources. I believe that by providing students newspaper articles, images, personal accounts including journals, diaries, memoirs, etc allows students to understand the emotions, explanations for particular events and decisions made by those before them. It is also important while discussing and learning about the events and people in history to provide students with as many different cultural, gender, socio-economic, religious, political, educational, age, regional, etc. views of history in order for students to better understand and have a broader sense of those individuals living at the time perspectives of history. This will allow students to not just see one side of the story, to develop a more comprehensive understanding of history and how it has influenced present day circumstances. It is crucial for students to know about the history of our nation and world help them reach their full potential of success and become active participants in society. I believe that social studies must educate students to become critically aware of the world around them and to educate students to develop a better understanding of different values and morals of countries societies, cultures, politics, spiritual beliefs, communication, etc. from their own. I feel students need to have background knowledge of the history and study the theories to how different values and ways of life developed through history. The students also need to have knowledge of how various factors such as geographic regions, events and human interconnections led to different government systems, beliefs and ways of life and how they have influenced the development of our nation’s democratic values and government system. Furthermore, I believe the social studies curriculum should strive to educate students to live and communicate effectively in society by teaching students to help them make a connection and relate to the topic of what they are learning. As teachers, in order for our students to successfully become responsible, active participants in our democratic nation students need to have an awareness of what is happening in the world today and how it might affect their future. I feel that this can be accomplished through the study of current events. By following the present day issues, discussing, collaborating and debating with their peers to construct opinions of why these issues are occurring will support students in critically think and make connections of their knowledge of the past to construct their own solutions to present day problems. As a social studies teacher, I believe in creating a positive classroom environment where students are respectful listeners, thoughtful and considerate of their peers to have an effective learning experience. I believe by creating a sense of community, this will allow students to understand the value of being mindful, respectful citizens. By designing different committees that will have various roles to help out the daily class procedures and routines of class I feel a classroom community can develop. By every student being part of committee students can learn how to all actively be involved and build support system for each other. As students come together and utilize each other, it will promote a comfortable learning environment that will give me the opportunity to teach students content through different instructional methods that effectively meet and support students’ interests, needs and learning styles, such as scaffold learning, independent discovery, jigsaw, Socratic seminars and most of all class discussions where students can develop critical and higher-level thinking of the content, share their thinking and not feel as though classmates will criticize their opinions. I hope and believe that if students can develop this understanding of the world around them it will be very beneficial and help to improve our world for the better.