My Philosophy of Education is Like Starlings in a Murmuration

By: Gitanjali Stevens

What is a starling in a murmuration, anyways?
*Bees come in swarms and fish
come in schools, but starlings [birds] come in something called a murmuration Murmuration” http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eakKfY5aHmY

*See video –”Amazing Starling

So why is my Philosophy of Education like starlings in a murmuration?
Murmurations of starlings… (1)…Work towards common goals (2)…Have synergy (3)…Share info about the world with each other (4)…Do not leave any bird behind (5)…Produce a thing of beauty

1. Starlings work toward common goals
*Chasing away predators *I also believe a goal of education
should be to promote social change and challenge oppression

*See video clip at 0:51 – 0:57 *http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=eakKfY5aHmY

1. (Continued) Starlings work toward common goals *Defending each other *Students should be able to defend
their arguments – I believe another goal of education is to foster critical thinking

2. Starlings have synergy
*Synergy is when a group of people and/or *Starlings have a leader but they all work
together creatures work together to create something that is more than the sum of its collective parts

*Just as in a constructivist classroom, students
work together

2. (Continued) Starlings have synergy *Shift in education *Away from “sage-on-the-stage” to
“guide-on-the-side”

*In a constructivist classroom,

students construct knowledge in a social context

3. Starlings share information about the world with each other
*Starlings communicate food
sources, dangers, and their location

*I plan to use many sources in
my teaching practices:

*In my curriculum *Knowledge-sharing among students

4. Starlings do not leave any bird behind
*If one bird is hurt, other birds will stay back
with it until it can return to the rest of the murmuration *I also believe that no child should be left behind *This includes inclusive education and teaching for diversity

5. Ultimately, starlings create a thing of beauty
*The birds produce beautiful designs together in the sky *I believe classrooms that exhibit: *Critical thinking and enacting
social change

*Synergy through constructivism *Collaboration * Inclusion and respect for
diversity

*Are beautiful as well!

References
*Carter, C. (2013). Holistic Education: Implementing
and Maintaining a Holistic Teaching Practice (Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto). *Green, K. (2005). Inclusive psychology in classroom design (Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati). *Kim, J. S. (2005). The Effects of a Constructivist Teaching Approach on Academic Achievement, SelfConcept, and Learning Strategies. Asia Pacific Education Review, 6(1), 7-19. *Russo, P. (2004). What Does It Mean to Teach for Social Justice?. Curriculum and Justice, 4(1), 1-5. *Williams, T. (2013). Education for Critical Thinking. Military Review in Education, 13(1), 49-54.