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My Philosophy

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I had a tough time putting my philosophy into words, I think that’s
because I have been interested in development for most of my life and I had
so many theories and ideas swirling around in my head that I couldn’t find a
focus. I first became interested in development to understand myself, so selfawareness is something that I think is very important. I don’t work in a
classroom or daycare, most of my experience with children is informal and
came from baby sitting my nephew and watching everyone’s kids at family
parties but there are 3 theorists that I draw most from when interacting and
they are; Howard Gardner, Lev Vygotsky and John Dewy.
I don’t remember when I first learned about Howard Gardner’s theory
of multiple intelligences but it was a notion that I immediately gravitated
toward. Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory challenged the widely held
belief “that intelligence is a single faculty and one is either ‘smart’ or ‘stupid’
across the board”(Gardner 1999,p.34). It’s a concept that I think I have
always intuitively known. In school I did well in math and language arts and
since those are commonly tested subjects I did very well on standardized
test. I even earned a couple of scholarships in high school for my high scores
on some state test. My older sister on the other hand is an artist, and I have
always envied that about her. Her test scores were never as high as mine
and she was never is honors classes but she could create using any medium
and has a great eye for design. Over the years I have come to learn that she
sees the world differently than I do, she views it through the lens of an artist.
Growing up with her was valuable in shaping how I view intelligence and the

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way people learn/think. I don’t view either of us as smarter, just different. I
think that my sister and I make a good team; because of our differences we
can offer different perspectives. “We are not all the same; we do not all have
the same kinds of minds…education works most effectively if these
differences are taken into account rather than denied or ignored”(Gardner
1999, p.91). When working with people I keep Gardner in the back of my
mind, remembering that we all have different intellectual strengths.
I’m a talker; in 6th grade my teacher Ms. Lane told me that I should be
a talk show host because I talked to everyone she sat me next to. Back then
my conversations were not the most productive but as I got older and
learned about development I found out that “Vygotsky believed that
interaction contribute to children’s construction of knowledge” (Mooney
2013, p.101). Vygotsky said that interacting with adults and peers could help
a child on the brink of learning a new concept reach the next level (Mooney
2013, p.101). Vygotsky didn’t think that adults should go in and tell a child
the answer, instead he believed in something that he referred to as
scaffolding. Scaffolding is when adults or a peer offers just enough help so
that a child can reach the next level (Mooney 2013, p.101-102). I think that it
is important to provide children with experiences that help stretch their
understanding of their world and build confidence in their skills.
Like Dewey I also believe that curriculum should be centered on
children’s interest and that “teachers do not only teach subject matter but
also how to live in society”(Mooney 2013, p.17). I’ve heard people like my

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dad say that schools/teachers can’t be blamed for everything that parents
have to take accountability for their children too. I think there is some truth
to that statement but I also think that children spend much of their young
lives in school and that’s where a lot of their learning/understanding of the
world is being formed. I think that schools should strive to create thinkers
and help young people find their place in this world and that requires more
than just teaching subject matter. I learn something new/different from every
new theorist that I come across but Gardner, Dewey and Vygotsky are the
backbone of my beliefs about learning/education.

Reference
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st
century. New
York, NY: Basic Books.
Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of childhood: An introduction to Dewey,
Montessori, Erikson,
Piaget, and Vygotsky. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.