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Philosophy of Teaching Melinda Chapple Education 101 Dr. Julie Bilz October 22, 2013

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING Abstract History has shown a variety of ways education has been developed. There are four main

philosophies in education in both formal and informal education. Through research and personal reflection one can determine their own philosophy. Physical schools are a large part of how students learn and the tools that are used. The physical spaces in combination with rules and lessons students have a formal learning environment. Each classroom and grade level has a curriculum to follow to ensure each student has the opportunity to develop in their education. Teachers need to have a plan to teach each lesson and be able to be flexible when adverse situations arise. Continued education and community involvement are required to be an effective and productive teacher in the future.

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING Introduction Choosing teaching as a professional career involves more of a chosen philosophy than just picking a career. Teachers learn and develop teaching philosophies during their education and will continue into their career. Having an understanding of what a school is and the purpose of education will give teachers a basis for how they will create not only their classroom but also the learning environment as a whole. Knowing what and how they will teach will give them the opportunity to plan and be organized to best utilize the students learning time. Teachers also need to remember they are in a career that is ever changing and this requires them to continue their learning and development for their profession and for the community they serve. What is Education? Progressive teaching style guides students to learn from life experiences or informal

education as well as formal learning environments. By using life events and activities as learning experiences, students are able to understand how to apply formal learning, structured school lessons, to their everyday life. Guiding students to learn at their own pace gives them the opportunity to explore and develop their skills to meet the individual need. Students learn at varying rates, so using a progressive teaching style will allow them to advance individually without causing any delay for other students. Teaching student standard curriculum using a progressive style learning environment will give them the opportunity to interpret the information individually or in a group. By giving the student or students an assignment that requires them to be more creative helps to develop other skills like problem solving and independent thinking. Students need help to develop their imagination and creative thinking to give them stronger problem solving skills. As stated in the


article, Only A Teacher Schoolhouse Pioneers John Dewey, on the PBS website, Dewey argued that curriculum should be relevant to students' lives. He saw learning by doing and development of practical life skills as crucial to children's education. As a hands on learner, it is no surprise to find my teaching style to be progressive with a minor in social efficiency. With a large amount of required information to be taught to students, teaching in different styles gives students a different prospective on the information. They can be left to use their prospective on the information and lesson. Being able to use formal education lessons in a progressive learning environment can help student to connect and apply the lesson to both school and life environments. Breaking down the lessons and tasks to give students an opportunity to excel at each level helps to build confidence and self-worth. The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action (Dewey, n.d.). Explaining to students and showing them that life is an educational experience and teaching them how to learn from these experiences will help to continue and encourage lifelong learning in students. As John Dewey explains, a student is not born with the knowledge they need for life but instead they must learn from life choices and experiences to form their education and beliefs. In a similar belief, social efficiency style teaches children how to be productive members of society. The early education process is different from progressive. Instead of letting students explore and develop their skills in a progressive style compared to a social efficiency style of all students learn the same math, reading, and writing until they reach higher education. At the point they enter high school they determine what they want their focus to be. It is then they focus on their individual learning plan. Both progressive and social efficiency teaching styles, students

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING learn from life experiences and this helps them to develop their interests and future focus. As stated by Franklin Bobbitt, education is a shaping process as much as the manufacturer of steel rails.

As education has developed and evolved through history, the past has had a major impact on the current teaching styles and processes. Currently in the Bartholomew County School Corporation, they are adding more project based learning stations in the classrooms. Giving the students the opportunity to learn in a more progressive learning style, they are able to learn at their own pace and complete more hands on learning. Students have the opportunity to learn in both a formal and informal learning environment with these additions to the classrooms. What is school? The purpose for schools today is to prepare students for their future. Students are provided with a physical school where they can build, discover, and develop their skills. The primary mission and purpose of school is to give students an understanding of schedules and experiencing life outside of the home. Students have the opportunity to learn and develop their academic skills as well as their social skills while they are in school. They will learn how to handle difficult situations with other students and learn from the experiences. By sharing experiences and learning environments with other students, they will develop a better understand of how to work with others and seeing different perspectives. Students learn to follow rules given by teachers and other staff members and to respect those in authority. They learn to work with others and how to adapt to different personalities and situations. By showing care, compassion, and leadership to students, they will learn from the teachers modeling appropriate behaviors (Beck, 2012). This is a technique used in teaching toddlers and preschool children how to behave

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING but carries over to school age children. Teaching children how to treat each other and work together helps to foster a positive learning environment. Creating a positive and productive learning environment is very important to help students get the most out of their educational experience. Teachers should have a proactive classroom management plan, giving the students a clear understanding. The students should be

given a simple description of the rules, expectations, and goals of the classroom behavior. These should be posted in the room so the students have a constant reminder and the number of rules should be kept to a minimum to give the students a sense of freedom. With a well-planned day and classroom, students are given the maximum amount of time in their learning environment to become successful in reaching their goals. The Subject Matter of Education Students should learn a variety of basic skills and continue to build on the existing skills and develop new ones as they advance in age and grade level. Students should have a basic understanding of math, reading, and writing in early elementary. They will also develop useful skills such as working with others, communication, self-control, social interaction, and well as learning to understand consequence of actions. Students have a great deal to learn and achieve through their elementary years both academically and emotionally. The Nature of Method Students should be engaged in their learning environment by formal and informal lessons. Teaching with the assistance of a variety of learning tools helps to keep students interested and engaged in the learning material. For example, having a smartboard instead of a chalkboard gives more dimension to what the students are viewing, this gives them the

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING opportunity to understand the lesson more clearly. Having centers set for learning in groups, students learn to work together to complete a task or to work independently while having their classmates close by. When a kindergarten classroom has a word wall, the students will become more independent by looking at the wall for the correct spelling of the word they want to use instead of asking the teacher to spell it for them. Setting up learning centers or stations gives the students the opportunity to learn through hands on activities. Students may be learning a new skill, reviewing skills, or building on an existing skill. Having age appropriate subject matter for students is important to promote an achievable learning environment. Students need to be challenged with the learning material while still achieving the age appropriate goals. Some lessons can be taught to enrich an existing skill and introducing a new skill. For example, a learning center might be a set up to have children read a story about a holiday and then they are to write a sentence and draw a picture to relate to the story. This learning center helps to strengthen the reading skill and then develop writing and drawing skills. Keeping the students engaged can be challenging but teaching with different tools and age appropriate curriculum will help to provide a productive learning environment. Students all learn at different levels and paces based on their own learning styles and

abilities. With a progressive learning environment, students are able to learn and advance at their own ability and pace. Stations can be modified based on the need of each student so everyone has an opportunity to learn from them. For example, if there is a station where a student needs to be able to listen to an audio player read a book out loud while the following along in a book and the student has a visual impairment that student could listen to the book on an audio player while

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING following along with a brail book. This gives the student the opportunity to still learn the vocabulary from the book and the skill of being able to read.

When students are paired into groups, sometime they are based on a random division and other times based on skill and ability. During a recent observation in Mrs. Nordykes class, the kindergarten class was split into groups based on ability or skill level when working on reading but was in more randomly chosen groups when working on writing in their personal journals. Giving students the opportunity to interact with each other and learn and observe one another can help them to build social skills and problem solving skills. Students should be evaluated on basic skills like math, reading, writing, and other core standards. There are a variety of ways to test and evaluate these skills to determine goal achievement. Both standard testing methods and observational evaluation can be used to determine if the student has reached the appropriate skill and/or ability level. School and Society Teachers should have a continuing education or professional development plan when they begin their career. This plan should outline how they will continue to grow their education and teaching skills, continue to be an active member of the community, and to evaluate their responsibilities as a teacher in the community. During the early years of teaching, a teacher should have a mentor to be able to discuss issues and achievements with during the active school year. At the end of each school year, they should meet to discuss what processes and activities worked well and were effective and which ones need improvement or discuss why they were ineffective. This gives both teachers the opportunity to learn from each others experiences and to help improve. Teachers should be very active and connected with their community. This could

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING mean working with local charities, being involved with local sporting events, and/or church organizations. By being involved with outreach programs, teacher can help to get students in a

more positive environment and work through some of the issues/behaviors that could surface in a classroom. Teachers need to understand the needs of the community to better serve the community as a whole. Parent teacher relationships are extremely important to give the students a positive and productive learning environment. When parents and teachers work together for the good of a student, the student has a more productive learning environment at home and school. Communication is important to help make sure the parent, student, and teacher are all aware of the expectations and goals to be achieved. Students benefit from parental involvement in several ways: more positive attitudes and behaviors, higher long-term achievement, greater willingness to do homework, better attendance and graduation rates, and greater enrollment in postsecondary educations (Kauchak & Eggen, 2014). By creating continuous communication between teacher and parents, the students benefit greatly. With many communication options with technology, there is no reason or excuse for lack of communication between a parent and teacher. Conclusion In conclusion, teaching philosophies are influential to teachers and how they teach and education their students. Having a firm understanding of the purpose of schools and education will help teachers understand what is most important to their teaching style to be as effective as possible. Knowing the subject matter and how they will teach it will give teachers a good foundation for a positive and productive learning environment. Finally, when choosing teaching as a career, teachers must understand they have a continued responsibility to their community,

PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING students, and school to develop their teaching skills and be an enriching member of the community to best serve them.


PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING Reference List Beck, L. (2012). Infant, children, and adolescents. (7th ed.). Allyn & Bacon. Bilz, J. (2006). Teacher development series: Teacher training in curriculum and instruction. (Doctoral dissertation). Kauchak, D., & Eggen, P. (2014). Introduction to teaching. (5th ed.). Pearson. Nordyke, C. (2013, November 11). Interview by M Chapple. Only a teacher schoolhouse pioneers: John dewey (1859-1952). (n.d.). Retrieved from