Running head: STATEMENT OF INFORMED BELIEFS 1

Statement of Informed Beliefs
Whitley A. Tracy
College of Southern Idaho
Dr. Egbert









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Abstract
This paper explains that it is possible for every student to learn. It explains the different students,
and approaches to create a successful learning environment. B. F. Skinner’s theory of
behaviorism is involved. It is mentioned that all students can learn, and he includes that it doesn’t
matter the student’s IQ, they are still able to learn. Social Ecology is a very important part in all
lives, from adolescence, to adults. Skeeley’s theory mentions that it doesn’t matter per say who
gives the love and affection, as long as it is present a student/child will grow and achieve higher
goals. Students must be open and accepting. Discrimination in the schools is prohibited,
therefore schools must educate students about cultural differences.











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Statement of Informed Beliefs
It is possible for every student to learn, regardless of age, IQ, or even ethnicity. As
teachers we are responsible for making sure each and every one of our students has equal
opportunity to learn, and will in fact learn in the classroom. It is a teacher’s obligation to create
an appropriate learning environment.
All Students Can Learn
Every student is capable of learning, it’s the teacher’s responsibility to assure that
students truly do retain and learn the material in the curriculum. Though, because not every
student learns the same way, competent teachers are not only needed, but they are required. By
investing in cooperation, I will insure they can, and will learn. It has been shown that through
cooperation student-achievement improves more than having a teacher- directed environment. It
is also important to be conscious of each individual student’s cone of proximal development to
prevent possible distractions for those who find the material too easy, or too complicated.
B.F. Skinner’s theory of behaviorism is considered to be teacher-directed (as cited in
Berns, 2010). He explains that it is very possible to teach any student through behaviorism,
regardless of their IQ or their background. He said it is best to respond immediately. When an
answer is incorrect, you must make the student continue the process until they get it correctly.
When it is correct you must reinforce the student. For example, in my classroom I will reward
them with either a healthy treat or a gold star. I know this to be effective because several times in
school when the majority of the students weren’t understanding the material, the teacher had us
do it again, and again until we had it memorized. When I was in first grade, I had an extremely
hard time reading. My teacher would assign me the same passage until I could fluently read, and
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understand it. Once I had finally gotten it correct, she would reward me with a small handful of
Doritos.
Every teacher has expectations for their students. It is hard to get all students on the same
page without guidance. Guidance is helping each child walk to in the right direction through
influence, and supervision. In order to get the students to follow your expectations you must give
them the guidance they need. If a teacher doesn’t have strong expectations or guidance, the
classroom will not be an affective learning environment.
Schools must have educational goals. I know this because if it had not been for my
elementary classes forcing me to participate in physical education, I probably would never have
tried out for the teach team in jr. high. Expectation goals are also great to have. For example,
physical education is not only to help the body, but it also helps the students. When we were split
up in into teams, as children, to play dodge ball, we learned team work.
Student’s Social Ecology Theory
Connecting students’ social ecology to learning is not only a good idea, but vital.
Learning isn’t only done in a school building. It is also being done in a child’s microsystem.
Every child learns at home from their parents, and siblings. They learn in their mesosystem
though their neighbors and spiritual groups. As humans we continue to learn into adulthood
through the macrostytems, which consists of values and customs. If students limit their learning
to the school, there is so much they will not understand as they grow.
Children are very impressionable. Parents, peers, and the media all have major effect on
the way a child learns. I know this because when I was in sixth grade, all of my friends were
getting low grades, and mine were high. In order to feel like an acceptable part of the group, I
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dumbed myself down. I have had a hard time learning in class and paying attention. I have found
my way out of it, but it has taken a lot of time and effort.
Skeeley’s study was done in 1966 (as cited in Berns, 2010) explains that it doesn’t matter
who raises a child, whether it be the mother or an adopted family. If a child experiences quality
nurturing, the child will develop well. This gives the understanding that a child who experiences
nurturing from any individual can help a child achieve great success. A concept all teachers must
be aware of.
The study shows that all children are capable of learning when gifted with the proper
amount of nurturing and love. I know this to be true because my younger brother was born with
many deformities. My parents were told that he wouldn’t be able to talk, or even walk. Through
the years, I have watched my brother grow and change. He learned to ride a bike when he was
ten, and can speak English fluently. He is currently eighteen and is working on obtaining his
driver’s license. None of this would have happened if my parents didn’t nurture, love and
support him in every aspect of his life. The children who were not nurtured, and were simply just
taken care of only obtained below average jobs, and had poorer IQ’s.
Discrimination and Learning
It is very important to bring diversity awareness to other students so they can become
more accepting of different cultures. I plan to bring awareness regarding histories, and
understanding into my classroom through lessons, and explanations. In every child there is
curiosity, and it is best to direct the course. By bringing up different ethnic backgrounds and
explaining heritage, students will be more educated about other people, and more understanding.
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Culture pluralism is defined as mutual appreciation and understanding of various
cultures and coexistence in society (as sicted in Berns, 2010) which means we must bring
understanding and acceptance into the classroom in order to create a safe learning environment.
There will be different cultures and ethnicities in every classroom, and it is very important to
help educate each and every student. Assimilation is important to cooperate in a classroom
because it helps every student to evolve into an equal understanding, helping each student to be
aware of others, therefore educating them all so they can adapt through others’ experiences. I
have learned so much from knowing people of other ethnicities and know how great people from
other cultures are.
We are a country based on individualism. We try to get every student to be comfortable
in who they are as an individual, and express themselves as they see themselves. It is essential to
give each child a choice, even if it’s only on what they will have for a snack. By letting the
children choose between an apple and a banana, both dictated healthy choices, they get feel like
an individual by making their own decision. As teachers, we must understand the collectivism
needs of our students. There are ethnic groups (Hispanic, African American, Asian) that are very
group based learners, and then there are the American cultures that are very independent
learners. In order to be an effective teacher, we must be able to vary lessons accordingly to
compensate for each group.
Because different cultures learn different ways, it is tremendously important to make a
learning environment that is equal parts cooperative, competitive, and individualistic.
Cooperative learning is group learning. All students, or a group of students, work together to
achieve a goal as a team. Competitive learning is when the students compete each other while
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achieving a goal. Individualistic learning is simply a child working on their own to achieve a
goal for themselves, by themselves. All students learn from each technique, but they may not
learn as well as others. It is a great idea to in cooperate each of them to ensure understanding and
involvement in the classroom.
Equitable Education for all Students
When a child is experiencing discrimination, divorce in the family, dual income parents,
and or poverty, it causes a lot of stress on the student. If a student is stressed at home, they are
distracted in class. It is important to be open with your students because if they need someone to
talk to, as the teacher, we hold high regards in their eyes. Other than the family, you make an
impact on their lives. If a student is comfortable with talking to a teacher, it can help them
become active in the classroom. It is also the teacher’s responsibility to help a child learn at all
costs, even if it means working without pay after hours to be able to watch a student/students for
the parents to help with the level of stress in the family.
I plan to construct my class in a democratic manor by allowing the students input on
activities, and learning options. For example, I plan to let the students choose between a
classroom group learning activity, or small group activities. When students believe they are
making their own choices about their own education, they get a sense of ownership, and feel
more in charge of their learning.
I also plan to have an open classroom where the student’s feel comfortable coming to me
and asking for help on at home problems, in school problems, or even just simply homework
problems. I plan on making every lesson a little different so the students don’t get bored by doing
the same thing repetitively, and once again, asking for input to find out exactly which students
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learn what way effectively. By doing this I will make the students aware that I do care, and that
the classroom is equal to all.
As has been expressed, it is clearly a teacher’s job to create a learning environment that is
acceptable and adaptable. It is the teacher who holds the classroom together and guides the
students into the correct direction. All students are able to learn with proper guidance, and
knowledge. Teachers must express a culturally diverse atmosphere so that the classroom is an
equal opportunity learning environment.












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Reference
Berns, R. (2010). Child, Family, School, Community. Socialization and Support. Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth Cengage Learning.