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Brittany Kinney

Philosophy of Education

I believe that individuals construct their own understanding of the world by

taking in experiences or information and reflecting upon how this compares to what
they already know. This may be a deliberate action such as reflecting on ones test
scores or undeliberate such as realizing not to touch something when we are burned
from a hot surface. Our level of reflection will change as we age and our capacity to
understand the world increases. It will also change based on the social interactions
we have with others. As an educator my job is to foster an environment in which
every student believes they have the ability to learn no matter their current
understanding or steps required to reach their goal.
An educated person is someone who can think critically about decisions they
make and the implications those decisions have on themselves or the world around
them. I want my students to gain an understanding of the process of thinking
critically about a subject and synthesizing their own beliefs based on reliable
resources. There are no five step method or check points to follow for the
acquisition of knowledge. Students need to have the opportunity to feel cognitive
dissonance in their thinking. If I simply state everything my students need to know
and expect them to memorize it I am not giving them the opportunity to assimilate
or accommodate that knowledge into their existing schema. I should be a facilitator
for my students rather than an all knowing being that pours out my knowledge upon
them. Students also need to be taught how to take ownership of their learning.
Their role is to use the support of more knowledgeable others or scaffolds and try to
make connections between what they know and what they are trying to learn.
The Iowa Core outlines five characteristics of effective instruction. These
include: creating a student centered classroom, teaching for understanding,
assessing for learning, providing rigorous and relevant curriculum, and teaching for
learner differences. In my classroom this will mean giving students opportunities to
be involved in the discovery of their own learning through challenging and holistic
experiential learning. Leading students to engage in a variety of thought provoking
activities so they can gain understanding. Using a variety of assessment both
formative and summative to guide my teaching as well as guide the students
metacognition of their learning. Giving my students intellectually challenging
curriculum that connects to real world and open ended scenarios. While
understanding that all of my students are different and may be at various levels of
understanding or process information in a variety of ways.
These characteristics will guide how I set up my classroom, my content, and
the opportunities I give my students to process information, plus the type or
frequency of my assessment. I have learned that good teachers reflect often. I will
be constantly learning right along with my students. I need to take moments to look
back on my pedagogical decisions and how much my students are understanding in
order to assess my own teaching. This is the only way I will grow as an educator and
engage my students in real understanding.
Learning is a lifelong process influenced by, student developmental level,
social interactions and the ability to reflect upon ones experiences. Every educator

should encourage a classroom environment based on the principles of a growth

mindset, in which students can construct their own understanding through
meaningful, multifaceted instructional activities.