My philosophy of education encompasses three attributes that play a significant role in becoming an effective educator. The three qualities are as follows: creating an environment that is conducive to different types of learners, maintaining a respectful yet fun classroom setting, and using visual and creative teaching methods to sustain the hunger for knowledge in your classroom setting. An educator will remain successful if they possess these qualities in addition to enthusiasm and patience.
It is the sole duty of the teacher to assess the different learning styles early and develop a plan of action. An effective educator should have the ability to foster the students’ confidence levels and monitor the teaching strategies that are unsuccessful. I find that relating math problems to real-life situations enables the students to grasp the material in a unique way. Other ways to address a class with different learning styles is to allow peer tutoring and demonstrate cooperative learning. Cooperative learning allows the students to learn the material as a group. This method is extremely useful because it stimulates discussion and creates an environment where mistakes and triumphs are shared. Peer tutoring is effective because it allows certain students to receive help in a smaller setting. This approach is preferred by most students because it allows them to work with another classmate on an individual basis.
It is of equal importance that educators create an environment that is fun, yet respectable. Teachers should demonstrate a strict classroom management approach in the beginning and gradually encourage more smiles and laughter. This deviation from the norm reminds the students and teacher that a classroom can become a comfortable environment. However, this method can be altered at the teacher’s discretion. A relaxed classroom atmosphere gives the teacher an approachable disposition.
With new-age technology on the rise, all educators must keep up with the times. Students are not responding well to teachers who remain stationary while facilitating a lesson. Educators are competing with cellular phones, IPods, MP3 players, and other technical devices. As a result, many instructors are changing their styles in order to appeal to the masses. This entails incorporating visual aids and creative presentations in the curriculum. The new advancements in technology allow the students to enjoy themselves and learn simultaneously.
My philosophy of education also builds upon the theories of essentialism and progressivism. I am an advocate of essentialism because I believe that students should be taught based on a core curriculum that places emphasis on a core subject area. Students tend to gravitate towards structure and educators see better results. Additionally, students gain access to a plethora of knowledge when a core knowledge curriculum is introduced. For example, students should not be held accountable for mastery of basic mathematics skills. Students should also be taught about different mathematicians and the various theories that are associated with them. The core knowledge curriculum allows educators to push the envelope and encourage students to “think outside of the box”. Essentialism prohibits remediation and promotes the application of critical thinking skills.
In defense of differentiated learning, I do applaud the progressivism theory. It is imperative that educators embrace the fact that the students learn differently. Hence, Dewey’s approach that states that education should be child-centered as opposed to subject-centered. Educators should be trained to practice the ability grouping strategy and create lesson plans that cater to all learning styles. We, as educators, should focus on the role as the facilitator in the classroom and encourage students to work independently while using us as a resource.
All of the attributes listed above are a reflection of a new day and age. Classrooms with students learning at the same pace are long gone. The days are behind us when teachers were able to instruct from a podium for an entire period. We are in an era that proves that teaching directly from a textbook is not the best method. In conclusion, educators are accountable for ensuring that the students remain hungry by satisfying all of their educational needs.