My Philosophy of Education is based on my understanding and perception of:
How people learn.
What I consider as best practices to help students learn.
The needs of the individual learner through differentiated instruction and pedagogic strategies.
My personal teaching style.
Food for Thought: The following video outlines the need for a paradigm shift in education.
I have based My Philosophy of Education on the following four principles:
Researched-based Learning Strategies
Students learn more when they are active participants in their own learning. In order to create a student-centered classroom, my role must be one of a facilitator to student learning. By incorporating projects and activities into the curriculum, students take charge of their own learning. I have found the following principles beneficial :
Constructivismis the principle of learning in which students construct their own meaning of a topic through exploration, discovery, and prior knowledge of the topic of study.
Project-based Learningallows students to use their own creativity and imagination to answer the essential questions of the unit. Projects allow for alternative ways to evaluate student performances; rubrics play a major role in assessing student achievement and success.
Metacognition is the process of thinking about one's own thinking, and it is an essential skill for all life-long learners. Journaling and reflection exercises will help students to think about their own learning.
Student-centered classrooms have become increasingly important in the Information Age. This information-rich world demands that students develop the abilities to evaluate and discriminate information as essential skills in becoming productive, informed citizens.
The following diagram makes clear the advantages of placing students at the center of their classroom.
Food for Thought:
The following video explains the benefits of project-based learning
Scientist and researchers in the fields of Educational Psychology and Neuroscience have made major advances in understanding the nature of learning and how the brain learns. I have found the following theories to be particularly helpful.
Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence
Carl Jung's Learning Styles
Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy
New studies in Brain-based Learning
The brain is a powerful tool. It has been pre-programmed to learn, and by tapping into those pre-existing capabilities, teachers can assist students in reaching higher levels of learning and understanding.
Standards-based education is a growing movement in education and for good reason. It aids both students and teachers to know their destination before they begin. Students learn best when they are provided with clear objectives and learning goals. I use the following methods to create a Standards-based Curriculum:
Overall Objectives: These are the big, lasting (over-arching) concepts that students need to acquire (understand) by the end of a unit. These core understandings and enduring knowledge promote higher-order thinking, and they prepare students for the next level of learning.
Essential Questions: These are the guiding questions that students need to answer along the way to understanding the overall objective. Students' responses to these questions allow them to demonstrate their understanding of what they have been studying.
Power Standards: This is when standards are grouped together, or 'chunked,' into a meaningful scenario or project. In this way, students are presented with multiple standards in a meaningful context.
The body of human knowledge is expanding at an astonishing rate. The total volume of information on the planet doubles every 18 to 24 months! (Thornburg: 1998, 13) Therefore, it is impossible for an individual to keep up with these rapid changes. Also, it is no longer practical or feasible to expect every member in a society to share a large body of similar knowledge. This reality requires a significant change in education. Educators must transform from teaching a set of factual-based knowledge to the development of sets of skills that can be applied to a wide-range of situations.
As early as 1991, business leaders and employers , stated in the the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) Report, that in order for future employees to be competitive in the global marketplace, they need to posses a set of fully developed skills upon their entrance in the workforce. (See the SCANS Report below.)
Here is a list of skills that will be emphasized in this course.