My Philosophy of Education
Children have different learning styles. A teacher needs to be aware of diverse learning styles to adjust his or her methods to different learners. A teacher must endeavor to establish the learner’s style of learning and devise appropriate instructional strategies. Learners are not blank slates for teachers to fill with knowledge. Rather, children come into the learning process with their own experiences.
An effective teacher is the one that integrates the new experience with the old in the most beneficial manner (Buckingham 23). In this paper, I will address how children learn. I will elaborate on my role in the process of learning. Lastly, I will follow this by showing how classroom management will support learning.
I believe that children learn better from observation. This is because their mental faculties are not mature enough to understand abstract things. At this level of study, the focus should be more on concrete things. Children learn well when the teacher poses open-ended questions. Questions encourage learners to think and reflect, and thus expand their mental horizon. Teachers should therefore encourage learners to give answers irrespective of whether they are right or wrong.
Children have an innate desire to research. The teacher should guide children towards the discovery of knowledge through research. No learning method surpasses play. Play gives the liberty to explore the environment in an unrestricted manner. It is superior because children learn without being necessarily conscious of it. Most plays are about problem-solving, a very important skill for learners. Lastly, children learn from models. Children are good imitators and they will do what you do, not what you say (Pring 54).
The teacher plays an important role in the learning process discussed above. As a teacher, I must devise appropriate instructional strategies to bring out the best in learners. To begin with, I would allow children to learn from observation. I can do this by using practical demonstrations. I would incorporate play and games into the learning process so that learners can learn without even being conscious of it. Scrabble games can for instance teach word formation and arithmetic. Children learn to form words and count the marks that they have scored from the words. Lastly, I would make sure I am a positive model so that students can emulate me.
Effective classroom management will go a long way to facilitate the learning process above. I would make the classroom less restricted to encourage students to participate in the learning process. While being firm as a symbol of authority in the class, I would be amiable enough to allow students to discuss amongst themselves and make mistakes without fear of judgment. I would encourage children to bring their perspectives into the learning process.
I would form balanced groups so that children can discuss it with their peers. Lastly, I would alternate between closed and open classrooms so that children can interact with their environment in the learning process.
It is my firm conviction that learning should be a highly interactive process. The era in which the teacher was an all-knowing figure and children passive participants are long gone. A teacher should guide a student to knowledge, not deposit knowledge on the learner (Pring 43). It is only through a participatory approach to learning that children can connect classwork with the out of class reality.
Buckingham, Will. The Philosophy Book. London: DK Pub, 2011. Print.
Pring, Richard. Philosophy of Educational Research. London [u.a.: Continuum, 2004. Print.