Philosophy of Literacy Instruction
A personal statement of my view of education
Looking at the psychologist Albert Bandura and his social learning theory that states learning is largely in part by observing other's trials and errors, I can agree to his theory to a certain extent ("Stages of Reading Development," n.d.). I think that there are definitely students that learn well by observing a positive or negative role model. But with observing today's society, especially in terms of students, there are definitely exceptions to the rule. I have had a number of students that can see all of their peers fail/succeed but not truly grasp something until they themselves fail/succeed. Therefore, I tend to agree with the viewpoint of Piaget and his theory of cognitive-development ("Stages of Reading Development," n.d.). His theory stated that students progressed through different stages of cognitive development and in tern their ability to understand and reason progressed as well. They are able to succeed and fail through exploring, investigating, and interacting with the environment that they are exposed to ("Stages of Reading Development," n.d.).
I feel that my teaching beliefs come from my experiences. I have worked in many different settings with different, unique children. The first setting that I encountered with children was babysitting for children. I observed the child/parent relationship and interaction. I then worked in a third grade CCD classroom, voluntarily as a teacher. This setting allowed me to observe how religion can affect a child and the child’s behavior. At the same time, I took an internship in a second grade classroom in an elementary school. This setting allowed me to observe how a teacher interacts with different children on a daily basis, what works to interest the students and what does not work. Then, I worked in different daycare centers while attending college. The different daycare centers truly influenced the child and their interactions with their peers. Some children truly thrived in the setting, while others clearly did not want to be there and did not take well to the experience. In the daycare setting, I was able to observe how much of a part social interaction plays as a role in a child’s development. If a child did not socialize with others, the child was most likely not presented with the same opportunities as the other children.
I feel that family plays a major role in a student’s life and academic career. If a student is not supported by his or her family, the student is less likely to strive for success or to be self-driven to push the limit. The student will most likely only perform to an average standard and be satisfied. Personally, I have never thought that average was acceptable. Anyone can be average, but not everyone has the ability to succeed and be great. Parents can be one of the most important factors in a student’s education. It is extremely unfortunate that so many children in today’s society do not have the correct family support. So many children have been hurt by their family, whether it has been physically or emotionally. This is extremely heartbreaking because I feel that family is an extremely important and vital part of a child’s life. More recently, I have worked at a Boys and Girl’s Club with preteens and teenagers, and I have been fortunate enough to get to know a variety of individuals. Though most of them are not very well off academically, it is interesting to see how their attitude towards studying and pursuing education correlates to not only their grades but also their attitudes towards self-motivation. Also, many of the members come from a home life that is not very positive and it plays a major role in their attitude towards academics.
Also, I feel that school advances society. The more a student is educated about the world around them, the more of a chance that the student can change and improve the word around them. If a student learns the quality of independence, the students will be able thrive on their own in the world. If a child develops their skills of creativity, they will be able to share their talent with other and may inspire others to purse their own personal talent. I feel that the teacher should be a positive leader and inspiration for students to analyze and inquire about anything without any reservations.
Personal choice and personal opinion are skills that I feel should be taught in every classroom. Many teachers do not leave any choice up to the students. Students are told what will be taught at a specified time, what activities they are going to be able to engage in, etc. Personally, I felt that I learned and remembered most through my own choices. Through my choices, I was able to see what worked for myself and others that were affected by my choices. I would like to be able to focus my teaching on active and relevant learning.
Problem solving is a key skill that is needed in today’s society. I feel that a child needs to have a well-developed problem solving skills because if you are not able to solve issues at the time that they are brought up, the problem only creates a bigger mess for someone else to clean up later. I feel that one must take responsibility for their personal problems and actions. If you do not, then, as a result, you will constantly be depending upon others.
Lessons should be focused upon relevant information that can be applied to in real life. Information that is not applicable to real life is useless and more likely forgotten. If the information is applied to an aspect of life, should be centered upon the present or future. I feel that information from the past can be useful, in that is can be a basis point.
The contemporary philosophy, I feel, is the most effective teaching philosophy for my personality ("Stages of Reading Development," n.d.). To be more specific, I feel that progressivism philosophy is the most fitting. It states that education begins with family and that parents are a signification authority of a student’s education ("Stages of Reading Development," n.d.). Another point that this philosophy makes is that education involves wide-ranging chance to expand one’s potential and take on the responsibility of personal choice. Independent understanding in school helps train students for the democratic system that influences our lives and our freedom. Another point that is made is that education involves the whole child and note parts of the child. Instructional material should be varied and used as much to assist each lesson presented. Lessons should be presented in a manner in which the students are eager to participate because if they are not involved, they are not interested or paying any attention. I would like that think that when I teach, a student is not only eager to listen to what I may be teaching them, but also be eager to learn more about the lesson or topic being taught.