Guided Response: Review the philosophies of education that your classmates chose and write a minimum 150-word response to at least two of them. Comment on whether you agree or disagree with their philosophies of education and their rational for them. Suggest additional ways in which the theories they have chosen could be applied to educational environments.
I have been in the classroom for over 12 years, and every day I learn something new. Every day I encounter a new student or discover something new about a student in my class that has been there the whole year. Every encounter is different, every child is different, and not one child thinks the same or learns the same. I discovered this early on in my teaching career, but I am constantly reminded how we cannot take for granted streamlined teaching in the classroom.
Teachers are not the only ones who teach in the classroom, the students in your classroom teach each other and teach you the teacher how to explain something differently and view things differently and reach the same destination to answer the same question correctly. I believe that being an effective teacher one must get to know students on a personal level. Not by reading their folders at the beginning of the year, but by asking open ended questions, listening to how they respond and how they express themselves either verbally or written expression. Teachers need to listen to their students not just hear them and move on, but take the child as a whole and help them reach another level in their education journey.
Special education is more than just accommodations; it is accommodating children to their needs and finding what works for them. Some need verbal cues to know that they are doing well and motivate them to keep working towards success, while others need positive written expression to push them over the hump and work to accomplish their goals. Most children with learning disabilities suffer from low self esteem and act up or become the class clown are constantly in trouble. They become the trouble makers or the ones always in trouble for not completing homework assignments, and because teachers only see this on the surface they push them off to one side of the classroom. What most general education teachers don’t see is how much they are asking for help.
Education should be used to empower every student and every teacher. Being an educator is more than just teaching to a test, it is planting the seed of enjoying the love for learning. We need to remember that we are educating our future.
Children learn best in an environment where they feel safe, especially younger children in an early childhood program. For toddlers the progressivism philosophy is one that works best. Toddlers cannot sit still for long periods of time and they need things that are developmentally appropriate. They need activities that allow them to use all of their senses. As they are touching and seeing while listening to you explain things to them, they are learning and absorbing information. The classroom is a child centered classroom where children can make choices and where playing is learning.
In my experience working with young children, most learn best through repetition. Singing the same songs every day and reading stories over and over are ways that toddlers learn best. Keeping a routine and guidance is very helpful to their learning environment. Most parents are surprised to see what their children are learning and are starting to realize that we are not just there “babysitting” their child.
By having a child centered classroom we can incorporate Gardner’s seven intelligences. Children have the ability to move about the room either playing alone or with a group. All areas of the classroom can enable children to practice each of Gardner’s intelligences through play.
Gollnick, D.M., Hall, G.E., Quinn, L.F. (2014). Introduction to Teaching: Making a Difference in Student Learning. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications