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Positionality and Distinct Outlook as an Educator

George B. Paasewe

Northern Illinois University


Before becoming an educator, it is vital to understand your various teaching/educating

styles as it enables practitioners to know who they are, how they operate and what is most

important to them prior to getting in the field. This paper focuses on my positionality as an

educator and will explain what I find most important as an educator, my values/philosophy as an

educator and how I want to be portrayed as an educator. Specifically, this paper will explain

how I plan on constructing learning, education and myself as the authority in the learning space.

Nonetheless, my positionalities of this paper are scoped through the lens of John Dewey’s theory

of learning. Dewey believed that intelligence is creative and flexible which resonated with me

the most of all theories.

Philosophy of Education

To completely understand your personal philosophy of education, it is imperative to

understand that an institution philosophy of education is the cornerstone that influences what and

how students are taught. The educational philosophy of an institution also influences the

teachers’ role as an educator, regarding what should be taught and by which pedagogic method.

For example, the different pedagogical approaches could be taught through; learning by

listening, learning by doing, learning through discussion and debate and blended learning.

Furthermore, due to the various ways of teaching and the divergent pedagogical approaches,

every educator develops their own and various way of teaching due to their beliefs, philosophy

and values of education.

My philosophy of education is that students must have self-motivation to be able to

succeed. I believe that educators are morally obligated to have the highest expectations for each

and every one of their students when entering the learning space. It is my desire to create a type

of atmosphere where I can meet the needs of all students’ by building rapport with students,

setting high standards for both the students and myself, while fostering a safe learning

environment. For example, encouraging open communication in the learning space where

students can interact safely and confidently in the classroom setting is key. Most importantly,

my philosophy is that all students from Kindergarten to college have the ability to learn and the

right to a quality education. My philosophy of education is the result of many years of learning

throughout my tenure of college. I observed the many pedagogies that past and present

professors employed and took mental notes of what worked and what did not work for me. For

example, neither learning by listening or learning by doing individually worked for me. I came to

the realization that I was a blended learner. By using different pedagogic approached while

teaching, I could help guide students towards the learning style of their caliber which is

equivalent to student success.

Educational Values

As an educator, my main values of education compliment my philosophy of education in

regards that they both are designed to help student succeed while upholding the creed of

integrity, individuality, and respect. My value of academic integrity is interchangeable through

both the educator and the learner. I believe that academic integrity is the ethical policy and

moral code of academia. The integrity of an educator is to maintain academic standards, while

the learner responsibilities are to avoid cheating or plagiarism. Individuality is important

because it respects and acknowledges people many differences while encouraging creative

thinking whereas student will not be swayed by the fears or doubt of others to share unique and

individual perspectives. My educational philosophy and values are most important to me. In

addition, my views on education influence my teaching style and various pedagogic approaches.

Teaching/Pedagogic Style

To respect diverse talents and different ways of learning amongst students my teaching

and pedagogic style of approach will include a variety of activities and strategies for the

purposes of student success for all. Whereas, I would consider my teaching style as hybrid or

blended. Meaning that an integrated approach of teaching that blends my personality and

interest with students’ are at the forefront of my teaching style. A good thing about this style of

teaching is that it achieves the inclusive approach of combining various teaching styles and

enables teachers to tailor their styles to students needs and appropriate subject matter. I will use

some varied strategies such as guided lectures, small group activities, large group activities, role-

playing, visual aids, etc. This will support a respectful approach to individual styles as well as

provide opportunities for students to use their talents in new ways that do not come so easily.

The pedagogies that are congruent with my teaching styles are; learning by listening,

(auditory learning) which involves lectures, readings, audios etc. Learning by doing, this

involves group activities, hands-on projects, etc. The last pedagogy that I plan to employ is

learning through discussion and debate, this includes class-lead discussions, discussion questions

proposed to the class that encourages open communication and debates. My teaching style,

reflects Dewey’s approach to learning which involves, flipped classrooms, reflection, hands-on-

group work and discussion/dialogue. As John Dewey once stated, “we learn from engaging

ourselves in a variety of experiences in the world.” In other words, using multiple pedagogic

approaches while in the learning space influence the learner to have a more creative and flexible

way of thinking.


Overall, my positionality of education which pertains to the values of education,

philosophy of education, and teaching styles are influenced by Dewey’s philosophy of education.

As an educator, my creeds are to insure that the learning space are productive, focused and

meaningful for the learners. While decreeing that intelligence is creative and flexible. In

addition, learners learn beast through direct and personal experiences. Nonetheless, this

assignment allowed me to explore who I want to be as an educator while allowing me to

understand what is important to me and how I can become an effective educator.