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Teaching Philosophy

My vision for learning in the classroom, is one wear the students are participating, engaged,

questioning, and confident at levels of their comprehension, knowledge and understanding. My

vision is for the students to investigate, and have agency with the materials I provide and the

resources that are at their disposal. Learning occurs when the students can use their prior

knowledge and gained knowledge to process the phenomena around them. When the students can

gather resources, explain, and analyze their ideas in productive discussions. Learning occurs in

encouraging environments where the teacher acts as a facilitator.

The learning theory that best supports my teaching philosophy is social constructivism. My

approach to learning and teaching starts by introducing a phenomenon, activating prior knowledge,

and discussing misconceptions. During this time the students are conversing with each other with

the caveat that there is no judgement based on what is “right” and what is “wrong”. In my

classroom I want to ensure that the students feel involved in their own learning. To prevent the

kind of environment and disconnect that a one person standing in front of an audience can generate,

I personally believe that teaching should remain an interactive experience between the students

and the instructor. When students are engaged and challenged, they are more likely able to retain

the information that is presented to them (Settlage, Southerland, Smetana, & Lottero-Perdue, 2018)

They are also able to understand the material on a more complex level. If this is happening then

the moments where I do lecture have meaning and purpose and are not just random facts, but are

instead pieces to the puzzle that the students want to put together.

In order to create learning environments that promote respect for and support of individual

differences of ethnicity, race, language, culture, gender and ability I am to have no place for
stereotyping in how I interact with my students. Having preconceived notions about the behavior

of these children, the way they learn, or how they may or may not response to authority can lead

to a failure in providing them adequate education. It is important to not mistake stereotypes for a

student’s culture. There is a delicate balance between recognizing culture and assigning culture

“discrimination occurs when teachers do not recognize that behavior is culturally influenced”

(Weinstein et. al, 2003). While this is true, discrimination also occurs when teachers assume that

they understand the culture of a group of students.

Students should leave my classroom with the skills to solve problems, develop solutions

and generate questions. Students should leave my classroom with the knowledge that even if they

do not understand something right away patience and perseverance are essential tools to success.

And students should leave my classroom that understanding has multiple perspectives. There is no

nothing that cannot be questioned further. There is nothing that you cannot understand with the

right tools and guidance. The skills, knowledge and understandings that the students will leave my

classroom with are also ones that will help them to do science and become scientifically literate

citizens.

I will engage inquiry-based science approaches within my classroom. I think that it is

important to have students develop, design, research and execute their ideas. This will give

students a chance to construct their own understanding of the material versus spoon feeding a set

way of approaching the information. Student learning and growth in science will be assessed

through creativity, strength of discussion and argument based on results and findings. I hope that

my students in my science classroom will learn how to process, analyze and understand

phenomenon that is in their current and future surroundings.


I will support students’ intellectual, social, and personal development by providing

moments for students to interact in group settings based on personality quizzes, and or strengths

and weaknesses. I will model behaviors to my students of respect and humanity that will show

them that perfection is a process and failure and triumph will not always be the lessons of the day.

How the students learn to navigate both situations are.

To make science accessible to all students in my classroom I believe that teaching in a

straight forward, communicative manner is very important for basic concepts to be understood by

the students. Once the foundation has been established, it is then important for the students to start

making their own inferences, and using their cultural resources to further access the material. This

can be done by independent projects as well as group work. In addition to this, I believe that

classroom conversations are important when discussing more challenging coursework. Most of the

time, concepts that may seem confusing can be clarified by getting all of the students involved in

understanding the material that is presented. I will you continue to grow professionally as a teacher

by always challenging myself to work hard to help my students. I will always seek to keep learning

techniques and gathering information about ways to improve my teaching practices.


References
Settlage, J., Southerland, S. A., Smetana, L. K., & Lottero-Perdue, P. S. (2018). Teaching
science to every child: Using culture as a starting point. New York, NY: Routledge.
Weinstein, C., Curran, M., & Tomlinson-Clarke, S. (2003). Culturally Responsive Classroom
Management: Awareness Into Action. Theory Into Practice, 42(4), 269-276.
doi:10.1353/tip.2003.0053