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Statement of Informed Beliefs Essay

Kayra Maglaughlin

Kimberly M. Johanek

EDUC 220

Spring 2018
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Statement of Informed Beliefs

It is impossible to have a classroom of students who each have the same ecology,

temperament, and learning styles. This shows just how vast the amount of diversity we have

within a classroom. As an educator, we have to account for so many different factors and

accommodate for each one to ensure student learning and personal growth from the time a

student enters until they leave the classroom. In this essay, I will be discussing diversity in

education and how I will accommodate it to improve the community and learning of my students

through the following topic: All Students Can Learn, Teachers’ Expectations, Students’ Social

Ecology Theory, Cultural Diversity Instruction, and Curriculum for all Learners.

All Students Can Learn

A students’ ability to learn is due to a combination of their experiences from infancy until

they step foot into the classroom and is subject to change from child to child based off their

individual ecology, their cultural, economic, behavioral, and parental backgrounds. In all, the

student as a human is constantly evolving mentally and physically due to their environments in

which they adapt temperaments that are factors to their successes in learning. As a teacher it is

our responsibility to provide resources for kids who are struggling with learning or need different

learning opportunities than others so that they can succeed and achieve their best. According to

Harter & Bukowski (2012), “It is important for a teacher to understand the child’s home culture

so that the child’s self-concept (…) flourishes.” Teachers should be facilitators of learning and

encouragers of positive social behaviors. The teaching profession is one that deals with so many

different kids from diverse backgrounds who all require different amounts of support and
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guidance through the socialization and educational process. The job demands intentional

instruction and attentiveness towards the needs of those who are receiving the instruction.

The most important thing a teacher can provide their students is an openness to learning

themselves and resources to help the students succeed. This is how I plan on making my

classroom successful. I want to be sure that every kid has access to information from various

aspects, be that learning styles or school programs that will benefit them in their educational

process. I think the most beneficial method of doing this is just incorporating and changing

teaching styles and techniques to lessons for a greater success with learning in classrooms with

so many kids and such little time face-to-face with the teacher.

Teacher’s Expectations

A teacher is one of the biggest examples of appropriate behavior within a classroom. In

this way, the expectations that I, as the teacher sets should remain the same for both the children

and for myself. “More specifically, a competent teacher is one who is committed to work, is an

effective classroom manager, is a positive role model with whom students can identify, is

enthusiastic and warm, continues efforts for self-improvement in teaching, possesses skill in

human relationships, and can adapt his or her skills to a specific context” (Berns, Roberta M.

2018, Ch. 7-2 Para 1). In this way, any expectations that I am requiring my students to follow, I

too should be held accountable for them. I should be discussing professionally, respecting others

in their speech and belief, and paying attention in class. These expectations, I believe, will

further help my classroom to become an inviting place where learning is constant. My students

can communicate and learn without fear of rejection from peers and instructors because of this

mutual understanding of expectations and the classroom will be under a healthy amount of

social control. Mainly, the ability for students to learn stems from the example the instructor
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sets, follows, and enforces. Also, the way a teacher acts towards a student affects their “role” as a

student. When expectations are low, students find no need to push those expectations and often

settle to the roles given to them. The bias’s we create for students, whether we understand them

presently or not, can be hindering to a students’ learning only if it affects behavior.

Educational goals are in place to help students grow in their knowledge in an

appropriate order and timely manner. Without the educational goals, many students are easily

forgotten, and information is no longer linear. This can lead to inconsistent and nonlinear

curriculum. As a reflection of society, we try to set educational goals that reflect the purpose of

education. “The primary purpose of education, from society’s perspective, is the transmission of

cultural heritage: the accumulated knowledge, values, beliefs, and customs of the society”

(Berns, Roberta M. 2018, Ch. 6-1 Para 1). The goals of education should reflect the primary

purpose of education, which is to train thinkers who reflect the beliefs and culture of the society.

Many times, these “goals” are to help students develop skills to function in society and succeed

for themselves. As an educator, I think that educational goals, whether for the classroom or for

individual students, is vital to development of the student with their overall knowledge, shaping

of a worldview, and development as a person of society. By achieving such educational goals

students can develop skills such as self-regulation, self-reflection, and self-motivation which in

turn allows for them to succeed in and out of my classroom.

Students’ Social Ecology Theory

Students are a culmination of their environments, created by the people they are around

and the values that are upheld within that environment and established by those same people.

Therefore, families, cultures, and communities have an enormous impact on student learning. I

should be making the learning more personal and giving students the opportunity to connect to
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their learning through some sort of personal connection and relevance. By connecting these kids’

microsystems to the material for learning, the students will have a more connected experience,

thus improving the overall mesosystem of the classroom environment and the school.

Everything a student brings from their home will affect their performance and their behavior in

the classroom, which will ultimately either benefit or take away from classroom learning.

Cultural Diversity Instruction

A students’ ethnic background and life history affects how they perceive the educational

world and its importance. In this way, it is so important for me, as an educator to be informed on

a student’s background. Behavior in the classroom is using explained by a student’s environment

and their stories. It is so important to me that students are acknowledged from diverse

backgrounds and I will work to make those known and keeping the students involved. In general,

Cultural Assimilation means that students or groups of students come into a larger group

(majority) and change their values and actions to follow those of the larger group. Cultural

Pluralism, however, is generally where the majority accepts the culture or values of the smaller,

so long as it parallels closely the values of the majority. In my classroom, I truly want to be able

to have more of a Culturally Pluralistic approach to where students are accepted from their

backgrounds, however, there is still a sense of common rules and expectations so that students

can interact with humility and socialize beyond classism or race.

Curriculum for all Learners

In lesson planning, it is important to gauge student ability with the amount of time. There

are ways incorporate certain learning styles like: logical-mathematical, linguistic, body

kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist into curriculum for learners to

ensure they are each receiving some sort of benefit out of the lesson (Berns, 2018). I would also
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like to be able to be collaboration in lesson planning, so that I can receive counseling from peers

or professionals in relation to teaching approach and strategy during delivery so that I can

maximize the amount of learning in the time I have with students. Adjustments will always be

needed when it comes to delivery and assessment and I will make those adjustments according to

the skill levels of my students and the types of learners they are. Making notes from year to year

about what has worked and what hasn’t worked will help to guide me in assessing the readiness

of the kids for assessment or how the lesson is best given. These adjustments might be needed

because of students with learning exceptionalities, too. In all of this, having collaboration with

other teachers and the skills to think ahead to possible issues that may arrive and planning around

them would be skills I would try to develop to succeed as an educator. The information on

assessments and the way students will be assessed has a huge impact on the way the teacher will

instruct the children in the delivery of information and in lesson planning. This is due to the level

of importance of certain information on assessments and students will be instructed more on the

information that is important for those assessments. I think that there are both good things and

bad things about this approach but in all, having a directed area of learning is helpful in the

classroom. In all, assessments are just a way for teachers and schools to see growth in learning

from students and giving students what they need to succeed will ensure each student will be

able to meet those assessment expectations.

In all, educators must be conscious of the diversity within their classroom and work to

incorporate it in a way that helps students recognize difference and choose humility. When an

educator recognizes and acknowledges difference or diversity and responds to it in a positive and

accepting way, so too will students respond as such. I have so many amazing ideas for my future
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classroom with everything from classroom management to assessment and expectations and I

cannot wait to apply them to my teaching and curriculum.


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References

Berns, R.M. (2016). Child, family, school, community: Socialization and support (10th ed.).

Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning, Inc.

Bukowski, W. M., Brendgen, M., & Vitaro, F. (2007). Peers and socialization: Effects on

externalizing and internalizing problems. In J. E. Grusec & P. D. Hastings (Eds.),

Handbook of socialization: Theory and research. New York: Guilford Press.