Artifact for Domain # II: The SSU teacher candidate understands the nature of human development
and learning in working with diverse learners.
Educational Philosophies and Concepts
Multiculturalism & Gender Issues
Date: Winter Quarter 2006
Course: EDUC 115
Rationale Statement: The writing assignment on educational philosophies and concepts was added to my portfolio because it shows my knowledge of the purpose of education and the vast approaches to teaching students so that they may learn and develop intellectually, socially, and personally. The INTASC standard two supports this artifact by stating that the teacher should understand how children and youth learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development. The writing assignment on multiculturalism and gender issues was added to my portfolio because it demonstrates my understanding of the fact that we are all diverse individuals that learn and develop in our own ways. It also shows that I understand the importance of the need to close the gender gap in such subjects as math and science that have been stereotyped as being more for males. The INTASC standard three supports this artifact by stating that the teacher should understand how learners differ in their approaches to learning, and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to learners from diverse cultural backgrounds and with exceptionalities.
Writing Assignment #1
February 02, 2006
Chapter 9 Philosophies of Education and Teaching
Our culture is what makes us unique and individualistic. The Appalachian area is rich in heritage and culture, which plays a big role in our education. Yet, despite all of the wonderful things the area has to offer it has become culturally stereotyped. We have been unfairly labeled hillbillies, rednecks and hicks. Because of these expressions many people have the opinion that we are uneducated, basically because of our dialect. So as a teacher, I will educate my students about this region and itís wonderful heritage. I will also teach my students to be proud of where they come from but that it is equally important to make sure that we use proper grammar in our professional lives.
Religion has not always played as consistent of a role in my life as it does now. When I was a child I was exposed to all forms of religion through various members of the family. It did not matter what the denomination I still learned right from wrong in addition to proper conduct. As a teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to try to instill some of these morals and virtues into the students while they are in my presence. Whether, being consistent with their teachings at home or educating them for the first time about right from wrong I feel this will benefit the child throughout their life and benefit the community as a whole.
Family Values and Beliefs
I come from a very loving, caring and protective family. We are always there for one another and we believe that family is of the utmost importance. Respect is a big issue with us. It does not matter if itís an opinion or a piece of property; you respect it. This will be beneficial to me as a teacher because it will help me to relate to my students. I will do my best to provide them with a loving and caring environment. In addition, I will respect my studentsí beliefs and opinions, which in turn will teach them to respect me as well as others.
I have always enjoyed school and tried to do my best. Even now that I am in college, I find I still enjoy learning new things. My only regret is that I wish I had gone to college sooner. I feel that education is extremely important not just to acquire a job but to establish self worth. After my second child was born, I decided that I wanted to be more than just a retail worker. I wanted to contribute more to our family than just buying the groceries. But now with almost two years of college under my belt, I realize I needed this not just for the sake of my family, but for my own sake as well. I am constantly encouraging my children, nieces, and nephews to do their best in school and most of all to not just settle for a high school diploma. As a teacher, I will encourage my students just as much as I have my own family to do their best in school, take advantage of the resources available to them, and not end their education with a high school diploma.
I have voted every since I was eighteen years old. I feel that it is important to vote because it is a right that is not exercised enough. Being as politics plays a big part in what and how we teach and the fact that I would like to be a teacher, voting has become even more important. As a teacher, I will stress to my students the importance of getting an education so they will be able to make informed decisions about what it is they are voting for or against. In addition, I will teach the students that voting is a very important freedom that not everyone has always had.
Personal experiences both good and bad help to either maintain an outlook or establish a new outlook on life. I believe that personal experiences continue to shape and mold us throughout our lives. I am of the opinion that my experiences as a child living with an alcoholic father will be an asset to my teaching profession. As a teacher, I will use my life experiences as well as my profession to educate my students about the use of alcohol and alcoholism as well as drug abuse and the negative effects it can have on their lives. As a teacher I hope to help deter the generation after generation of alcoholism and drug abuse that plagues this area. If I can help break this vicious cycle in just one family it will all be worth it.
Metaphysics is the field of philosophy that is concerned with the nature of reality. It inquires into the cause, the substance, the meaning, and the outcome of all things. Metaphysics asks such questions as "What is real?" "What is the nature of existence?" "What is the meaning of life?" "What should I do?" For example, my sister and I recently had a discussion about why we are here and what is our purpose in life. Up until a couple of years ago, I was of the opinion that I was merely here to live, toil and suffer until I died, but because of life experiences that has changed. I want to live life to its fullest and make a difference in the world. One of the ways I know that I can help make a difference is to become a teacher. I am a firm believer that a child is the product of its environment and, which I know will influence them for the rest of their lives.
Next, Metaphysics consists of two branches they are cosmology and ontology. Cosmology deals with questions about the nature and origin of the universe like "Where did the stars come from?" and "What keeps them from falling out of the sky?" and "When they do fall what causes them to fall?" These are questions that I find fascinating and as a teacher, I would like to explore with my students to find the answers. Where as ontology examines questions and issues about existence and being. This part of metaphysics concerns life and issues that one may deal with in life, such as abortion, capital punishment, the "right to die", and cloning. I think it is important to know where you stand on such issues or not straddle the fence so to speak. The only possible way that a person can do that is to know enough about them to make a sound decision. As a teacher, I will educate my students and coach them to think critically so that if any of these issues should surface in their lifetime they will be able to make the right decision based on knowledge and not hearsay.
Epistemology is concerned with the nature of knowledge and how knowledge is acquired. It addresses questions like "How does knowing take place?" "How do we define knowledge?" "How is knowledge acquired?" and "How do we decide what knowledge should be taught?" People come to know about life and its meaning through a number of ways. One is through experience, which is always the best teacher and through authority, which refers to a person, group, or document. The use of authority is merely sources of knowledge. These are fine but I believe that authority should be questioned because if it were not then we would never see progress. We can question authority through another method of acquiring knowledge called reason. Reasoning can be done in two ways one is deductive in which students use a general rule and identify examples and applications of the rule. The other is inductive in which students are taught to reason from the particular to the general by observations and inquiry. I feel that the later reasoning method is the best because in a sense it is related to experience. When the students perform experiments for observation and to acquire information the experiment becomes an experience. Knowing through intuition is again related to experience, as well as reading and study, the advice of others, and the process of schooling. This plays a big part in a childís education because every student learns differently and teachers must sometimes rely on intuition to come up with a way to get the child to learn. The last method of obtaining knowledge is by active construction and this also is related to experience. Learning and knowing occur through mental and physical activity when children and adults engage in activities and have new experiences. Also, actively interacting with others contributes to and promotes learning or in simpler terms children learn from other children.
Axiology is the branch of philosophy that addresses human conduct or ethics and beauty or aesthetics. Questions axiology poses are "What values are of most importance?" "Whose values are of most importance?" "How should we relate to and get along with others?" and "What constitutes beauty?" Questions of right and wrong and good and evil are the focus of ethics. Their own personal ethics as well as the ethics of their profession govern teachers and it is their responsibility to instill values such as honesty, respect for others, and fair play in their students. In aesthetics the areas of beauty, art, and music are included and ask such questions as "What is a work of art?" "What is beauty?" and "What makes something beautiful?" Many schools include aesthetics in their curricula, and believe that by involving students in the discussion of aesthetics enables them to understand beauty and its nature. I feel the adding of aesthetics to a schools curriculum makes for a well-rounded student. I think that ethics and aesthetics go hand in hand because we must first teach our students to have respect for other peoples property and their opinions prior to teaching them about art and beauty. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder and merely an opinion, if educated properly a mere opinion can become an educated opinion.
Perennialism is the educational philosophy that
emphasizes constancy and unchanging truth. Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977)
believed that ideas are the only true reality. He developed an undergraduate
curriculum based on The Great Books Curriculum, which consists of 100
selections of literature, including Homerís Iliad and Odyssey, Melvilleís
Perennialists believe that it is the role of education and the job of educators to focus on the search for and the spreading abroad of the unchanging truths that are to be found in the experiences of humans over the centuries as reflected in their culture and literature. They also believe in a common core curriculum for all students, college bound or not. This establishes the sentiment that some ideas have lasted over the centuries and are just as important today as when they were first instituted.
Perennialists are in favor of a curriculum that is challenging and rigorous and prepares students for life. They support the belief that the goal of the teachers and schools is to develop rational students grounded in and strengthened by the truths of the ages. They believe that teachersí should lecture and promote thinking and reasoning by asking questions that can have more than one correct answer. In addition, the teacher is to coach students in strategies for problem solving and learning how to think and provide students with supervised practice to ensure that learning occurs. Lastly, teachers are to set high goals and expectations for students and the students are expected to study hard and learn the subject matter to develop academic skills. The students are also expected to learn how to reason about human affairs and moral principles and to value the masterpieces of the literature and art of the past.
The Perennialist philosophies that appeal to me most as the role of a teacher are setting high goals and expectations for the students. As a teacher, I will do my best to encourage my students to achieve these as well as other goals in life. I believe that coaching the students to think critically will help improve their problem solving skills, which should make it easier for them to achieve the goals and expectations set for them. Also, to ensure that the students are learning the material, I will conduct supervised practice activities.
Essentialism is the educational philosophy that there is a common body of knowledge that all students need to learn in advance for functioning effectively in society. This belief was formed as a reaction against the decline of intellectual and moral standards in the schools. The essentialist belief led to the founding of the Essentialistic Education Society by William C. Bagley (1874-1946) to promote essentialist ideas. He believed that education required hard work and respect for authority as well as an intellectual curriculum that consisted of essential facts and a common culture. These essential facts were to be found in such subjects as reading, writing, arithmetic, history and English as well as the arts and sciences. In addition, Essentialists included vocational training in the curriculum on the condition that it is practical, useful, and capable of helping students be productive members of society.
The essentialists believe that the role of a teacher includes imparting knowledge to students whether they feel like it or like what they are learning. The teacher is also to initiate and promote learning, motivate students to learn and maintain the appropriate discipline for learning with emphasis on having students learn the basics they need for success in life. In addition, the teacher is to engage in teacher-directed activities characterized by discipline and teacher authority. In turn the students are expected to acquire and use Western cultural knowledge and thinking skills by expending effort and being devoted to the learning process.
The essentialist philosophy that appealed to me most where the role of the teacher is concerned is to initiate and promote learning. As a teacher I will motivate students to learn by coaching them with strategies that will improve their critical thinking skills and maintaining the appropriate discipline for learning. I will also emphasis to my students the importance of learning the basics they need for success in life and educate them in the subjects of reading, writing, math, history, English, art, and science.
Progressivism is the philosophy that education begins with the child and not the subject. John Dewy (1859-1952), who believed that students should be given opportunities for inquiry and discovery, developed this education movement. He also believed that interactions with people should be encouraged in a democratically run classroom. Progressivism emphasizes the importance of studentís interests and experiences in education.
Those that practice progressivism are focused on change and believe that knowledge is not necessarily true forever. In other words, yesterdayís values are not necessarily the ones students use today to guide their behavior. Therefore, schools are to educate students to be able to adapt to change and solve problems and discover new knowledge and values for themselves. They also believe that students are basically good and naturally inquisitive. Therefore, the students are given considerable freedom and are allowed to choose what they will learn. Progressivists believe that what students select are best for them as learners and persons.
The role of the teacher in a progressive classroom is to take into account the whole child when planning and teaching. The teacher is to act as a resource person in addition to asking questions to help students discover knowledge for themselves. The teacher should also provide a learning environment that will enable the students to experiment and engage in learning on their own as well as prepare for democratic living. In addition, the teacherís role is to help the children learn how to learn in any situation, time, and place and most importantly, develop a curriculum based, in part, on the interests of children rather than solely on subject matter.
The role of the students in a progressive classroom is to be an independent and self-directed learner. They should learn skills to help them get along with others and cooperate with others when participating in group work and processes. They should be taught to be responsible for taking care of and maintaining the learning environment. The students should also engage in planning for what to learn and how to learn it and participate actively by doing activities assigned by the teacher. Lastly, the student should learn problem-solving strategies and apply them to real-world problems.
This philosophy of education appeals to me more than the others so far because it puts emphasis on the child. There are many of the progressive beliefs of the role of the teacher that I would like to implement into my teaching method. As a teacher, I intend to provide for my students a democratic learning environment that enables the students to experiment and learn on their own because I think it goes hand in hand with the best teacher "experience". I will also take into consideration the whole child when constructing activities and teaching. I will ask questions to stimulate their ability to think critically and discover knowledge and truth for themselves. I will continue to learn and add to my own knowledge so that I can be the best resource person I can be to help guide my studentsí learning.
Social Reconstructionism is the belief that teachers, students, and the schools play a key role in reconstructing society and building a new social order resulting in more effective democratic living. Due to the concern about the relationship of school curricula and activities to social, economic, and political developments, Social Reconstructionists use current social issues as a guide to determine what the schools should teach. It is the belief that because schooling is a social process then schools should help to solve the problems of society, thus making society better.
However, social reconstructionists influenced by Marxism believe that schools serve the interests of the dominant socioeconomic group of the state and perpetuate the capitalistic system. Where as the neo-Marxists feel that schools are creating a generation of illiterates by not providing technological opportunities to low-income schools and children.
The teacherís role in social reconstructionism is to confront students with social problems and have the students learn about social issues and guide them in addressing these issues. The teacher is also to provide a classroom environment based on equity and social justice and direct the study of all subjects toward solving community problems as well as encourage the students to cooperate and collaborate with community leaders and agencies.
The studentís role in a social reconstructionist program is to use personal interest to help solve social problems by learning problem-solving skills as a means to address the problems of both the community and the world. The student should learn to value social activism.
Some of the elements of social constructionism that I might incorporate into my teaching method are to use the personal interests of the students along with my own to help find solutions to our communities problems as a group effort. I know one person can make a difference but there is strength in numbers. Also, keeping in mind the behavioral sciences, I will maintain a democratic learning environment while teaching students about the social issues of our community and the world. In addition, I will be a resource person and encourage the students to use the resources available to them within their community to help the students to deal with these issues.
My Own Educational Philosophy
After reading and studying Chapter 9 in the Teaching in
I believe that it is the school systems responsibility to take in students and educate them in the staples of life along with ethics and morals. The school system should provide the programs necessary to adequately meet the needs of individual learners regardless of race, ethnic background or disability. In order for this to be done effectively, the school must also ensure that the teachers it hires are properly educated and conduct themselves in a professional, ethical, and moral manner. By doing these things the school system will turn back out into society honest, respectful, critical thinking adults that are independently capable of solving problems and dealing with life issues that they may encounter.
The role of the teacher in my philosophy is:
To be loving, caring, and thoughtful not only to the students but their coworkers as well.
To educate their students in ethics and morals.
To encourage students to cooperate and collaborate with community leaders and agencies as well as get along with their peers both in and outside of the classroom.
To provide a stable, safe, democratic environment that encourages students to experiment and learn on their own.
To continually seek the truth and further their own education so that they can be the best resource person they can possibly be.
Take into account the whole child when making lesson plans and teaching. As Maxine Greene states " a student must be regarded as a constantly evolving individual who is the sum of many parts".
Set high goals and expectations for students and encourage them to achieve the goals.
To question their students to stimulate critical thinking.
Engaging students in a dialogue of questions designed to promote self-reflection.
To provide supervised activities to ensure that the students are learning the material.
Emphasize the benefits of education including aesthetics, ethics and morality.
The role of the student in my philosophy is:
To develop greater acceptance of others.
To seek to be independent and self directed.
To be involved in inquiries and problem solving that lead to conclusions about and insight into their lives.
Learn problem-solving skills as a means of addressing community and global problems.
Participate in learning by doing activities.
Cooperate and get along with others in group work and processes.
Study hard and learn academic skills as a means of gaining knowledge.
Writing Assignment #2
February 16, 2006
Teaching and Learning in Multicultural/Multilingual Schools
Multiculturalism is a form of education that is not
just for the minority but all students. It incorporates a curriculum that
provides the students with both sides of the story so to speak. For example, a
history lesson about the French and Indian War would not only cover the
Americansí point of view but the French and the American Indians as well, which
gives a more thorough understanding of why the war occurred. By teaching in
this manner it gives recognition to the different cultures of people that
reside in the
Because it includes all students and not just the minority and it gives the students a better understanding of the world in which they live. Also, it gives students of different cultures a better understanding of one another, which helps with social skills. It also, gives the teacher a better understanding of the students, which will give insight into the education methods and processes necessary to effectively educate each individual. In addition, by providing the students with alternative ways of looking at a given situation or event encourages them to be participants in their own learning through analysis and even debate. In turn, as individuals they will be capable of forming their own opinions in regards to past as well as present events instead of settling for someone elseís historical opinions.
I am a firm believer that we are all a diverse people, which makes us all special in our own way. As a teacher, I will encourage my students to explore their culture and heritage and to share that culture and heritage with the other students. In my lessons, I will do my best to give recognition to those who have made contributions to the subject at hand regardless of their race, sex or sexual preference, religion, social status, or nationality.
Gender Bias and Gender Issues
The two most important points for me about gender bias and gender issues are providing a gender-fair school environment and a gender-fair curriculum.
Providing a gender-fair school environment will encourage students to participate in both academic and nonacademic activities of all forms regardless of gender. In stead of participating in activities that have been stereotyped appropriate for their gender, the student will feel free to participate in things that they enjoy. When the student is able to learn about or do things that he or she enjoys then they will excel.
Providing a gender-fair education is equally important. Both girls and boys deserve an equal amount of attention from the teacher. The books, displays, and study materials should fairly represent both genders and constructive feedback from such should be distributed evenly between the different genders. Providing students with both a gender-fair environment and education will ultimately be beneficial in closing the gender gaps in academic achievement as well.
Chapter six partners in teaching: Families and the Community
The three aspects of parent-child-teacher relationships that interest me are family-centered teaching, parent/family conferences which includes involving single-parent families, and culturally appropriate family involvement.
Family-centered teaching focuses on meeting the educational needs of the student through their family. This is done by incorporating programs that teach the parents who in turn can help teach their children. For example, the Even Start Family Literacy Program is a federally funded program that combines adult literacy and parenting training with early childhood education to break illiteracy cycles that are often passed on from generation to generation.
Parent/family conferences are an effective way to communicate with the parents about their childís achievements and behavior as well as assess the parentís needs in relation to aiding with their childís learning. Involving single parents in the parent/family conferences may be difficult because of their work schedules and may even require a home visit.
Culturally appropriate family involvement can be determined through a conference and will help the teacher to determine the appropriate approach to a particular childís education. It will also help the teacher to determine how involved she can become in the familiesí education. Some of the things that will help you are to build a relationship with the parents and find out what the educational and career goals for their children are. Also, clarify what the parents think that their roles are in the education of their children and help them to learn to participate in the system of schooling.
As a teacher, I will send notes home with the children inquiring as to when will be the best time for each family to attend a conference. Then, I will schedule a time for the conference that is convenient for as many of the families as possible. For those that cannot attend, I will try to schedule a home visit for them especially if their child is struggling in the class. While conducting the conferences, I will strive to get to know the parents and assess their needs. By doing so, I will be able to make them aware of programs available to them at the school and out in the community that will help them with their needs, which in turn will ultimately benefit the child both at home and at school.
The Communities Role in Education
The three aspects of community-students-school relationships that interested me were linking schools, communities, and businesses, developing social capital and working with community agencies by using school linked services.
Linking schools, communities and businesses is done by implementing programs that bring professionals and business-persons into the classroom in and effort to show the students how what they are taught at school will be used in the workforce.
Social capital is socially valued goods and services that are exchanged in the social transactions within a family or community. Developing social capital is accomplished through family-centered programs that acknowledge parents as the first teachers of their children. When families and communities work together to aid in the education of children then the end product is a prosperous community filled with productive self-sufficient individuals.
As a teacher, I will make myself familiar with the community that I am teaching within and create an address book with phone numbers of the various programs available to the public within the school system and community. Also, I will get to know my students and their parents as quickly as possibly. Therefore, I will be able to assess the needs of the families and give them guidance by making them aware of programs within the school and community that can be of assistance to them. As a teacher, I will also invite professionals and businesspersons from out in the community into the classroom to give a first hand account of how what they learned in school is used in their profession so that the students can make a real connection between school and work.
Chapter Eleven: Curriculum & Instruction
Define/Discuss the Terms:
The three influences on curriculum planning and design that I thought were significant are religion because it helps to establish the morals and ethics in the schoolsí curriculum. Next is the social influence, which helps determine curriculum that will teach the students how to deal with issues in society such as drugs, violence, and disease. Lastly is the economic influence that determines whether the school puts emphasis on college preparatory classes or vocational and technical training.
The three facets of NCTM Math Initiatives that I thought were significant are the making of math a gender-fair curriculum through the use of differentiated instruction because I think girls can do just as well in math as boys if given a chance. Secondly, the student-centered learning because it promotes critical thinking through hands on, individual and group experimentation of real math problems. Lastly, the facet of high mathematical expectations for all students is important because it gives all students regardless of disabilities, race, sex or social status the same encouragement to do their individual best in math.
Learning objectives are the purposes of education and are determined by national, state, and local standards. How teacherís plan and deliver instruction on these learning objectives is governed by the subject being taught and the grade level the subject is being taught to, as well as these standards. Bloomsí taxonomy aids in the teaching of subjects at certain grade levels because it gives a cognitive guideline for the teacher to go by when preparing their instruction or lesson. In other words, there are certain levels of thinking that students at certain grade levels should possess and the higher the grade level the more complex and higher the level of thought. Therefore, the teacher needs to give level appropriate instruction as well as help the studentsí progression to the next cognitive level. Because of efforts to increase student achievement of these standard based learning objectives many schools are resorting to prepared curriculum, which are textbooks and other learning materials that come with detailed instructions for the teacher as to what to teach and how to teach it. It is predicted that more and more teachers will be using prepared curricula in the decades to come.
Non-direct instruction is any form of instruction that is not transmitted directly to the student from the teacher. Instead, the teacher structures opportunities for the students to advance their own learning through experimentation and social interaction. The teacher may place the students into groups to experiment with materials to gain knowledge and make discoveries for themselves. To encourage cooperative learning, the teacher may assign individual rotating tasks to each student within the group, which helps to give the students a sense of group responsibility and teamwork. Also, this gives the lower-ability students a chance to improve their skills by learning from the other higher-ability students and encourages the two different levels to work collaboratively together. Another form of non-direct instruction is scaffolding, which can be done by giving students activities that will prepare them for the real activity or to provide them with information as to where they can find information and resources that will help them think through their ideas. In addition, the teacher may invite older students into the classroom to tutor the younger students, which improves the attitudes and academic achievement of both grade levels of students.
The three features of Constructivism that are of interest to me are that the students work primarily in groups, the students create their own knowledge through hands on activities and experiments, and the teacher is merely a coach and guide. I believe that by the children working in a group that they not only learn from one another but it helps them to develop good social skills also. In addition, when the students participate in an experiment or hands on activity they are creating an experience and when they learn from experience it sticks with them. At the same time it is important that the teacher be there to guide them in the correct direction and coach them into critical thinking by asking the appropriate questions.