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Critical Analysis of Your Philosophy of Education: Essence and Impact on Your Role

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1. What is your philosophy of education?

With almost one in four Australians born overseas, this melting pot of cultures has made an invaluable contribution to my life and driven my desire to experience teaching all over the world and all the cultures it has to offer. The most rewarding experiences so far have been the international teaching experiences in Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, China and Australia. Five totally different cultures and environments, each broadening my teaching and life experience enormously whilst providing me with a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. These experiences have taught me much about the fundamentals of teaching, as required, to overcome the significant language and cultural barriers encountered.

I have been fortunate enough to have taught in different schools around the world utilising a variety of curriculums. This has not only broadened my understanding but also solidified my philosophy of inquiry based teaching and learning. In inquiry based learning tasks there is no “one size fits all” solution and no one prescriptive recipe for academic success.I believe that learning activities should be authentic and experiential. I found that learning is most effective when based on meaningful learning activities. I enjoy using the ideas from the children and providing the learning experiences for them to inquire deeper into the topic. It shows acknowledgment of their interests and my students can feel a strong connection to the learning community. I love using the environment and local communities, planning provocations to spark curiosity from the children where they can identify problems and use their knowledge and skills to solve them. I am always amazed at how capable students are when they are given the opportunities to inquire.

I believe the role of the teacher is to facilitate students learning and guide them to explore, explain, understand and draw conclusions from learning tasks, involving hands-on and real world problem solving activities. My philosophy closely aligns with the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) philosophy. The PYP offers a holistic education where the children can be the directors of their learning with a strong focus on international mindedness.This is why I thoroughly enjoy being a PYP teacher.

My classroom is a community where everyone is unique. Having an inclusive, welcoming and positive environment where each students’ learning style is considered is important for student success. I assist my students to express and accept themselves for who they are, and embrace the differences of others whilst being open-minded and respectful. I support students to develop their own values and be well rounded citizens. I encourage all students to share their ideas and be risk takers.

Learning doesn’t stop when the school day is over, students are encouraged to become lifelong learners, embracing every learning opportunity they are presented with. If they approach these learning opportunities with a smile then I feel a great deal of satisfaction.

2. How have your previous/current experiences; engagement with this module to date; and reading of relevant literature helped to shape your philosophy of education?

There have been a number of influences which have shaped my philosophy including, reflecting on the module, my international teaching experience, reading literature and observing experienced teachers.

I participated in the personality quiz from the week 4 lecture, my report back was “progressivism” which is the child-centred approach, focusing on having the content relevant to the students in order for them to learn. This fits perfectly with my philosophy of how I deliver lessons. My belief that there is no ‘one size fits all’ is supported by (Dewey, 1997; Levy, et al., 2011) there is not one prescriptive recipe for academic success.

Along with the child-centred approach my experience working in a constructivist school I found there is a common theme from my philosophy and the schools philosophy that effective learning comes from meaningful learning activities.

My beliefs of having an inquiry approach in my classroom have been influenced by reading literature. The inquiry approach to learning can be traced back to Socrates, though modern theoretical foundations have their roots in the works of Piaget, Dewey, Vygotsky. (Blessinger and Carfora, 2015). Research suggests the Inquiry based learning (IBL) can be an effective teaching and learning strategy and can produce positive learning if designed and implemented properly, with regard to context and creating the proper linkages between teaching, content, learning, and assessment (Cuneo et al., 2001; Cuneo et al., 2012; Hickey et al., 2000; Justice et al., 2007; Lynch, et al., 2005; Vajoczki, et al,. 2011). Since IBL is centered on authentic and meaningful problem scenarios and question based investigations, it more naturally aligns with a student’s own values and learning needs.

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Each international teaching experience I have taken on has shaped my philosophy of education. My experience in China, a class of 40 children who all had individual separate desks with no provocations on the walls and a lectern at the front for the teacher to stand and deliver the lessons the different to my beliefs of being a facilitator to learning. I realised that I would have to reflect and find a way to work with what I had, in order to teach in the way I believed. I utilised the outdoor play areas for inquiry and moved tables together for collaborative group work. Some of the more common IBL activities include research projects, experiments, and role-play scenarios. The commonality of these activities is that they are active, experiential, meaningful, and they are focused on higher-order thinking.The students were not used to working in groups, sharing ideas within a team and collaborating. I worked with the class to build a community where they shared and collaborated more openly. With my approach to teaching having an inquiry focus these activities usually involve collaboration with others such as fellow students and teachers. (Blessinger and Carfora, 2015).

My classroom is welcoming and inclusive environment, where every child has the right to learn. Research suggests that the ideal inclusive classroom should: value all pupils and acknowledge different personalities and gifts; be respectful, treat pupils as individuals, enable children and adults to talk freely to each other and value pupils’ opinions; and have no ‘one-size-fits-all’ curriculum.DfES (2002).

3. How has/does/will your philosophy of education impact on your practice/role as an educator?

My philosophy of education impacts my teaching on a daily basis. It acts like my teaching map which provides me with the direction to move ahead. It impacts my decisions daily in my role as an educator. If I know the direction I want to go then I can guide my students to reach their destination.

After taking the time to reflect on what and why I teach in a particular way definitely impacts my practice and role as an educator. This critical review has allowed me to revisit literature and solidifies my philosophy. I listened to a lecture from Antena Productions 2009 and the lecturer mentioned how important it was to critically reflect on our teaching practice. I agree, this critical reflection of the philosophy has made me reflect on my daily teaching practice.

I have taken action when the philosophy of a school didn’t meet my philosophy of education with agreement, I revised the classroom set up and moved tables around to reflect a collaborative workspace.

Knowing that IBL activities, teacher as the facilitator and inclusive classrooms are supported by extensive research to show student success, motivates me to uphold this philosophy. When I am planning my lessons, I often reflect on my practice asking myself many questions; is this meaningful for students? How can I enhance their learning experiences? What will they take away from these activities? What is my expectation? These are all questions stemming from my philosophy of education which is drawn from my research, observations and experiences over the years. My philosophy of education is dynamic and circumstantial.

Reference:

  1. Antena Productions (2009). Reflecting on Outstanding Teaching.. Available at: http://video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/reflecting-on-outstanding-teaching database [Accessed 24 Oct. 2019].
  2. Blessinger, P. and Carfora, J. (2015). Inquiry-based learning for multidisciplinary programs. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  3. DfES (2004) Removing Barriers to Achievement. The Government’s Strategy for SEN. London: Department for Education and Skills.
  4. DfES (2002) Including All Children in the Literacy Hour and Daily Mathematics Lesson: Management Guide. London: Department for Education and Skills.
  5. Cheminais, R. (2013). How to create the inclusive classroom. David Fulton Publishers.
  6. Ibo.org. (2017). What is an IB education?. [online] Available at: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/what-is-an-ib-education-2017-en.pdf [Accessed 19 Oct. 2019].
  7. Cuneo, C., Inglis, S., Justice, C., Lee, W., Miller, S., Rice, J., … Warry, W. (2001). Thinking and doing outside the box: Interdisciplinary inquiry learning partnerships. Research and Development in Higher Education, 24, 1522.
  8. Cuneo, C., Harnish, D., Roy, D., & Vajoczki, S. (2012). Lessons learned: The McMaster inquiry story from innovation to institutionalization. In V. Lee (Ed.), Inquiry-guided learning. New directions in teaching and learning (Vol. 2012, Issue 129, pp. 93104, doi: 10.1002/tl.20010). New York, NY: Wiley
  9. Hickey, D. T., Wolfe, E. W., & Kindfield, A. C. H. (2000). Assessing learning in a technology supported genetics environment: Evidential and consequential validity issues. Educational Assessment, 6, 155196
  10. Lynch, S., Kuipers, J., Pyke, C., & Szesze, M. (2005). Examining the effects of a highly rated science curriculum unit on diverse students: Results from a planning grant. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42, 921946.
  11. Vajoczki, S., Watt, S., Vine, M. M., & Xueqing, L. (2011). Inquiry learning: Level, discipline, class size, what matters? International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 5(1), Article 10.
  12. Levy, P., Lameras, P., McKinney, P., & Ford, N. (2011). The pathway to inquiry-based science teaching. The features of inquiry learning: Theory, research, and practice. Retrieved from http://www.pathwayuk.org.uk/uploads/9/3/2/1/9321680/_the_features_of_inquiry_ learning__theory_research_and_practice_eusubmitted.pdf

Through both the curriculum and teaching it aims to develop the intellectual, emotional and physical potential of each child, in a secure and stimulating environment. International perspective: A driving force behind the PYP is the philosophy of international mindedness.

‘Personalised learning embraces every aspect of school life, including teaching and learning strategies, leT, curriculum choice, organisation and timetabling, assessment arrangements and relationships with the local community.’ (DfES 2004: 3.1)

The principles of learning and teaching underpinning personalised learning should: set high expectations and give every learner confidence that they can succeed; establish what learners already know and build on it; structure and pace the learning experience to make it challenging and enjoyable; inspire learning through passion for the subject; make individuals active partners in their learning (assessment for learning); and develop learning skills and personal qualities. (DfES 2004: 3.2)

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Critical Analysis of Your Philosophy of Education: Essence and Impact on Your Role. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/critical-analysis-of-your-philosophy-of-education-essence-and-impact-on-your-role/
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