I think relationships between a teacher and her students is built upon the mutual respect that shapes in-between them. One thing that comes to my mind when I think about teaching is the relationship that I’d like to form with my students. Enjoying conversations with them and talking about topics that are important to them, in this way I could understand how they feel about the materials that we are studying in class. I’d like my classroom to be less of a classroom and be more of community, where we can all share ideas and talk about our experiences as well as learning new topics. This is one of the reasons why I like to teach (autism) students so that they would be able to communicate in a way so that they could continue with their lives. Within this statement I will categorize my approach towards teaching in: teaching, active learning, communication, technology, assessment followed by conclusion.
My teaching philosophy is based on a strong belief in student engagement and participations. I think my responsibility is to engage the students with their responsibility being to participate, a two-way interaction is required for effective teaching. As a teacher I will not only provide information to students, but I will also monitor their progress in the class. I think this can be achieved easier if what is taught in class is related somehow to their past and their future goals. I also believe in the importance of repeated exposure to a subject, psychology in particular.
I would apply varied and diverse means to achieve these goals. Communicating my knowledge and experience effectively, although I consider lectures to be primarily means of delivering information to the students. In my opinion, the classroom can be a great opportunity to show students the primary and important principles of psychology.
In general, my pedagogical goals are:
- To help students learn about psychology in a way to increase their motivation;
- Fostering the development of analytical critical thinking skills.
Employing technology as a tool to enhance learning and taking beyond lectures paradigm. I also think that it is crucial to assess how well students have learned the contents of the course, this can be achieved with a multifaceted approach towards evaluation, providing students with constant formative feedback.
As a student studying psychology, I believe that am being in a unique position not only to deliver information about psychology, but also to apply that information to teaching. I will incorporate the principles of psychology, and the results of psychological research on human learning and cognition, not only in the content of the lectures, but also in the style and presentation of that information.
By presenting the learning objectives at the beginning of every lecture, the structure of the lecture would be to follow accordingly. Psychological research has shown that it is possible to facilitate the learning procedure by giving an outline of to-be presented information.
I would also strive to maintain a balance between gist and verbatim information, I don’t think that much could be earned by oversimplification and generalization, but though some theories are complex and are rather difficult to understand unless some parts are pared away to reveal the core of the concept.
I don’t think that there is any way more salient evidence than experiencing something with your own eyes, thus, numerous demonstrations and interactive tasks to further illustrate psychological principles may be used, allowing students to get directly engaged with their hands-on experience brings the knowledge they have learned to life, but also the potential of these activities influencing their lives is there.
As mentioned before, I encourage communication in the classroom, allowing all the students to have the opportunity to get involved and engage in interaction, for example if students have relevant questions in regards to what has been thought, I don’t mind them asking questions about anything else that is relevant to psychology in general. I do emphasize on face-to-face interaction, but in some cases I might provide feedback on a topic or a subject via email.
I view technology as a means to facilitate learning. I may use a video, so that students could fully engage and hear theories described from the creators themselves. Another use of technology would be to develop the course outlines online, using the web allows me to become a learning facilitator. When I think about large classes, that I have studied in, sometimes you feel like you are just part of a large mass, in order to minimize this effect and foster a strong interaction between all students and lecturer, technology can come to good hands in these regards.
Through assessment, I think weekly quizzing might give good feedbacks; a 10 min short quiz which its material is drawn from the textbook, can have a better learning outcome on the materials of the relevant chapter. Firstly, drawing questions from the textbook I think oblique students to keep up to date with the readings, Secondly, requiring students to provide written response exercises their ability to express themselves clearly, thirdly, the quiz provides regular feedback on how well students have learned the materials.
I do believe that teaching is very special, having the possibility to engage with student who will have further impacts on their lives. I am looking forward to teaching in the near future as I have been monitoring the way teachers teach and the feedback which is given from the students. I love having the opportunity to share the cool things about psychology and ourselves with students and people who are truly interested.
- Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). Test-Enhanced Learning: Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention. Psychological Science, 17, 249-255.