Essay to My Teaching Philosophy

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UQ EDUC6600 - Lynne Baker
Teaching & Learning

April 2010

Robert Hemingway s42290427

Assignment 1 -- Essay to

My Teaching Philosophy

Essay requirements - from Course Schedule :-

(ii) To accompany your presentation write a short commentary that elaborates and clarifies your approach to teaching in your main curriculum area.

  • The commentary should be 750 words and provide a clear and coherent statement about your philosophy and approach to teaching


(also that there are a number of spelling errors in the Course Profile !

(ii) To accomapny and clarfies your philosphy )

I will concentrate on the second statement - “provide a clear and coherent statement about your philosophy and approach to teaching”
I believe it is important to establish an environment and a relationship with students(5), where they can feel safe, comfortable and valued(10) as we journey towards(8) increased knowledge and understanding, improved thinking skills(12) and becoming effective members of society (4,6)
There must be a reason or goal for students to attend school for twelve years, and we as teachers must have the skill, knowledge, resources and enthusiasm to achieve this goal. I believe there are three pillars which define my philosophical goals :-

  1. increased knowledge and understandings

  2. improved thinking skills

  3. become an effective member of society(4)

and that there are three requirements needed to achieve these pillars :-

  1. establish an environment and a relationship with students(5)

  2. where they can feel safe, comfortable and valued(5)

  3. as we journey towards(8)

Education has always been about knowledge, and it would be sad and wasteful to attend school for twelve years and not increase one’s knowledge and understandings. Therefore I believe this must be my first pillar.

It is impossible to “teach” everything that the individual will need for the rest of their life, during the twelve years at school. Therefore we must provide the necessary cognitive, or thought processes, that will allow the student to become life-long learners.(12) This is my second pillar.

Finally, I believe the years from adolescence to adulthood are there to allow for guidance and development of the individual, in all the skills needed to take their place in society. Not only to “just” take their place, but to do so effectively(4). In addition this development is not just of the student, but teachers, as members of society also have to develop as society advances. We journey together ! This is my third pillar.

Whether teachers achieve their goals, is determined by their approach to teaching. Some desirable teacher attributes that would enhance the achievement of these pillars would include the following :- (1,2,3,10)

  • be empathetic, passionate & inspiring

  • be warm, friendly, caring, approachable

  • be student centred

  • get to know, but don’t judge each student

  • be supportive and promote dialog with all students

  • be organised, and subject knowledgeable

  • be community orientated

Teachers will need to understand and be proficient in many different teaching techniques, some of which would include the following :- (1,2)

  • direct teaching, with whiteboard work

  • demonstrations, to the class

  • whole class discussion

  • small-group and group work

  • experiments

  • extended research tasks and reports

  • computer applications, and digital learning objects

using teaching aides such as :- (1,2,15)

  • concept and mind maps, flow and leaf charts

  • journals and experiment books

  • predictions and hypothesis formation

  • brain-storming, and group discussions

  • student explanations and demonstrations to the class

  • internet, book and journal research and readings

  • expert person, guest speakers

Managing classroom behaviour will be crucial in achieving these philosophical goals.(3,11) My belief is that all students can be taught, and that all really do want to be taught !(6) However their overt behaviour doesn’t always indicate this. How we manage them will determine if we can achieve our goals. Stephanie McCaw’s (14) “Community of Learners” is a great concept and one which I will strive to emulate. By giving students privileges, responsibilities, access to common areas, and mixing with, and sharing with a range of expertise, we provide a new dimension for school based education.

In the Sciences, I believe we need to stimulate curiosity!(15) This is often achieved by hands-on activities in which something “happens”, something unexpected that can’t be easily explained. This multi-modal stimulation, with instantaneous desire for understanding, is what will stimulate curiosity and inquiry, improve thinking skills, and develop a life-long learner ! (12,13)
In conclusion, each student will travel a different journey as they progress from a “raw learner” to a mature student, and with guidance and scaffolding by teachers, we will be able to provide each student with the knowledge, cognitive processes, and provide a position in society that each deserves.

The three pillars”

Reference List
1. Effective Teaching Strategies - Roy Killen

2. Prof. Peter Renshaw - EDUC6600 lecturer 2010

3. Dr Lynne Baker - EDUC6600 Tutorial Coordinator 2010

4. Mr Geof. Hilton - Guest speaker UQ 2010

5. My Teaching Philosophy - Sarah Bartlett

6. Education - Professor SS Dragomir

7. Philosophy of Teaching - Curtin University

8. Teaching Philosophy - Jason But

9. The Atlas Society - What is Philosophy ?

10. Ms Liz Fynnes-Clinton Guest Speaker EDUC6600 UQ 2010

11. Mr Kerry Madden - Tutorial coordinator EDUC6610 UQ 2010

12. Rosi Scholl - Guest Speaker EDUC6600 UQ 2010

13. Sir Ken Robinson - creative thinking

14. Stephanie McCaw - HOD Music Department Kelvin Grove State School 2010

15. Dr Tony Wright - Lecturer in Science and Education Dept. UQ 2010
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