Constructivist Teaching and Learning
It is my belief a teacher should create an environment that is conducive to learning- a place where students can immerse themselves in a given subject as they assimilate knowledge and skills to become innovative learners. I believe through creating such as environment learning becomes a student-centered process where children are equal partners in the schooling experience. I actively encourage building a classroom environment where every student has the right to learn through quality education.
Students are therefore treated equally regardless of their age, gender, nationality and intellectual ability. The role of the teacher in this instance is to acknowledge all students are unique and bring something special to the classroom. Therefore they must have stimulating educational environments where they can grow holistically to develop physical, mental, emotional and social skills.
My teaching style draws from several educational theories, as I believe there is no single approach that can be implemented within the classroom, given each of my students is different.
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I do believe however theories such as constructivism (students learn by doing, rather than by being told) provides students with every opportunity to succeed at their own pace. Activities that are scaffolded are pivotal to ensure this success occurs. Another theory I abide by within the classroom is Howard Gardner’s ‘Multiple Intelligence’ theory which suggests students have several ways of processing information. It is my role as a teacher to acknowledge such differences and ensure there are several ways of completing a task. Involving ways to incorporate visual, kinesthetic, verbal and logical learners ensures my students are given every opportunity to succeed and incorporate higher order thinking within the classroom.
I fully endorse the teachings of educational psychologist L.S Vygotsky whom stated “learning is a social constructed organism” meaning students need opportunities to collaborate with each other as well as the teacher to learn and gain knowledge about the ‘art of learning’. As a teacher I will employ this idea and incorporate it in the following five elements that I believe to be conducive to learning (1) teachers role is to act as a guide (2) students must have access to kinesthetic learning (3) students should be given choices and let their natural curiosity direct their learning (4) students need opportunities to practice skills in a safe environment (5) technology must be incorporated into the school. I believe by instilling these components within the classroom, my role is to expect the highest expectation of each student, guiding them to preserve and show dedication to their studies.
I live by the philosophical view that the teacher should model behaviours that bring an open mind and positive attitude to the classroom each day. I believe as a teacher I owe my students to model such behaviours to bring consistency, diligence, and warmth to the classroom environment. I believe through displaying such behaviours I will foster a positive classroom environment. I also strongly believe in set clear objective that will advance my students towards desired learning goals. In order for this to occur my role will be to make all attempts to know the student, in the sense of what they bring into the classroom, by way of prior learning, and the ways on which to expand and build upon their knowledge base.
Finally, I believe teaching is a lifelong process where continually growth to learn new strategies, ideas and philosophies a pivotal to success for my students. I believe as a teacher I must conduct myself with utter professionalism, sharing enthusiasm and passion for learning with my students. I strongly believe to foster positive learning, my role is to be enthusiastic about the material being studied. I also strongly believe a skilful educator understands the importance of building a support network for students between school and home, and may have to be the first to initiate the conversation to form a connect between both parties.