As part of my school’s development of school vision, staff have been dedicating time to explore their personal pedagogy. This has been done through our IDEAS program to assist staff in developing a Professional Portfolio to benefit school direction.
These are some of the questions we have been asked to consider and respond to:
How do my personal talents and gifts shape my pedagogy?
What counts as a specialist ‘knowledge’ in my work?
What is my personal pedagogical philosophy?
We were asked to participate in four tasks to assist us in discovering and refining our personal pedagogy.
This post will explain each of the tasks undertaken personally and my professional stance on my personal pedagogy.
Task 1: My Motivation for Teaching.
Teaching for me has always been about developing relationships and bonds between students, families, staff and teachers. Once relationships are built we can work together to achieve common goals. Teaching and learning involves making connections with individuals to assist them with their personal development. I believe in the development of the whole child, not just the ability to meet curriculum outcomes. As an educator I am passionate about realising the potential and strengths of each child to assist them in achieving their goals. I believe in valuing the individual and helping them to contribute to our world in their own positive ways. The process of learning opens the world and mind. We are all on a learning journey and as a teacher I love to inspire, motivate, navigate and join in on the journey of lifelong learning.
Task 2: My Experience.
I have been teaching in primary schools for ten years. During this time I have taught across all year levels. I am a R-7 teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. I am currently working at an independent school, teaching Year 6 students.
I am continuously working towards developing my knowledge and understanding of the International Baccalaureate program in order to assist me with my teaching strategies. I have been working in the MYP( Middle Years Programme) for the past two years. In particular I have been developing my MYP planning skills and exploring the possibility of taking on specialty subjects across my year level. At this stage I would like to specialise in Humanities, Language A and Personal Development. I have been encouraged to explore the MYP further, attend more professional development and take in as much as possible, whilst also making sure that I am meeting the National Curriculum standards.
During our IDEAS session we were asked to reflect on an event that changed the way we teach. In the last three years I have been working in an Independent School, previously I worked in public education. This change of workplace has had profound effects on my teaching and learning. I went from working in a low socio-economic school with underprivileged students, with challenging behavioural and learning needs (full classes of 30 students) to a highly accomplished school with privileged students varying in academic abilities (Average class size of 20 students). This had huge ramifications on my teaching practice. I have had more time to focus on my teaching skills as opposed to my behavioural management strategies. I have also been able to cater for individualised learning, smaller class sizes have allowed more time to refine my strategies to cater for differentiation within my class.
I have identified that there are similarities between my students from both schools. Every child is an individual who requires guidance on their learning journey, in particular their social and emotional development. I believe that social and emotional well-being is of significant importance within education. Developing students ability to be resilient, confident, organised, persistent and get along with others (You Can Do It Education. The Five Keys of Success: http://www.youcandoiteducation.com/whatis.html) is of great importance within all areas of learning. I have been teaching using the YCDI Programme for the last 5 years and have noted that the majority of my students have made academic improvements as a result of developing themselves in these areas. Using the positive habits of mind and developing self-confidence, setting personal goals and aiming to achieve them. It is due to my experience within this area of teaching and learning that I have developed a keen interest in studying counselling, to understand and assist my students with their development. I am considering studying part time in the near future to further my qualifications within this field.
Task 3: My Personal Profile
Part of the IDEAS staff task was to use the Myers Briggs model to identify our personality profile.
For more information about the Myers Briggs Model follow this link: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm
An online Myers Briggs Test can be found here: http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html
I formally completed the Myers Briggs test in 2010 and was identified as an ENFJ. After our IDEAS session I still identified with the ENFJ preferences. This is what the letters stand for and how I identify with them.
The E stands for Extraversion:
This means I focus on the outer world of people and things. I am energised by what goes on in the world and I prefer to communicate more by talking than writing. I need experiences in the world in order to help me to understand it.
The N stands for Intuition:
This means I look for meanings, relationships and possibilities that go beyond the information from the senses. I look at the big picture and try to grasp overall patterns. I am an expert at seeing new possibilities and I value imagination and experiences.
The F stands for Feeling:
I make decisions based on person-centred values. When making decisions I consider how important the choices are to myself and others. When conversing with others, I tend to become sympathetic, appreciative and tactful. I value harmony and work hard to ensure my environment is harmonious.
The J stands for Judging:
This means that I prefer to live in a planned and orderly way. I endeavour to regulate and control my life by making sensible decisions, setting up routines and structures, being organised and settling or resolving issues when they arise.
I believe that my personality profile adequately mirrors myself privately and professionally. The main characteristics that reflect my teaching strategies are as follows:
- Learning lessons through experiences- hands on learning, real life lessons, relevant and engaging content where students experience and participate.
- Building relationships and developing students personally, especially in regards to their social & emotional well-being.
- Balanced- organisation, planning, structure, predictability and routines which lead to consistency.
Task 4: My Assumptions, Beliefs, Philosophies that inform my practice.
This task saw us identify our personal beliefs about teaching. Here is an image of the task completed:
We also studied five different philosophies of teaching:
Type B: Behavioural Education- education for compliance and standards. People: Skinner & Tyler
Type C: Comprehensive Education- general education for life. People: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato & Piaget.
Type P: Progressive Education- education for problem solving in society. People: Dewey, Sizer & Spady.
Type S: Social Change Education- education for transforming society. People: Freire & Illich.
Type H: Humanistic Education- education for self actualisation. People: Carl Rogers, Maslow & Montessori.
My dominant philosophy of teaching lies within Type H, however I have strong identifications with Type S too.
Here are some links to information about educational philosophies associated with Type H:
Carl Rogers: http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html
Here is my personal pedagogical philosophy based on the work I have done over the course of Term 4:
My Educational Philosophy
Students learn in a variety of different ways and as a teacher, I plan to meet individual needs. I am willing to learn new practices and teaching methodologies to assist my students with their learning goals.
To ensure I cater for the diversity within a classroom, I plan and program individual student learning goals to allow for differentiation. I work with students to set their own learning goals as well. I believe students should be aware of their personal achievements at school and also have input to what they want to learn about. I am keen to use structured and purposeful inquiry methods to teach students how to be life long learners to make relevant connections with our world.
I believe it is important to know where students are beginning in their learning journey in order to assist them with where they need to go. Therefore, frequent assessment and testing is critical in a child’s development. It is vital to keep this data to measure student successes and to build upon those successes. My assessments enhance accurate reporting to parents and fulfil my teaching duties and accountability.
It is my duty within the classroom and school setting to provide a stable and friendly learning environment for my students. A nurturing and collaborative classroom environment will enhance student learning opportunities. I want my students to experience their own learning journey with some direction and guidance from myself to keep them on track with their learning goals and to extend them further. I want to be the facilitator of learning but also learn from my students. They have a world of knowledge and understanding from their own experiences in life. We are life long learners in a connected world.
Most of all I want student learning to be relevant, fun, engaging and purposeful. We never know what kind of world our students will be living in in the future, so developing life skills such as problem solving, creativity, ingenuity, cooperation, collaboration, risk taking, inquiring and effective communication can play an integral role in the development of a child for success in their adulthood.
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