Personal Philosophy of Teaching
EDU 202- 1001
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Personal Philosophy of Teaching
The idea of teachers developing and executing personal philosophies in the classroom never crossed my mind as a young student. Sitting in class, I assumed there was simply one way to teach, and that that was how all teachers taught. All students can remember their favorite teachers, lessons, projects, as well as their least favorites, but it is doubtful that all students realize how or why their teachers teach the way they do. Through the apprenticeship of observation and an understanding of several different teaching philosophies, teachers are able to mold the way they teach into a personal philosophy that is customized to their own specifications. While going through this process myself and exploring the various popular teaching philosophies, I believe that I have created a personal philosophy of teaching that matches the beliefs and styles of what I believe is good teaching. Apprenticeship of Observation
Lortie (1975) said, “there are ways in which being a student is like serving an apprenticeship in teaching...” (p.61). For many, this is the foundation of the apprenticeship of observation. At some point, young students observed their teachers actions in the classroom that shaped their understanding of what a teacher does. “Learning-while-doing,” as Lortie (1975) describes it, is an important part of educating a teacher. By observing, aspiring teachers are able to grasp what a teacher does on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the apprenticeship of observation is not always useful in educating a teacher. The apprenticeship of observation paints a pleasant picture of what it means to be a teacher. Often times, the veil surrounding this picture of teaching is removed, and teachers find themselves unprepared to face the reality of the amount of hard-work and dedication this career actually involves. In my personal opinion, the apprenticeship of observation does more harm than good for teachers entering an education program. I find it more important to show the hard parts of teaching to students: curriculum standards, teacher policies, effective teaching, etc. before the apprenticeship of observation is addressed. Simply observing does not make a good teacher, or one that can teach effectively. Teaching-Centered Philosophies
“Essentialists have long controlled the agenda for public schooling in America, and it is evident as well that their influence has prevailed in both the form and function of teacher education” (Imig, D & Imig, S, 2006). The stereotypical image of a classroom portrays the outward appearance of the teaching philosophy, perfectly: individual desks, students facing forward (usually toward the board), and a teacher giving a lecture. Essentialism is s teacher-centered teaching philosophy that aims to teach students through traditional methods while emphasizing the core content of the standard curriculum and essentially have them absorb the information like a sponge.
Arguably, essentialism provides students with the most traditional education out of the several teaching philosophies explored during this course. With so much attention being put on academic content, I feel that students miss out on many learning opportunities when Essentialist style teaching is used in the classroom. While lectures and tests are important to gauge a student’s learning, I do not believe that students learn most effectively while simply listening to their teacher. It is also unrealistic to believe that all students can achieve under the kind of pressure essentialism puts them under. I have found that many people believe that Essentialist style teaching is most effective in mathematics and science, but I disagree. From my observations, these subjects are often more difficult for students to achieve high in than other subjects. If teachers would work on engaging and...
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