I believe that the true goal of education is to prepare students for the real world and to be able to succeed in the maze of what we call life. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Another goal of education is to teach students how to socialize and communicate, both informally and later professionally. Without teamwork and interacting with others in school, students have a hard time succeeding later in life.
I believe in a classroom environment where there is mutual respect between teacher and student as well as student-to-student. My class would be a safe and caring environment where I’d rather the students try and make a mistake than not to try at all. In Communications technology, there is a lot of trial and error involved in learning. It’s part of the learning curve. I believe in a more hands-on approach to my teaching. Not all students learn the same way so why teach in one strict manner. I am a visual learner, so I believe that it is important to give the students as many options as possible to make their learning process smoother.
My classroom would be an environment that is inclusive and inviting to all. I want everyone to feel like they belong as I don’t believe learning can take place until there is that sense of belonging and comfort in the classroom. A little confidence goes a long way. I’ve experienced this with many of my painting students. They will not try in fear of making a mistake. When I encourage them and ensure them that anything they do can be redone and fixed or changed, and there is no judgment, the fear seems to lift and the creativity comes out. If we can let our students understand that it is ok to make a mistake and that is perfectly normal in the learning process, they will be more willing to think outside of the box. And a little praise goes a long way! It gives the student the confidence boost they need to complete their work with success. I agree with John Dewey’s theory and his role in what is called progressive education. Progressive education is essentially a view of education that emphasizes the need to learn by doing. Dewey believed that human beings learn through a 'hands-on' approach. Dewey's philosophy of education highlights the importance of imagination to drive thinking and learning forward, and for teachers to provide opportunities for students to suspend judgement, engage in the playful consideration of possibilities, and explore doubtful possibilities. This is how I would want my classroom environment to be. It would be a fun and inviting environment where there are many possibilities for learning. Group work is a great way to encourage students to open up to their classmates and try new approaches as well as for learning how to take criticism and work as a team.
The same form of assessment may not benefit all students so I would provide various forms of assessments to give everyone a fair chance to demonstrate what they have learned. Some may be more visual forms, some written and some in the form of group presentations. I want my students to know that they are supported in all ways. I feel that communication is key. Assisting the students with daily checklists on what needs to be completed and reminders are a good way to keep them on track and not fall to far behind. Speaking with students to check in on how they are doing academically and mentally is important to me.
I believe that respect is a big part of successful classroom management which in turn creates an inviting learning environment. Using the social learning theory can be a valuable tool for dealing with difficulties in the classroom. This theory focuses on the concept of children learning from observing others by acting on or not acting on what they see exhibited by their classmates. For example, they may see a classmate politely asking for an extension and getting one, or maybe they hear another classmate talking about something new they’ve learned, which teaches the student something new even if it’s not something they try themselves. This learning theory was founded by Albert Bandura.
There are four elements to social learning theory that I find would be beneficial to the classroom which includes;
1. Attention, which calls upon different or unique lessons or activities to help students focus.
2. Retention, focusing on how the student will internalize information and recall it later on.
3. Reproduction, drawing on previously learned behavior and when it’s appropriate to use it.
4. Motivation, which can extend from seeing other classmates being rewarded or punished for their actions.
By using social modeling based on these elements, we have a very powerful tool in our arsenal that can effectively guide our students to be more active in their learning, pay more attention, and channel their energy into their school work.
I believe that every child has equal potential. It is up to us to find out how to harness their talents and show them how to apply them to the real world. Through care, dedication, research, education, and commitment I believe that we can lead our students to greatness.