My Educational Philosophy: Humanist, Progressivist, Social Reconstructivist Practices (Infographic)
As I mentioned in my last post, I do not ascribe to any educational philosophy in particular but my personal philosophy has humanist, social reconstructivist, and progressivist elements. This essay is written in support of the visual infographic “My Educational Philosophy” above (and further discusses what I have addressed in this week's earlier posts.)
Students Cannot Learn in Fight, Flight, or Freeze Mode
Like humanists, my utmost priority as a teacher is to create a safe classroom for learning (Andersen, n-d). (And learning means making mistakes over and over until a skill or characteristic is rooted. My students will know making mistakes is not the final failure but normal.) If a student is willing to try again and again, I am all for supporting their efforts to be resilient and will support them fully. And for students who have struggled with behavior in the past, it is only in a safe learning environment that they can have a chance at focusing their actions on positive progress. I believe it is not fair to force “learning” on a student when they are in fight, flight, or freeze mode. So when their subconsciouses flip into these modes, I will help them explore ways for them to feel safe and unwind.
Students Find Learning Meaningful When Focused on Betterment
Like social reconstructivists, I believe the best learning comes when it is focused on betterment; betterment of self, others, and the world around them (Lynch, 2016). Unlike hard-core social reconstructivists, my classroom will not be a hotbed for hot topics (since I want the classroom to first be a SAFE environment), but we will learn everything with the perspective of how we can use this new-found knowledge to help others. We will focus on tiny wins by identifying tiny ways they can help the world today rather than solely broad, abstract discussions circling around “someone should do ____” or “what the U.N. needs to do is ____.” I believe that as a teacher I can model how to embrace responsibility for our small part in the issue.
Students Thrive When Learning is Relatable
Like progressivists, I believe that learning should be relatable to the student’s reality (and supportive to their dreams for the future) (Talebi, 2015, p. 5). I do believe that basic skills like the ability to read, write, speak in public, manage finances, and explore the scientific world around us are vital for a student to not only survive, but also to more fully embrace life. However, the traditional methods of teaching these skills are antiquated and do more harm than good. (I cannot emphasize this enough.) Skills should be learned in fun ways with student’s learning through their passions and not bogged down with undue emphasis on archaic formatting rules, grammar uniformity, textbooks, and test-based assessments. My role as a teacher is to expand their horizons and explore a new topics, not in the form of homework but in invigorating experiential learning.
My philosophy includes elements like the multiple intelligence theory which is why I create visual infographics each week to try to break up the uniformity and drudgery of written posts; my students will have a variety of ways they can show their learning (see the infographic examples). My philosophy also includes the bilingual / bicultural method with multilingualism being an asset in the classroom. As clear from the infographic above, my philosophy focuses on the development of the whole student, with particular emphasis on resilience. My utmost goal is to provide a safe environment where a student thrives emotionally, mentally, and physically; where they embrace learning as the joyous, meaningful, and ever-diverse pursuit of their lifetimes.
Anderson, M. (n.d.). Principles of Humanistic Education. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/HUMAN/PRINC.HTML
Lynch, M. (2016, November 03). Philosophies of Education: 3 types of student-centered philosophies. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from http://www.theedadvocate.org/philosophies-education-3-types-student-centered-philosophies/
Talebi, K. (2015). John Dewey - Philosopher and Educational Reformer. European Journal of Education Studies, 1(1). Retrieved September 03, 2020, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED564712.pdf
The Trauma Informed Teacher. (2018, November 26). Fight, Flight, or Freeze. Retrieved October 2, 2020, from https://thetraumainformedteacher.com/fight-flight-or-freeze/