What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact upon the teacher you aspire to be?
My teaching philosophy towards education in the early years is that first, and foremost, the children should be at the heart of the learning journey. My responsibility as a teacher, will be to give each child the best start to their education. Every child is unique, and with that individuality comes a variety of strengths and offerings. As a teacher it will be my obligation to ensure that each child feels inspired to contribute their ideas, questioning the ideas of others respectfully and furthermore allowing them to build their confidence in the learning environment. Children will understand that ideas will be respected, thereby cultivating a mindset that is open to change and full of curiosity. The different ways in which they approach learning as individuals will be celebrated. “With the right mindset and the right teaching people are capable of a lot more than we think.” (Dweck, C.S. 2006 P64)
I am a firm believer in a child centered approach to learning and find that children in early years learn best through play, involving hands on, meaningful and stimulated activities which allow children to learn at their own pace and follow their own interests. I feel that child-initiated inquiry led play gives children many opportunities to foster their innate curiosity and creativity, at the same time encouraging children to use their imaginations to solve problems through their own questioning and investigating. I will apply Vygotsky’s theories of how children learn from both the teacher as well as other students, allowing for scaffolding from both. “Play is absolutely fundamental to learning: it is the natural fruit of curiosity and imagination.”(Robinson K. 2016 P96)
Effort will be rewarded, and mistakes will be viewed as a means of learning. “Glowing and unconditional praise that masks errors and mistakes is harmful to children’s development.” (Dweck CS 2006) Having been educated in a competitive independent school where mistakes were frowned upon and only those who were seen to be academically able were encouraged, I discovered the detrimental effects this can have on a child’s confidence at an early stage. Therefore, I want to be able to promote, as one of my touchstones, the fact that as individuals we all have a role to play and a positive contribution to make. It will not only be about achieving the desired outcome, but an understanding that the process of investigation and engaging with the topic is just as important. Appreciation for others emotional needs and positive behaviour will play an important role within my classroom. It will be my responsibility to ensure that I provide an environment within the classroom that is both consistent and positive, while ensuring that I am an inspirational role model for these attributes, as well as ensuring that I am continually learning and furthering my own knowledge.
Dweck C.S. (2006) Mindset, Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential. New York, Random House.
Robinson K (2016) Creative Schools. New York, Penguin Random House.
Dweck C.S. (2006) Mindset, The new Psychology of success. New York, Random House.