All 21 entries tagged Philosophy

View all 147 entries tagged Philosophy on Warwick Blogs | View entries tagged Philosophy at Technorati | There are no images tagged Philosophy on this blog

December 06, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Suzanne Bacon

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact on the teacher you aspire to be?

Central to my teaching philosophy is my belief that children need to have a positive, nurturing connection with their teachers and feel safe and comfortable in their environment in order to learn effectively. Many of the learners that I meet are encountering new experiences for the first time - they could be new to the country, culture, school setting or language. It is easy to forget how young they are, and behind the uniform and face masks are children who have each encountered vastly different circumstances on their individual life journey into my classroom. Building relationships and creating a nurturing environment are central to teaching these (and all) children. Evidence shows that “children with close teacher–student relationships tend to perform well academically including having higher scores on achievement tests, more positive attitudes toward school, more engagement in the classroom, less retention in grade, and fewer referrals for special education” (Bergin & Bergin, 2009, p.152).

Flowing from this core belief is my behaviour management style, which is relationship-centred and restorative. Reflecting on my recent school experience working as a classroom assistant, I have noticed an emphasis on developing relationships with the learners to promote good behaviour. The school uses a restorative approach to manage behaviour and I have found that this allows behaviour to be managed whilst maintaining and restoring the relationships between learners, and between teachers and learners. This preserves the secure teacher-student relationship, which I think is so crucial to allowing students to feel safe and comfortable in order to learn.

When I think of an inspirational teacher, I think of my secondary school geography and geology teacher. He taught with such passion that we never noticed that some of the material that we covered was actually quite dry, and his enthusiasm was infectious. I intend to promote a love of learning (UK Teacher Standard 4) using my own passions and enthusiasm. I will seek engaging, stimulating ways to develop understanding in my learners in the hope that this gives them a lifelong love of learning.

I believe that learning is so much more than just the subjects which are learnt in the classroom during the school day. When I reflect on my own education, I had a very positive experience with a strong emphasis on academic achievement at my secondary school, but the elements of my education that helped me to develop the character strengths that I now rely on such as resilience, open-mindedness, and teamwork were really developed outside of the classroom through activities such as orchestra, playing team sport, Girlguiding and joining special interest groups such as the school’s conservation club. These activities gave me access to people, experiences and challenges which I didn’t encounter in the traditional classroom. This is highlighted in Principle 8 of the TLRP Ten Principles of Effective Learning - Recognises the Significance of Informal Learning. I aspire to be a teacher who creates and encourages opportunities to learn outside the classroom for my learners during and outside of the school day, as I believe that they are crucial to developing confident, balanced children.  


Bergin, C. & Bergin, D. (2009), Attachment in the Classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21 pp.141-170

Department for Education (2011). Teachers’ Standards: Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies.

Crown Copyright. M, J & Pollard, AJ 2011, 'TLRP’s ten principles for effective pedagogy: rationale, development, evidence, argument and impact', Research Papers in Education, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 275 - 328.

May 24, 2021

What is my teaching philosophy? – Yu

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact on the teacher you aspire to be?

My teaching philosophy strongly believes that, the core requirement of a student and the key mission of an educator is the wielding of knowledge by love. The importance of love in teaching are continuously been talk about in both Western and Eastern culture. According to Hooks (2003), Love in education empowers the recognition between the educator and the learner. Moreover, what I believe is in order for a person to be a successful educator, they need to love what they do in principle, as well as love what they do every day - Teaching.

It is through love that one can form a real and true connection with the receiver of knowledge. If love is allowed to create an open channel of communication right from the start, the reward will be throughout the entire journey and beyond. Through love, the teacher can show that they truly care about the student and therefore make them pay more attention to the lesson and the knowledge from this particular teacher. I believe that this will create a bond that will last well beyond the academic term, and therefore the lessons taught will have a better chance of retention as well.

Contrary to a lot of opinion, I believe that a “friendly” teacher can go a long way in connecting with the students. Exchanging smiles, genuine greetings and concern, enquire about extra-curricular and other activities in order to widen the scope of the relationship with the students. I fully understand that this approach suits my natural personality and I can connect to my students on a much deeper and broader level. The trust factor increases and also the willingness to accept the knowledge from me are increased.

Teaching is a selfless way of giving out the knowledge and the experience to student. On another hand, teaching has always being my passion. James(1996) mentioned that teaching without passion is only knowledge delivery and tantamount to rote or mechanical skill. Hence, I strongly agree the significance of teaching with passion. Indeed, it is a very raw and basic emotion come from our heart that allows the student to be notice and detect easily. At the same time, hopefully to get reward of a passionate learner, James(1996). As an educator, we have to accept that there are countless ways for us to show our passion, whether it is for the technical aspects of the daily lesson, or the application of the subject in everyday life after the learner left school in the future, or maybe just passion through an interest in getting to know the student individually and creating a deeper personal bond. Most important, it is educator’s responsibility to continually keep the passion, presenting the enthusiasm and build the maximum interest for all learners of my subject.


Hooks, B.(2003).Teaching community: a pedagogy of hope. New York, NY: Routledge.

James, W.(1996). Teaching with a passion. American economist. Education connection. Winter 1996. Page199-200.

May 17, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Jemima

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?

At the heart of my teaching philosophy is my belief that education should be a holistic and enjoyable experience, that inspires students to become lifelong learners. The Jubilee Centre states that "To flourish is not only to be happy, but to fulfil one’s potential" (A Framework for Character Education in Schools, 2020). The school environment should be supportive and caring whilst providing opportunities that ignite students' curiosity and challenge them, so that they not only succeed academically but discover their full potential and flourish as individuals.

This view has definitely been shaped by my experience at my senior school, Malvern College. I was able to try my hand at a huge number of co-curricular activities, be engaged by memorable academic lessons and be part of a close-knit boarding community. My teachers motivated and challenged me, whilst explaining that the fear of failure should never be something that restricts you. I am a firm believer in the power of a growth mindset. Dweck explains that people with a growth mindset "believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training." (Dweck, 2012) I find this way of thinking incredibly empowering. It steers away from self-criticism and reveals that strength lies in potential.

No matter the quality of teaching, I understand that learning is incredibly difficult if the student is unhappy. I started boarding school at the age of eight and struggled with homesickness. Because of this, I now believe that pastoral care is actually more important than academic. Without the necessary support, it is very difficult for a child to flourish academically, socially or creatively. I would like my classroom to be an open, trusting space in which pupils feel comfortable.

I will be specialising in English and I find studying language and literature such a fascinating way to unpick human interactions and identities. I want to demonstrate how sensitivity and a critical eye towards texts can help students in their understanding of themselves, other people, and the world around them. I feel this is especially pertinent in an international setting, where students are encouraged to be culturally sensitive and globally-minded. Whilst at university I participated in a Global Leadership Experience with Common Purpose, in Mumbai. Much of the experience was centred around the idea of better understanding Cultural Intelligence. We studied Middleton's theory of Core and Flex (Middleton, 2014) to unpick the extent we can adjust our behaviour to interact with other cultures. Despite the fact this analogy was devised for global leaders, I believe this global and social self-awareness should be taught to everyone. It is something that can be nourished through studying literature and language, being curious about others and critical of our own preconceptions.

I aspire to be a teacher who facilitates a supportive learning environment in which students can be curious, critical, and challenge themselves and others, with a view to becoming independent learners and confident and compassionate adults.

Works Cited:

Dweck, C (2012). Mindset : How You Can Fulfil Your Potential. London: Constable & Robinson.

University of Birmingham Jubilee Centre (2020). A Framework For Character Education In Schools. [Online]. ( (Accessed 26 October 2020.

Middleton, J. (2014) Cultural Intelligence: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Boundaries. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. [Online]. ( ProQuest Ebook Central. (Accessed 16 August 2020).

May 10, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Mai

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?

Learning is a lifetime activity. Although the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies through our experiences happens on a daily basis to people across all age groups, teachers are entitled to teach these pivotal skills of life to students in classroom settings. Teachers, in my teaching philosophy, do not merely reserve or transmit knowledge, but they ideally ‘adopt the mantle of guide, chief designer, cultural developer and leader of a classroom with a nuanced pedagogical practice.’ (Doucet 2019, p.74) Broader and more social approaches should be taken to learning when perceiving a student as a whole, as stated in Principle 1 of Teaching and Learning Research Programme’s Ten Principles (2012). Accumulation of critical skills such as foundational literacies and competencies is essential for our young people to flourish as active individuals thriving in the world of the 21st-century. (World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Education 2015)

In the context of teaching as a profession, developing expertise in the Japanese language has been crucial for me in providing a holistic approach with students. It was a life-changing encounter with my English teacher in Junior High School which triggered my further steps into the educational field. Not only was her advanced knowledge of English beneficial in improving students’ language skills, but I had also witnessed her as a diligent learner alongside students who need to make constant efforts to secure high standards of knowledge. This teacher transformed my concept of learning from receptive to productive. Using this newfound skills, I have joined Japanese Mother tongue and Heritage language Education and Research Association of Thailand (JMHERAT) to meet Japanese teachers from other international schools in Thailand regularly to improve the language skills and discuss the relevant topics and issues at their workshops.

My previous experience in studying Anthropology at university has also influenced the concept of learning to acknowledge the importance of national culture and its role, particularly in learning languages. To reflect this, I have implemented various cultural activities in my classes including, but not limited to singing Japanese songs and exploring Japanese food which noticeably improved the students’ engagement but also their interest for Japanese culture. This resulted in better knowledge retention. Having known a connection between authenticity and students’ motivation in language learning (Pinner 2019), I have intentionally adopted authenticity by using my original texts and genuine props from Japan in the class. With this technique, it is easier for students to imagine the situation in which the language will be used in a realistic context. My goal is to encourage students to observe the world from a global perspective while simultaneously engaging them with worldliness.

Equal opportunities should be offered to students regardless of individual learning abilities. When writing and reading time approached, one of my students showed signs of restlessness and irritability in the class. I urgently consulted the specialist in school and tailored lesson materials to support his writing and reading skills providing the Japanese Hiragana chart with large picture cards and the original Hiragana dictionary. This kinaesthethic approach to learning incorporates writing and reading skills effectively and beneficially as a part of a comprehensive approach. It is my intention to demonstrate through teaching that both teachers and students are on the same learning journey where individual efforts, interaction, and cooperation are crucial to achieving a goal.


Doucet, A. (2019). Teaching Life: Our Calling, Our Choices, Our Challenges. New York: Routledge.

Pinner, R. (2019). Authenticity and Teacher-Student Motivational Synergy: A Narrative of Language Teaching. Oxon, New York: Routledge.

Teaching and Learning Research Programme: Ten Principles (2012) [Online](URL

World Economic Forum: New Vision for Education Unlocking the Potential of Technology. (2015) [Online].(URL Cologny/Geneva. (Accessed 12 August 2020).

May 05, 2021

What is my teaching philosophy? – Buddy

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?

I was fortunate that my first dreadful experience in education came later in life when I enrolled in a state university in Egypt. I grew up in an international setting and settled into private education where I was accustomed to direct communication with my teachers. However, it was evident that time with lecturers was going to be limited. The number of pupils exceeded one hundred per class and in the laboratories, there were just over half that number. According to Harris (2014), either the teacher creates an appropriate environment for learning, or it will be appropriated for them by other factors, in my case, class size. This change was detrimental to my learning and I was quickly aware of what I needed, a suitable learning environment.

Bates (2019) argues, it is not the teacher’s responsibility to only create a suitable learning environment for their pupils, but it is essential to view that environment from their perspective. My experiences teaching scuba diving have had a pivotal role in why I am choosing to focus on the learning environment. How does it affect pupil learning? And how, with minor tweaks to the way we teach, can we provide every pupil with a more fulfilling place in the classroom. My teaching philosophy is creating an optimal environment for pupils to be engaged and motivated to learn.

The first time I entered the classroom, I tried to include as many best practices as I could into my lessons. These practices were ones picked up from lesson observations, discussions with peers, and through my own experiences of instructing. However, when trying to ‘cram’ too much into one lesson it was evident that the focus was on the teaching rather than on the learning and as Goodwin and Hubbell (2013) explain, without a clear method of bringing all the best practices together they all resemble a “pile of junk”. Reflecting on my touchstones I needed to create a tailored classroom environment, one that adjusted to my own style of teaching. Once that was in place, something ‘clicked’ and pupils were learning effectively.

However, only focussing on the environment cannot be the only contributing factor to pupil learning. It is important that pupils go through the rigours of trying and failing to achieve their goals. In scuba-diving, courses are not built as a pass or fail, rather, as a base set of skills that once achieved the learner is granted a completion certificate. This doesn’t mean that pupils aren’t failing to complete skills but they are encouraged to try until they have mastered the task. Our role as a teacher is to create a safe space and promote learning from mistakes. Harris (2014) argues, if pupils were not experiencing failure, they would not have a resilient mindset which helps them get through difficult situations. That is why it is important that we do not remove all challenges from the path to success but promote a positive attitude to perseverance in the face of adversity.

I believe that my educational touchstones impact positively on my teaching philosophy. Reflecting on my experiences and using them to promote good teaching practices gives me confidence that what I am doing in the classroom is what makes me a better learner and in turn a better teacher.


Harris, B. 2014. Creating a Classroom Culture That Supports the Common Core, Taylor and Francis, London and New York, Available at: [Accessed 31/10/20]

Bates, A.W. (2019), Teaching in a Digital Age, BCcampus Open Textbooks. [Accessed on 29 October 2020]

Goodwin, B. & Hubbell, E.R., 2013. The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Available at: [Accessed on 29/10/20].

April 26, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Tim

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 is centred around the idea that “learners will not learn unless they want to learn” (Morgan and Saxton 2006, p.15). The evidence backs this up too as students who want to learn will display better behaviour in class and achieve better outcomes (Park and Peterson 2009). My method of applying this in the classroom is heavily influenced by the ‘positive psychology’ of Lotta Uusitalo and Kaisa Vuorinen (2019), which argues that teachers must ‘see the good’, by constantly noticing when children are acting well and identifying which positive character strengths they are using (e.g. self-regulation, honesty, kindness), which creates an environment where their self-worth and self-efficacy is strong.

The way that I try to achieve this in my classroom has been by always being explicit about the character strengths I am looking for during a task, by encouraging my students to notice the strengths others are showing, and by linking English learning to character strengths wherever possible.

My teaching philosophy is rooted in my experience in the classroom as a student, and in the experiences of my siblings, who dropped out of school during A-Levels. When I reflect on my own experience, I think of it as surviving, not thriving. The environment was one where learning was highly valued, but there was no culture of teamwork and collaboration. While the quality of my education was quite high, in that I developed strong reading, writing and critical thinking skills, I think that the lack of focus on character strengths and ‘seeing the good’ resulted in my low self-esteem and unhappiness. I was only motivated to achieve high grades by the example my parents set and in order to escape from the system I was in. I think I was lucky to have good role-models and a couple of excellent teachers, which enabled me to overcome some of this, but I believe many children in this system were left behind.

Based on this experience, I believe that by fostering positive character strengths, we can go a long way to improving the school experience for students, and that this will improve their self-esteem and soft skills, so that they can thrive.

The other half of my teaching philosophy is to embrace the Thai’s cultural sense of sanuk, or fun, in my classroom. In Thailand, it is important not to be overly ‘serious’ in approach (Baker 2008) – and in fact, to many Thai’s, if something isn’t sanuk, it’s not worth doing. In my fairly unusual position of being integrated with a team of Thai teachers (rather than other foreign ones) I have been able to observe how this concept is deployed.

By embracing this sense of fun, along with what I am learning on the PGCEi course, I have been able to build rapport with students and to manage behaviour effectively. It also fits perfectly with the first half of my philosophy – focussing on positive character strengths. By bringing together positive reinforcement and a sense of fun, I believe I can fulfil my philosophy that students will learn if they want to learn, and I hope they continue to want to learn with me.


Baker, Will. (2008). A Critical Examination of ELT in Thailand: The Role of Cultural Awareness. Relc Journal. 39, pp.131-146.

Morgan, N., & Saxton, J. (2006). Asking Better Questions. 2nd ed. Ontario: Pembroke Publishers.

Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2009). Strengths of character in schools. In R. Gilman, E. S. Huebner, & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology in schools. New York: Routledge, pp. 65–76.

Uusitalo, L., & Vuorinen, K. (2019). See the Good! How to guide children and adolescents to find their character strengths. Helsinki: Positive Learning Ltd.

April 19, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Clare

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?

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see (Trenfor, n.k.). I saved this quote long before deciding to become a teacher. On reflection, I believe this will help shape my approach to teaching. Sparking curiosity in children is something that drives their natural interest and wonder with the world. Additionally, providing children the opportunity to discover the answers and satisfy their own curiosity, will help develop their problem-solving skills and become critical inquirers.

Having spent the last 15 years in the corporate world, my philosophy doesn’t yet come from classroom experience. However, being in a senior role, I observed the best performing team members were the ones who were highly agile. Furthermore, at industry conferences, I witnessed a recurring theme of the importance to learn, unlearn and relearn and even a sense of panic for the speed things are changing. Therefore, a key part of my teaching philosophy in helping best prepare children for the future, will be setting high expectations, that help to motivate and challenge, while at the same time helping to instil a growth mindset. “The best gift we can give children is to teach them to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning” (Dweck, 2012. p270).

This leads nicely onto character education. Whilst parents are the primary educators of their children’s character, empirical research tells us that parents want all adults who have contact with their children to contribute to such education, especially their children’s teachers (The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues, 2017). Elementary teaching is more than teaching subject knowledge and should contribute to growing the character of the child. Aligned with this ethos, my placement school is a Virtues Project School which strongly resonates with me. The ethos, values and principles are based on the Five Cores Principles of Lasallian Schools. As a practising teacher in the school, I am helping to define the school experience for the children I teach, instilling these virtues, whilst creating an environment where the children grow and develop in a safe and nurturing community,

As part of my teaching journey, I have begun working at a forest school, which resonates with my beliefs for how children learn and grow. It focuses on the wellbeing of the child, combining holistic development and the great outdoors, resulting in creative, independent and resilient life-long learners. This ethos aligns with my outlined philosophy, such as inquiry focused learning, problem solving development, as well as taking place in nature, which supports the development of a relationship with the child and the natural world. Although these principles cannot be translated directly into a traditional classroom environment, I believe many elements will carry with me. I will aim to make my classroom an interactive learning environment, with simulating, well planned lessons that encourage child-led thinking, group work and inquiry-based learning.

The huge privileges teachers hold that impact on children's learning and character shouldn’t be taken lightly. As a teacher at the beginning of my journey, I am certain my teaching philosophy will change and that’s a good thing. It will show how I have learnt and progressed in my teaching practice.


Dweck, C. (2012) Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential. London: Robinson.

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues(2017). A Framework for Character Education in Schools[online]. Available from: Accessed 29 October 2020). Trenfor, K . (n.k.) [no bio]

March 29, 2021

What is my teaching philosophy? – Adeola

What is my teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact on the teacher you aspire to be?

‘Who we are, what we believe, and what assumptions we hold about students, the material, and the world significantly affect what we do in the classroom, no matter the course content or teaching style’ (Ramsey and Fitzgibbons (2005) cited in Beatty, Leigh and Lund Dean, 2020).

The essence of my journey into the classroom has been succinctly captured by Ramsey and Fitzgibbons (2005). I am a strong believer in the concept that the brain is elastic and can grow (Berliner and Eyre, 2018) if it is tended and nurtured.

I set up a school called BlossomHall School with a motto that says, Explore, Evolve, Excel and a symbolic allusion to growth and the concept of blossoming and this captures my teaching philosophy. To blossom is to become more attractive, successful, or confident. Children, like flowers, blossom under the right conditions provided by teachers, parents and other caregivers.

According to Dweck C. (2012) “Prodigies or not, we all have interests that can blossom into abilities” pg. 97.

A personal experience of growing my brain from underachieving to high performing after discovering my areas of strength and the right combinations for thriving, further enacts my conviction that everyone has the ability to thrive and succeed at something.

I believe that by applying effort and working hard, every child will discover where his strength lies. While we all celebrate and promote hard work and effort, not every young person is motivated to work hard or go the extra mile. In teaching, I want to nurture high performers who excel because they try and who try because they enjoy putting in effort. I celebrate effort. (Evidence 2) Within and around the class, I always aim to create an ambience and environment that supports hard work because hard work will always pay off. (Willingham D.T 2009)

I had a Mathematics teacher in secondary school, whose strategy was to make us work through every problem in the textbook from cover to cover. Although initially it was tasking, it was enough healthy competition and motivation to keep practicing. Constant practice opens up the memory and increase its capacity to take in more information and attainment (Dweck 2012).

Each time I am in a classroom, my objective is to leave no child behind in learning. However, I have encountered a few underachieving children who leave me wondering if I achieved my objective. I have been challenged by my mentor to improve on my application of differentiation and to seek more clarity on understanding the individual needs of my pupils (TS5). This is an improvement area for me as I want to be known as that teacher giving hope and a chance to succeed to children where others have given up, creatively adapting the teaching to meet their needs and to ensure that my class provides an welcoming at sphere where they are motivated to learn without much persuasion (TS7). If my philosophy is to see children excel and blossom, giving hope to such children is the only way that I will able to say I have succeeded as a teacher.

I want to help children to realize their potentials if they can consistently ‘grow’ their brains. Every child can learn and excel at something. No child should be left behind.


Beatty, J., Leigh, J. and Lund Dean, K. (2020) "Republication Of: Philosophy Rediscovered: Exploring The Connections Between Teaching Philosophies, Educational Philosophies, And Philosophy". Journal Of Management Education 44 (5), 543-559

Berliner, W. and Eyre, D. (2018) Great Minds And How To Grow Them. 1st edn. OX: Routledge

Dweck, C. (2012) Mindset. London: Robinson

Willingham, D. (2009) "Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How The Mind Works And What It Means For Your Classroom". Choice Reviews Online 47 (01), 47-0421-47-0421

March 22, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Kate

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?

As a student of literature, I am well-schooled in theory. In asking questions critically and knowing that definitive answers are rarely possible. That it is the enquiry, the ideas, and the wondering which lead to understanding. I am an aspiring teacher librarian and a central theme within my educational touchstones is critical literacy. My teaching philosophy is one that is centred around the power of language, representation and identity. ‘I would like to talk to children about books and help them to discover their favourites as the media that become their favourites will not only shape who they become but their understanding of the world.’ (London, 2020)

‘In children’s literature theory the imaginary child is often alluded to but it is rare to carry out research with actual children and how they are engaging with books.’ (London, 2020) I am studying the PGCEi as I would like to add practice to theory and explore my teaching philosophy with students. Our class has been learning poetry and I have been discussing how we make meaning from a text. We have been looking at where poets get their ideas. We have been discussing the poem “Eletelephony” which uses made up words to express confusion. We are discussing that poets can manipulate language and that how they use language is as relevant to the emotion of the poem as the central theme or idea. Luke and Freebody (1990) created a literacy model for teachers which incorporates critical literacy. The first step is ‘breaking the code’ which is concerned with ‘recognising and using the fundamental features and architecture of written texts’ (State Government of Victoria, 2019) and this first step towards using critical thinking is what I was attempting with this lesson.

During a tutorial with my tutor she recounted a story from a school where she had previously worked. There was a travelling librarian who came to collate the classroom collections and this librarian would take away the books that were more than ten years old. I was upset by this story because books hold our history, our community, our former selves and allow us to deconstruct the past so that we can better understand our present and future. Peterson and Mosley Wetzel suggest ‘the need to reconceptualize teaching as a political act with the set goal of empowering learners with the ability to recognize and deconstruct oppressive ideological stances.’ (2015, p.58) This particular librarian was denying the students the opportunity to deconstruct, challenge and celebrate the voices of picturebooks past. It is practices such as this which inform my philosophy as I hope to work against them within the library.

I am not so ideological as to consider my future career as a teacher librarian closely connected to political activism. I do consider it to be one of enquiry. To encourage students to ‘have the skills and dispositions to question, challenge, and think deeply about all kinds of texts.’ (Winograd, 2014, p. 1) I hope that teaching students to recognise the power of language and voice will empower them to see that there is strength within their own voices. ‘A book holds words. Words hold things. They bear meanings. A novel is a medicine bundle, holding things in a particular, powerful relation to one another and to us.’ (Le Guin, 1989)


Freebody, P & Luke, A (1990) 'Literacies Programs: Debates and Demands in Cultural Context'. Prospect: an Australian journal of TESOL, 5(3), pp. 7-16.

Le Guin, U. (1989) Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. London: Golancz.

London, K. (2020) ‘Kate London Teaching Touchstones’. PGCEi 20/21: The University of Warwick. Unpublished Work.

Peterson K., Mosley Wetzel M. (2015) “It’s Our Writing, We Decide It”: Voice, Tensions, and Power in a Critical Literacy Workshop. In: Yoon B., Sharif R. (eds) Critical Literacy Practice. Singapore: Springer, pp.57-75.

Richards, L. E. (2018) Eletelephony [Online] URL; (Accessed 24th October 2020).

Victoria State Government: Education and Training (2019) The Four Resources Model for Reading and Viewing. [Online] URL; 3rd November 2020).

Winograd, K., (2015) 'Critical Literacy, Common Core Standards and Young Learners: Imagining a Synthesis of Educational Approaches'. In: Winograd, K. (ed) Critical Literacies and Young Learners: Connecting Classroom Practice to the Common core. New York: Routledge, pp.1-11.

March 15, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Elvira

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?

Growing up in a Malaysian state school background, I never knew of anything other than a teacher-centred, performativity culture in the classroom. However, I was fortunate to have positive experiences in university, having been taught by lecturers who were passionate about teaching and their subject. It is those life events, knowing that I do not want students to go through the same experience I had in a state school, along with my own teaching experience that shaped my teaching philosophy today.

Fundamentally, my teaching philosophy is based on the desire to nurture students into the best possible version of themselves by providing them with a positive learning experience and preparing them with the skills and knowledge necessary for their academic life.

One of the methods I focus on to achieve this is by building a rapport with each student. I believe that when there is a good student-teacher relationship centred on care and mutual respect, a lot of learning takes place. Teacher-student relationship is the foundation to cultivating learning behaviours and preventing disruptive behaviours in the classroom. As stated by the Teaching Agency (2012), “Trainees should understand that good relationships are at the heart of good behaviour management. They should be able to form positive, appropriate, professional relationships with their pupils”. I recall how professors who knew my name and showed that they cared made me feel - I was more engaged in their classes. As a result, I always make an effort to learn each student’s name at the start of a new school year. During my Year 8 lessons recently, I noticed that it was after addressing students by their names, and getting to know them, that they started to be more engaged in discussions, and classroom activities. Apart from engagement, good student-teacher relationship has been found to improve achievement outcomes (Hattie, 2009).

I believe that students learn best when the content is relatable and applicable to real life. So, the second aspect of my teaching philosophy is bringing the outside world into the classroom and bringing learning outside of the classroom. James & Pollard (2011) highlight this as one of the principles in the Teaching and Learning Research Programme that improves outcomes of learners. This principle writes about the importance of informal learning and bringing in different external experiences for students to draw on. Every year, I get my sixth form Psychology students to organise a school-wide, mental health awareness programme. Although it is not part of the A-level curriculum, it allows them to gain first-hand experience of real psychologist work, and helps to develop teamwork, organisational skills, creativity and communication skills. Recently, in a Year 8 lesson on diet and nutrition, I had students improve the cafeteria menu based on what they have learned. Following that lesson, I got students to be public health officials and to research in groups how too much or a deficient in a type of nutrient can lead to certain illnesses. Students then had to “create awareness” about the illness by educating small groups of classmates. I believe these are invaluable experiences that textbooks are not able to provide, which ultimately nurture skills and knowledge for students to excel in the future.


Hattie J. C. (2009) Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. London and New York: Routledge. Available from: Taylor and Francis E-book. (Accessed: 17 October 2020).

James, M. & Pollard, A. (2011) TLRP’s ten principles for effective pedagogy: rationale, development, evidence, argument and impact. [Online] ( Research Papers in Education, 26(3). (Accessed: 30 August 2020).

Teaching Agency (2012) Improving Teacher Training for Behaviour. Available online from: (Accessed: 18 October 2020)

December 2021

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Nov |  Today  |
      1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31      

Search this blog



Most recent comments

  • It's wonderful to read of your success Alex and the fact that you've been able to eradicate some pre… by Catherine Glavina on this entry
  • Very interesting conclusion. I think it's important to consider the past when taking IQ tests. by Jane on this entry
  • Amazing article, raises many questions about the future of intelligence testing and its value. by Saachi on this entry
  • Tremendously insightful paper. Who would've thought there were such strong links between the intelli… by Rajesh on this entry
  • Hi Abigail, I'm an IT Co–ordinator for a second level school working in Co. Kerry, Ireland & I came … by Ann O'Halloran on this entry

Blog archive

RSS2.0 Atom

Twitter feed

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder