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Philosophy on Teaching
Transcript of Philosophy on Teaching
Literacy is a synthesis of language, thinking, and sociocultural practices through which people make and communicate meaning. As teachers, it is our responsibility to help students individually and collaboratively cultivate literacy skills and knowledge so as to become full participants in society, rather than passive consumers. Ideological Stance Ideological Stance
Erin K. Clark
University of Southern California
Rossier School of Education
EDUC 505, Section 27875
Dr. Stephanie Kim, Ed.D. Purpose of Presentation Effective teachers are reflective about what practices create optimal learning environments and examine the theories and ideologies that inform those practices (Cadiero-Kaplan, 2008). As a social studies preservice teacher, it is especially important for me to analyze the underlying premises of teaching practices that nurture democratic participation (Falk & Darling-Hammond, 2010). Overarching Instructional Goal Statement By creating critical consumers of information, students will self-regulate their learning, seek out quality
content, and access prior knowledge to assess and evaluate newly
encountered information (Shor, 1992). The ideological stance and overarching
instructional goal are informed most notably by the constructivist and sociocultural
learning theories. According to constructivism, learning is an active process in which learners construct, rather than passively receive, new ideas or concepts based upon their current and past knowledge (Ormrod, 2011). According to the sociocultural theory, people can learn by observing others’ behaviors and internally processing the contingency between the observed behavior and the expected consequences (Ormrod, 2011). Connections Between Constructivism and Ideological Stance Democracy requires citizens who are able to engage with and benefit from an exchange of multiple perspectives. Students can effectively analyze patterns of collective memory that emphasizes what is remembered as well as how it is remembered by discussing these issues as a community of learners. Students work through complex mental processes together and pave the way to self-regulate their own learning (Ormrod, 2011). An underlying premise to the constructivist learning theory is that students are active agents in their own learning. Students must feel comfortable with sharing ideas, taking risks, working cooperatively, tolerating differences, and disagreeing without ad hominem attacks Pedagogical Strategy Convince students that learning how to work effectively with others will benefit them throughout their lives One of students’ most common complaints about the social studies discipline is that it seems to lack relevance for practical, everyday life. It is the teacher’s responsibility to demonstrate that literacy skills learned in the classroom, including and notably participatory literacy, are worthwhile (Jenkins et al. 2006). Cooperative learning is an “instructional medium” that facilitates reading comprehension because students are co-constructing knowledge by sharing their ideas, perceptions, difficulties, and rationale (Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). Further, cooperative learning teaches students valuable interpersonal and communication skills that will serve them away from school, especially given our increasingly diverse population (Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2010). This participatory culture builds upon traditional literacy skills and adds social and cultural competencies necessary to collaborate and network with other societal participants and contributors (Jenkins et al. 2006). Example: The teacher projects on the screen: “Imagine you are a business owner and are looking to hire a new employee. Beyond being able to do the job, what do you think you as a business owner (and other employers generally) look for in an employee?” Students write down some thoughts on their own and then discuss their ideas together in small groups. The groups then share out characteristics as the teacher writes them on the overhead. Once the list is complete, the teacher explains that throughout the class, students will have an opportunity to develop those attributes as they work with others on a variety of activities (Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2010). Connection Between Sociocultural Theory and Ideological Stance A learner-centered classroom environment demands that the teacher give due attention to students’ backgrounds, cultural values, and abilities, i.e. their funds of knowledge. (Donovan and Bransford, 2005). Students’ every-day knowledge can work as a scaffold and help make complex connections with academic concepts as students share ideas together (Ashby, Lee, & Shemilt, 2005). Teachers must present students with “just-manageable difficulties” that are challenging enough to maintain interest and yet not so difficult as to cause discouragement. Vygostky termed these tasks as falling within a student’s “zone of proximal development” (Ormrod, 2011). Pedagogical Strategy Create mixed-ability groups to help students take responsibility for their own learning Students who struggle with reading comprehension should not be relegated to tasks that require lower order cognitive skills (Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). The student who has reading difficulties needs good readers as models. Furthermore, students who have trouble reading may in fact be good listeners and synthesizers who will contribute significantly to small-group discussions (Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2010; Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). (Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2010). Students, as a whole, are
unlikely to participate and interact in a social studies class unless the
teacher creates an interactive, experiential, and stimulating learning
environment. Further, the teacher must front-load and scaffold
content area vocabulary and give students ample opportunities to experiment with using academic language. Experiential and social background, interests, cultural attitudes, and interpersonal skills contribute greatly to the success of a cooperative group (Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). Students learn to value different perspectives and remain open to modifying their own opinions after listening to others. In other words, students will learn how to become a thoughtful member of a democratic society. Example steps:
1. Teacher balances groups in terms of gender, ethnicity, intelligences, and social groups.
2. Teacher should allow students to engage in groupwork activities without unnecessary interventions.
3. After students have finished the groupwork activity, the teacher leads a discussion of the group process.
4. Teacher culminates discussion by reminding students that cooperative interaction helps them to improve their speaking and listening skills and to make decisions after considering multiple perspectives and ideas. Equity and Access Further, a differentiated curriculum helps to implement the ideological stance because it responds to the needs, interests, and abilities of all students. With differentiation, students’ diverse intelligences are acknowledged and reinforced and their areas of difficulty are given due attention as well. This practice supports equal access and opportunity for the underserved, learning disabled, gifted, and English Language Learners in which different parts of a learning objective can be tailored to serve specific needs. For example, the teacher can modify the thinking skill called for, the resources used, research conducted, or product produced. The group collaboration strategies discussed provide equity and access because they allow students to both use each other as resources as well as
become resources themselves. Students share their relevant knowledge and experiences on topics which validates their funds of knowledge. Education is a better safeguard of liberty
than a standing army. ~Edward Everett My ideological stance focuses on empowering students by giving them ample opportunities to use academic language, to engage higher order cognitive thinking, and to cultivate collaborative skills in which their funds of
knowledge are valued and validated. When they leave
my classroom, students will have the tools and
confidence to effectively contribute to a democratic
society. Conclusion References Ashby, R., Lee, P., & Shemilt, D. (2005). Putting principles into practice: Teaching and
planning. In M. Donovan & J. Bransford (Eds.), How students learn: History in the
classroom, pp. 31-74. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Cadiero-Kaplan, K. (2008). Critically examining beliefs, orientations, ideologies, and practices
toward iteracy instruction: A process of praxis. In L. I. Bartolomé, (Ed.), Ideologies in
education: Unmasking the trap of teacher neutrality, (pp. 117-134). New York: Peter Lang
Publishing, Inc. Donovan, M. & Bransford, J. (2005). Introduction. In M. Donovan & J. Bransford (Eds.), How
students learn: History in the classroom, pp. 1-27. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Falk, B. & Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). Documentation and democratic education.
Theory into Practice, 49(1), 72-81. Downloaded on June 5, 2011. Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., and Weigel, M. (2006).
Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st
century. Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation. Ormrod, J.E. (2011). Educational psychology: Developing learners (7th edition). Boston: Pearson. Shor, I. (1992). Education is Politics. In Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change.
The University of Chicago Press. Pgs. 11-30. Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (2010). Bring learning alive! Ann Arbor: Malloy Lithographers. Vacca, R., Vacca, J. & Mraz, M. (2011). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the
curriculum (10th edition). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.