My philosophy encompasses both teaching and learning as I know that my present philosophy is shaped by my past – that I have learned from my past experiences and will continue to learn in my role as an educator. Having preparation in behaviorist principles as an undergraduate, my teaching/learning has evolved throughout my public school and college career to now reflect a more constructivist but eclectic approach.
In the college classroom, I aspire to guide teacher candidates toward independent thinking and reflective practice. Based on the ideas of learning/development espoused by Vygotsky, Rogoff, and Wenger, fostering teacher candidates’ understandings about children, learning, and teaching is my goal. I urge teachers candidates to consider children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development in addition to the cultural factors that influence children’s learning. This includes looking at children’s formal and informal educational experiences, creating classroom communities that are welcoming and beneficial to diverse learners, constructing experiences that scaffold children’s understanding, and creating awareness of what an adult may learn from observing and interacting with children. Through these experiences, teacher candidates come to understand the realities of teaching and help them explore the factors and beliefs behind practices that are critical to fostering reflective teachers.
As I continue in my teaching, I strive to be a reflective practitioner. This includes increasing the alignment between my espoused philosophy and teacher educator practice. Being aware of the teacher candidate's questions and responses to my interactions and coursework, conversing with colleagues, and continually taking advantage of professional development and reading opportunities help me in these endeavors.