February 7, 2016 12:54 am
My teaching philosophy is based on the idea that each individual student is able to absorb information at different rates depending on their learning style, and how information is presented. Everybody is able to take in information in multiple ways, but the rate at which we retain that information depends on our individual tendencies as active learners.
This diagram is an example of how a student retains information based on various learning styles. As we identify the style that provides the highest rate of development for that student, we can tailor the delivery of information to best suit that learner. Many of these tendencies will be self-identified by the student, but can also be inferred through classroom interactions and performance in various activities. I feel that students have the best chance of success if they are provide information in as many ways as possible. This ensures that development encompasses multiple styles in case some concepts are better understood with secondary learning preferences. It is my belief that students should not be forced to rely on understanding through a single style of learning.
As students begin to grasp concepts they are often moved through the various stages of learning associated with Bloom’s Taxonomy. These stages offer different and progressively complex applications of the subject matter, and the student’s learning map may be adjusted accordingly as they progress.
Student buy in:
Time constraints and classroom settings don’t typically allow for a teacher to analyze and construct learning materials on an individual basis. To compensate for this, it’s important to teach the classroom about the learning process. I allow for students to self-evaluate and contribute their own materials to the class as they continue to develop. I help them realize that they are in charge of their own learning, and that everyone is there to support them.
Pairing students with similar learning styles helps this process. It is also helpful to pair quick learners with students who need extra help. This accelerates the growth of both students as the faster learners gains further understanding of concepts by explaining and reiterating the same information to another peer. It is also important to mix up different learning styles to expose each student to a different approach, as this helps them to fully understand a concept from another point of view.
Another important concept is applying the concept being taught to real life situations. Students are better able to grasp ideas if they can relate them to activities or concepts that they already understand. This is especially true if they can view the idea through a lens they love. Comparing ideas through the lens of sports, a hobby, or social relationships can go a long way toward helping a student solidify their understanding.
Getting to know and relating to students helps to them helps them feel comfortable in their environment. It helps them open up to new ideas and approaches to learning. It is important to be a good role model, and build a community of trust. I share my own experiences as a student and a professional to help students see the bigger picture, and their own progress as they continue to develop. Understanding the needs and concerns of students goes a long way in helping them develop and grow- not just as students, but as individuals.
Teaching and learning is a complex task that takes a lot of work on the part of both the teacher and the student. There is no one-size fits all to educating, and believing in a single philosophy only impedes our ability to evolve our teaching styles for the ever changing needs of our students. We need to embrace strategies that work, and
progress away from ideas that aren’t working the way they had in the past. We need to utilize all the technologies available to us, and collaborate with students, teachers, and administrators to provide the best learning environment possible. I believe that teaching is the best thing we can do for our society, and I will always strive to be the most effective teacher possible.