Thanks to the suggestion from my online colleague Jasmine Dwyer, – @jasminedwyer – I revisited my Philosophy of Teaching and Learning to see if it needed an update. The world has changed. Does my Philosophy reflect that? Jasmine suggested I use a “I used to think…but now I think…” framework for the comparison. I have summarised my changes here.
I used to think that reflecting was a personal process. Now I think it is more powerful when done with others, both face-to-face and online.
I used to think that the path to professional development was via further formal study. Now I think that I have many more opportunities, especially from my online connections. However I have come to realise that I need
to engage with others outside the teaching profession to discover other viewpoints about matters I don’t know about – yet.
I used to think that friendships were only face-to-face. Now I think online friendships are also rich and sustaining.
I used to think that research papers and official curriculum documents were sacrosanct. Now I think I need to question, interrogate and compare different sources of wisdom to ensure my own is continually evolving and challenged.
I used to think that assessment documents such as reports were for the parents. Now I think they are also for sharing with the child.
I used to think that my students could learn from their own community. Now I think they can learn from their global community. And learn with them. And teach them.
I used to think that collaborative skills were taught to enable children to contribute to society. Now I think it’s more about developing thinking through working together.
I used to think that gender equity was an important issue. Now I think that I need to add to this: there are also other forms of equity – or inequity – that I need to consider.
I used to think that the sharing of food was an important part of the day in the Early Childhood Classroom. Now I think it’s too hard.
I used to think that fine motor skills development was about cutting and drawing. Now I also think it includes keyboarding practice.
I used to think that environmental print was only in the classroom. Now I think it is also in the shared online spaces we create together.
I used to think that there were 25 teachers in our classroom. Now I think that there are far more, due to our online connections where other children and adults have also become our teachers. We have also become their teachers.
I used to think that duty of care was about watching children work and play safely at school. Now I think it’s also about working and playing safely online, at home and at school. I also now think that I cannot ensure their safety by myself and I need to form a positive partnership with families to do this.
I used to think that their was no place for competition in my classroom. I am still thinking this one through, as I realise how much my students have to gain through online game-based experiences.
There is much in my Philosophy of Teaching and Learning that has not changed, most of this framed around my respect for the child as an independent, inquisitive and capable learner. Has your philosophy of Teaching and Learning changed lately?