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Philosophy of Teaching and Learning – Revisited 2016

January 26, 2016

MY PHILOSOPHY

Why do I teach what I teach within my role of ICT Literacy Teacher, in regard to both colleague and student learners?  This expression of my pedagogy is influenced by my own experiences and my personal values.  It is also influenced by social and cultural values, awareness of the changing world, my knowledge of child development and of best practice in education.

MY PERSONAL VALUES

I believe that each learner has the right to self-development and realisation of their own potential.  Therefore I will design my programme for differentiation, as well as for extension for all learners. Through the provision of open-ended tasks, I aim to help each learner to ‘level up’. Where possible I will help the learner turn their ideas into reality by helping to set up self-initiated learning projects. For the wide range of learners at our College, all will be given opportunities to gain skills for life-long learning and creating through Digital Tools.

I believe this role is one aspect of my life that allows me to reach my own intellectual and spiritual potential.  Therefore I will continue to reflect upon and celebrate my own achievements.

I believe in the saying ‘it takes a whole village’.  Therefore it is my responsibility to take part in caring for all learners that are a part of my life; in my own family, in my community, and in other learning environments.

I value physical health and well-being and believe they are essential for a happy life.  Therefore I will promote healthy practices within the use of digital literacies, such as monitoring screen time, cybersafety, and using digital tools to enhance wellbeing.

I value my own learning as a lifelong process.  Therefore I see myself as a learner and will continue to take up opportunities for professional development, and engage with colleagues in discussion on curriculum matters. I will learn from the teachers and students I work with, and acknowledge their contribution to my growth.

I value friendship.  Therefore I will act with friendliness towards all team members, to enhance wellbeing and provide a firm foundation for teamwork.

I value independence.  Therefore I will provide appropriate ICT tools and learning spaces and support to lead each learner towards independent thought, action and feeling.

I value imagination and creativity and believe that these are at the core of ICT Literacies.  Therefore I will provide opportunities for learners to exercise imagination and creativity in as many varied ways as possible.  I will teach the tools of creativity to all learners.

I value responsibility.  I see this as each human’s duty to honour the rest of creation:  other people, other living creatures and the environment.   Therefore I will incorporate components of this within the teaching of ICT Literacies.

I value honesty and integrity.  Therefore I will model these to the learners.  I will apply these to communicate truthfully and fairly to them about their progress.

IMPORTANT SOCIAL AND CULTURAL VALUES

I am aware that societies have may have different images of learners.  I am aware that others may still have an image of a learner as helpless, ignorant, unskilled and lacking intelligence.  These images may be influenced by factors such as age, gender, background and origin. Every person is a capable learner. Therefore I will continually re-examine my own personal image of a learner, which is a clever individual deserving of respect.

I acknowledge that the family is my teaching and learning partner.  Therefore I will support families by providing information about ICT Literacies; by conducting information sessions, through my online information spaces. I will also provide opportunities for parents to learn more about ICT Literacy by providing practical hands-on sessions.

I acknowledge that our world is in a continual state of change.  Therefore I will design my programme to accommodate the changing needs of learners in negotiating their world. I will look to the look to the changing world of ICT Literacies to reflect on trends and consider the real needs of the learners, rather than rely upon my old programmes and assumptions about what they need.

I acknowledge that school is a part of the global community. Therefore I will enable learners to participate in online learning communities, with integrity and safety.  I will also involve them in digital spaces where they can make a real contribution to their own school and community.

I believe in the value of our College Values statement, centred on Respect, Integrity and Courage.  Therefore I will reinforce these through my programme at every opportunity.

I believe that learners need specific skills to participate in their community.  Therefore my programme will incorporate the teaching of skills that enable community participation, particularly in literacy, numeracy, digital and social skills.

I acknowledge that education is one of society’s basic rights of all its people.  Therefore the my programme will be centred around the inclusivity of all students regardless of physical, emotional, intellectual, racial, and cultural differences.

I acknowledge that digital media is part of our society. Therefore I will provide guidance to learners to interpret messages; how they are intended to manipulate, how they contain stereotypes and negative images.

I acknowledge the existence of the ‘hidden curriculum’, the ways that schools inconspicuously support existing power structures that determine who is to benefit most from education systems and staff structures.   This is about how schools control what students learn through routines, class arrangements, teaching methods and curriculum choices. It is also about how colleagues learn through access to opportunities to access, trial, critique and solve problems together.  Therefore I will question each routine, lesson genre, staff presentation, collegial meeting and message that I deliver to learners to aim towards empowerment of all rather than control to maintain established paradigms.

I acknowledge that people contribute collaboratively to society. Together is better.  Therefore I will utilise the skills of collaboration and organise partner and group work.

LEARNING ISSUES

I acknowledge the value of problem-solving and problem-finding.  Therefore I will provide every possible opportunity for learners to identify real-world problems and to solve their own problems in all learning contexts.  I will foster attitudes amongst learners that lead them away from helplessness to resourcefulness.

I acknowledge that children use the cultural tool of language to explain their thinking and develop higher thought processes.  Therefore I will use digital tools to enable children to explain their thinking through language at every opportunity.  I will encourage children to work in groups to increase opportunities for language.  I will arrange for buddy class activities and adult visitors to the class to maximise talk. I will use thinking routines to shape and record the thinking.

For young learners, I acknowledge the importance of play was as a means of them developing their thinking to higher levels, particularly sociodramatic play.  Therefore I will involve the use of Digital Literacies in young learners’ sociodramatic play, both indoors and outdoors.

I acknowledge the importance of the learning environment at ‘The Third Teacher’. Therefore I will arrange the learning environment to maximise learning, rather than just as a means of organising teacher-space or behavioural control over the learner.  Therefore I will provide a safe but challenging learning environment with adult supervision at all times. Learning spaces will enable interaction, not just information reception.

I believe that the technology must come to the learner, not vice versa. Therefore I will aim to help learners with Digital Technologies where the learning happens – in their space, not mine. Digital Technologies have redefined our learning spaces, and assisting students with digital learning spaces will enable a connected learning experience.

I believe that children find reward in meaningful learning experiences.  Therefore I do not have to provide extrinsic motivation such as stickers and treats to motivate children to learn.  I will provide engaging learning experiences and targeted and timely personal feedback to learners to foster intrinsic motivation. I will involve the learners in their own assessment processes, utilising their input in assessment systems such as rubrics and online badges.

I believe that the curriculum is all about the learner; their interests, lives, needs, beliefs, wishes, questions and ideas.  Therefore this is what determines what is in my programme.

I believe that communication is one of the most invaluable human skills.  Therefore I will make time to talk to the learners, parents and co-workers.  This will mean that I maintain daily communication systems for co-workers, schedule appointment times and dedicate times in the day for talking and listening.

I believe that I believe that the learner’s voice needs to be reflected in the learning spaces. Therefore I will utilise literacy artefacts produced by the learners themselves, showing their thinking, rather than commercially-produced posters.  I will involve use of the young learners’ digital artefacts in play situations, both indoors and outdoors.

I believe that learners’ needs can change during the day.  Therefore I will be aware of providing a balance of activities to suit their energies and emotions.  I will also be flexible and make changes to routines, activities and times when necessary.

I believe that the principles of Design Thinking can be utilised in all learning areas, and enhanced with Digital Literacies. Therefore I will teach the skills and involve the learners in examining their everyday problems through Design Thinking cycle, applying Digital Literacies to the process.

I believe that play is the young learner’s work and that this is how they learn best.  Therefore I will provide maximum opportunity and variety for play, using Digital Literacies where appropriate  I will provide opportunity for using Digital tools to enhance and record learners’ conversations about their play’.  Digital tools may enable the learner to explain their thinking about play, and demonstrates to the child that I value their play and consider it as serious work.

I believe in the power of games for learning. Therefore I will use games in the process of improving Digital Literacy. However I believe it is the power of interaction and conversation which give a game a place in the learning environment.

I believe that learners do not always need to be ‘herded’ altogether to receive instruction.  Therefore I will consider variations of instruction to match the learning situations: asynchronous, flipped, small-group.

I believe in utilising scaffolding to maximise learning.  Therefore I will provide support for new learning by modelling and by target- teaching individuals and small groups.  I will gradually withdraw the scaffolding to lead the learner towards independence.

I believe that one of the unique thought processes of learners take time.  Therefore I will allow learners the time to explore ideas, formulate questions, and hypothesise.  Their own theories and explanations are far more valuable than established facts.

I realise that provision of materials can be affected by my image of the learner.  My image of the learner is of them being clever and capable, rather than naïve and helpless.  Therefore I will choose creative rather than drill-and-kill apps; current topical websites rather than comprehension worksheets.

I acknowledge that researchers do not collect information just for the sake of it.  Therefore I will use information from observations to evaluate progress and plan further learning activities.  I will use information to report accurately to my College, aiming to make valid assessments on the learning that has actually occurred, rather than set up inauthentic testing tasks.

I believe that each adult who enters our classroom is a colleague in caring for children.  As the professional teacher, I am ultimately responsible for the welfare of the children but realise that others have worthwhile contributions to make to the craft of teaching.  Therefore I will encourage the children to consider co-workers and parents and guest speakers as helpful teachers.

I believe that ‘netiquette’ behaviours are learned.  Therefore I will explicitly teach learners the strategies of managing conflict and self-assertiveness in online spaces.  I will teach children strategies to deal with issues such as verbal put-downs, being excluded by friends, and being injured by another in online spaces. I will enable learners to consider that everyone needs to be responsible for digital content they create.

It is my deepest belief that each learner has the ability to become the best they can.  It is my desire to see each individual learner develop into a powerful self-confident global citizen who can reach out towards their own intellectual, physical and spiritual potential. Through Digital Literacies, they will become effective users and creators of information and ideas.

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