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Philosophy of Education

My philosophy on education is simple: all students have the capacity to learn from a teacher
who presents content using a diverse methodology and focuses on teaching to all the learning styles.
Gardners theory of multiple intelligences is the foundation for my style of teaching. Early on, I
learned the value of recognizing your own learning style and I encourage my students to practice
metacognition in order to identify their own unique learning style. In teaching content to students, it is
imperative that teachers include aspects of all seven learning styles in order to make the learning
accessible to all students, regardless of their preferred style of learning.
Vygotskys theory of sociocultural learning also plays an important role in my style of teaching,
maybe because middle school students are just on the cusp of discovering their independence. The idea
that social learning predates development is of no surprise to anyone who teaches middle school.
Vygotskys ideas that social interaction leads to higher thinking skills is especially relevant in teaching
history to teenagers- they must understand and connect to their information through their own social
ideas and experiences in order to really grasp the concepts presented.
Skinners theory of behaviorism, though not as popular or universal as it once was, still holds
sway in certain classroom management procedures. The idea that positive behavior should be
reinforced while negative behaviors should be punished is one that teachers still use in many
management situations. Though some teachers may hesitate to use homework as punishment, others
find it effective as a way to discourage inappropriate behavior. Positive praise and reinforcers (gold
stars, extra credit, treats) are still in use today as well (though these methods may not be held upt o
public scrutiny).
Ausubels cognitive learning theory is also an important basis for my style of teaching. Ausubels
theory holds that the students prior knowledge is the primary determiner for what the student next
learns. Based on this theory, a teacher must be cognizant of her students prior knowledge and
constantly using scaffolding techniques to build on the students prior knowledge and ideas when
introducing new content.
Lastly, Blooms Taxonomy is a model based on the idea that knowledge not only builds on itself
but becomes increasingly complex as it does. In this theory, the lower levels of learning (remembering,
understanding, applying) build a basis for the higher order thinking skills that emerge once the lower
three level have been achieved (Analyzing, evaluating an creating). As a teacher, I focus on the getting
my students to the higher Blooms levels by creating a strong foundation of information and by asking
them to not only learn history content, but use their own unique knowledge and life experiences to help
them become problem solvers, both in class and in life.