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PERSONAL THEORY OF TEACHING Brennan1

Mary Brennan
Dr. Scott Reilly
Field II - Spring 2017
Personal Theory of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment I
Due to both my personal experience as a student and my professional experience via

observations in both Mid Valley and Honesdale school districts, I have come to have a different

outlook on the duties and the responsibilities of being a future educator. From my

Interdisciplinary Assessment course, I acknowledge that assessments via high-stakes exams and

in-class diagnostic tools are necessary aspects of the teaching and learning process. However, I

believe that in order to maximize our students achievement, we should also scrutinize how best

to improve our effectiveness as educators. Consequently, I believe that the following 3 factors

are crucial in upholding and promoting effective teaching, learning, and assessment practices in

the classroom.
Based on my independent research on instructional theories, I have concluded that the

theorem that I most aim to emulate is that of social constructivism. As defined by Vygotsky, the

theory of social constructivism centers around the idea that knowledge is acquired through social

interaction (Social Constructivism, n.d.) . I believe that Vygotskys view of social

constructivism is more accurate than cognitivists like Piagets view because it recognizes that our

experience and understanding of our world stems from the interactions between our culture and

language, therefore making learning a collaborative process (Social Constructivism, n.d.).

Consequently, I believe that in order to foster the environment that is conducive to learning, we

as teachers need to be mindful of how we are going to provide a chance for our students to

engage in activities that allow for both individual and group learning.
Because the growth of the individual and the growth of the group are facilitated in

different manners, I believe that another factor that contributes to being an effective teacher is

the ability to understand the different developmental needs of students as they learn. By being
PERSONAL THEORY OF TEACHING Brennan2

sensitive to the concept that all students have different abilities, we are able to construct

assessments, lessons, and teaching styles to more effectively target each students learning style.

This, in turn, helps bridge the gap between what the student knows and what we want them to

know (Black & William, 2009, p. 211).


Lastly, in order to further get the students on the path to achieve their academic and

personal goals, I believe that being clear with your objectives and expectations while you teach

plays a large role in effective teaching. When students fully understand what they are expected

to know, they are more able and willing to achieve or even exceed the expectation set forth by

the teacher (Sanders & McCutcherson, 1986, p. 54). Thus, this achievement allows them to

build confidence and develop a positive outlook on learning to inspire them to want to learn

more.
In conclusion, while my philosophy of teaching is still in its early stages of development,

I look forward to incorporating the beliefs of Vygotskys theory of social constructivism and the

methods on assessment I learned in my Interdisciplinary Assessment class. I aim to develop

good teaching practices such as, making my expectations clear, being mindful of my future

students individual needs, and promoting the use of activities that engage students both as

individuals and as a group. By doing so through practice, I aim to discover and improve on my

theory and become effective at teaching, learning, and assessment.

References:
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing a Theory of Formative

Assessment. Assessment and Learning,21(5), 206-230. doi:10.4135/9781446250808.n13


Sanders, D. P., & McCutcheon, G. (1986). The Development of Practical Theories of

Teaching. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision,2(1), 50-67.


Social Constructivism. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from

http://gsi.berkeley.edu/gsi-guide-contents/learning-theory-research/social-constructivism/