Finding Our Educational Roots

I appreciated the process of creating and examining one’s personal teaching philosophy, as described by Beatty (2009).  It inspired me to look back at my own teaching philosophy from before I entered the classroom, and really examine each of my statements and reflect on what place they had in my current classroom thinking.  The article discussed not only prioritizing certain philosophies in the initial card-sort, but then categorizing those qualities and labeling them.  I think that is incredibly insightful, for it allows a cohesiveness to be identified in both thought and practice.
I also appreciated the anecdote of the participant who questioned a difference in philosophy based on the skill-level of the class, leading to the clarification of philosophy as an ‘overarching value system’ (Beatty, 2009, p. 126).  It’s inspiring to be reminded that although our approach might need to change based on student needs and personalities, it doesn’t effect our inherent beliefs that guide us.  I had a particular group of learners last year that were very different from my other blocks, and we had a very different classroom environment.  I think that on some days, it might be human nature to plan lessons with the thought ‘Oh wait, I can’t do this with them’ when really such thinking should be changed to ‘this gives me the opportunity to approach this lesson from a different perspective’.

Beatty, J.E., Leigh, J.S.A., & Dean, K.L. (2009). Finding our Roots: An Exercise for creating a personal teaching Philosophy Statement. Journal of Management Education, 33(1), 115.

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