Teaching is not an action, but a transaction; not an outcome, but a process; not a performance, but an emotional and intellectual connection between teacher and learner. -Trow, 1993: 20
My philosophy of education is an ongoing and evolving process. As a life-long learner, I give serious consideration to new and alternative methodologies, aims, assumptions, and values. Just like the philosophical mind, the mind of a good teacher must engage in reflective thinking. By habitually reflecting on my own practice, I continue to analyze the basic principles and concepts behind learning and understanding. I recognize the need to refine and improve my own lesson plans, delivery and awareness of due to multiple intelligences within the classroom and emerging technologies.
John Dewey believes that the student has to feel that they are part of the learning experience and that a student’s present situation is created by a coming together of past experiences and their current setting. I have witnessed that school can be a lonely place for pupils who fall outside the social criteria of acceptance. While teaching and coaching in Ireland, Australia and the US, I have been aware that pupils need to be accepted by the groups they belong to. Studies carried out on self esteem amongst adolescents have shown that a pupil’s development can be stunted if group membership is not gained. To foster a sense of belonging, I utilize methodologies such as co-operative learning, group investigations, peer to peer tutoring, and discussion to integrate each individual in the learning process.
My philosophy of education has been shaped by experiences within my own life, education, and teaching career. My mission is to inspire students to be creative, compassionate and to take responsibility for their own learning. I believe that a classroom is a community of learners which respects individual thought, caters for multiple intelligences, and acknowledges that students learn in their own unique way.