Activity 4.1

I’m not sure I’ve ever met an educator that self promoted a certain teaching philosophy.  I think the teaching philosophy questions are asked during course and assignment design.  How does the teacher want to deliver the course content and curriculum requirements?   The philosophy emerges in the course design: what to study, what to focus on, what is the final assignment requirements.

As a TOC in my district, the Teaching Philosophy emerges in the classroom and the activities that they plan for me.  In the k-5 setting, most teachers are still the Liberal/Perennial agents, the teacher the vessel of knowledge and the student the empty receptacle ready to be filled with knowledge.   The more daring teachers in Middle School are progressive partnering with their students, but mostly still in charge and the source of knowledge.  By High School, teachers begin to shift the responsibility of education on the students, and many of them have said they are more like humanist facilitators.  But in reality through all the k-12 the teacher is still the agent of knowledge and the gateway for students.

Maybe only recently, has the paradigm been shifting with the advancements of personal technology.  Now, teachers are not the knowledgeable ones when it comes to technology, and the millennial students are showing them how the tech tools work.  No instructions, no problem.  So many of the apps and tool are user friendly where the students can just “plug and play” and figure it out as they go along.  And in a DL online environment, a progressive teaching course design — problem solving, experimental, situational – might be the “language” needed to connect with the new generation of students.  Books like “Invent to Learn” and “Tinkerers” is tapping into this problem-solving approach to teaching.

I always found effective educators as the fulcrum on a scale, adapting and changing their teaching philosophy depending on the situation or depending on the students.  I know for myself, I wouldn’t be able to label what I’m doing in the moment, but I instruct differently depending on the type of student.  I haven’t had to design any courses, but if I do, I always enjoyed TOCing in classes with meaningful, project based, student chosen assignments.  They just seem to capture a majority of the students.


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