“Education is growth and the focal point for the individual as well as society; it is a never-ending process of life and the more refined the guiding philosophy the better the quality of educational process (Ornstein, Pajak, & Ornstein, 2011).” This statement was made evident during my 12th grade language arts class. During this course, we were given a research project where we had to create a business, tell what product or service we would providing to the community, who the company would benefit , and interview people in a similar business of our own. When completing my assignment, I chose to create a mentor program funded by the state for teens to discuss major issues they face. I got a chance to make brochures about my company, administer surveys to my peers, visit teen health centers, type a report and present my findings to classmates. I was extremely proud of my creation and all the information I learned, and I was more engaged in the assignment than I had ever been during any other activity throughout my educational career. As I think about my experience when completing the project, I know that it has undoubtedly shaped my philosophy as an educator and played a major role in how I make decision in my class. I believe that both progressivism and essentialism and are the basics of having a highly engaged, but structured class.
First, no two children are identical. They come from different homes, backgrounds, ethnic group, they think differently and have different lives. Therefore, as their teacher why should I teach them all the same? I believe that students’ interest should play a major role in the way they learn, and they should be allowed to have a voice in the activities that they complete. For instance, this past year I taught Language Arts Enrichment to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students where I provided students with the opportunity to choose the different ways they wanted to present their vocabulary words. Many students made flipbooks while others created PowerPoint to enhance their knowledge of each word and because of this the valued the assignment even more. Also, I encouraged the students to suggest activities that they enjoyed completing in other classes in order to keep them engaged in the various exercises planned. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the student-center approach is the best method when teaching students. Students need a chance to research, work with their peers, debate many topics, and complete many different projects so that students can learn to solve problems and find their own individuality. By allowing students to have a voice and centering activities around students’ interest and abilities, students grow into mature individuals who understand various viewpoints and become critical thinkers.
Though I wholeheartedly feel that students should play a role in their learning and should take part in student-centered methods without structure and discipline learning cannot take place. It is the teacher’s responsibility to teach the students respect for oneself, authority, and peers. Because children are still growing and maturing, it is vital that teachers develop their own