Developing Teacher Identity: influences that shape our philosophy and teaching approach

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Developing Teacher Identity: influences that shape our philosophy and teaching approach by Mind Map: Developing Teacher Identity:  influences that shape our philosophy and teaching approach

1. Philosophical Perspectives

1.1. Multiple ways in which students come to learn and acquire knowledge

1.1.1. The importance of giving students multiple means of expression Text (Your Philosophy of Education, n.d.): Not every students learns the same way. Between different educational psychologies that try to define how students learn, we also know that each student also has mediums in which they learn and are best able to express their learned knowledge Personal Reflection: As a student, I have come to realize that I learn best through repetition and a behaviorist approach with rewards, such as getting a good grade. In addition, I know that writing is not the best medium for me to express my thoughts. Considering this as a teacher, I must strive to provide multiple alternatives for assignments and present material in many modes to ensure that every student in my class can be successful.

1.1.2. Class Discussion: Alternative ways to look and understand something, as seen in The Wayfinders. Their different way of navigation that differs from a traditional scientific method. (B. Maheu, personal communication, January 28, 2014). Personal Reflection: Students need to learn that alternative definitions or concepts, still hold merit, are worth critically considering, and need to be accepting of differing ideologies. As teachers, we must instill this in our students to foster questioning and respectful individuals.

1.2. How your own personal values and beliefs shape your Teacher Identity?

1.2.1. Guest Speaker: Dr. Gleddie and Greg Thomas discussed the importance of knowing yourself fully before in order to be a teacher. They stressed the idea of knowing your own qualities, strengths, and being confident in order to be a successful educator. (D. Gleddie & G. Thomas, personal communication, January 16, 2014). Personal Reflection: I do agree that having a strong sense of self is important in dictating what kind of teacher you will be. It helps you determine what you value, and what your strengths as a teacher are. This may take a while to hone when I first begin teaching; however, eventually it will shape what I will tolerate in the classroom and what my goals as an educator are. Also need to be aware of any biases you may hold that can affect your teaching.

1.3. How your own Educational Philosophy is reflected in the classroom, through your teaching method and what you expect from your students?

1.3.1. Every individual agrees more strongly with an educational philosophy over others, or takes an eclectic approach by taking aspects from different philosophies. Whatever aspects resonate with you as a teacher will then dictate what role you and the students hold in the classroom. Text (Your Philosophy Of Education, n.d.): For example, I mostly agree with an progressive approach in the classroom, therefore making me a guide to student learning, as both students and teacher decide what is taught with the goal to make lifelong learners.

2. Historical Perspectives

2.1. The changing demands on a Teacher

2.1.1. Guest Speaker (Frank Peters): Education originally was run by the church. Province then introduced Teacher Certificate and formal education. In addition, teachers are faced with increasingly diverse classrooms such as religion, sexuality, and culture. (F. Peter, personal communication, February 4, 2014). Personal Reflection: Because Canada such a pluralistic country, often in public schools teachers are challenged to accommodate a variety of religious and cultural practices. Growing up in a predominately White and Christian school, I was never exposed to many other cultures or religions, until I started post-secondary. I do believe there is merit in accommodating some cultural practices in schools simply because they provide an opportunity for children to learn about other perspectives. This holds tremendous value in a society that is extremely diverse. In addition, it should be part of our teacher education to learn about various religions and cultures so we are well equipped to manage and understand our diverse students.

2.1.2. Special Education's shift to Inclusion Guest Speaker (Rob Wilson): In history, disabilities were viewed as deficits in the population, which powered the social movement of eugenics in Canada. This included unauthorized sexual sterilization of the "feeble minded" at such institutions as the Micheler Center. (R. Wilson, personal communication, February 27, 2014). Class Discussion: There has been movement away from the traditional labeling, coding, and separation of special needs students. Schools now promote inclusive classrooms and shift our paradigm of thinking and stigmatization of special education. (B. Maheu, personal communication, March 4, 2014). Personal Reflection: This poses the challenge to teachers to be well educated in the realm of special needs, and more flexible due to the increase in Individual Program Planning for these students (including alternative learning goals and accomodations). Personal Reflection: Anything that can lessen the negative connotation that surrounds special needs and learning disabilities, I find very important. Being a student that has dealt with anxiety, mostly surrounding exams, and my need for exam accommodations has often left me feeling lesser of myself and embarrassed of my situation. However, in reality, it really is not a big deal and most students could benefit from a variety of accommodations to be more successful.

2.2. Aboriginal History in Canada and its repercussions on students present day

2.2.1. Text (Canada's Aboriginal Education Crisis):There is a lack of funding to Reserve schools, 54% of Aboriginal children in foster care, and educators are grossly under-educated about traditional Aboriginal peoples. We must also be aware of the implications that are still perpetuating due to the disconnect of culture within the Aboriginal community from residential schools. This includes the loss of language, absence of cultural teachings from Elders, and the abuse within the school.(Laboucane, 2010). Personal Reflection: Being aware of the realities that Aboriginal students face is crucial when developing relationships as it helps teachers have greater awareness in order to successfully meet the needs of the individual student. With further awareness, we as educators can bring more traditional Aboriginal knowledge and history in the classroom to be inclusive of Aboriginal views. Text (Building Bridges of Understanding, n.d.): Teachers should adopt Aboriginal pedagogues within the classroom such as bringing in Elders, field work in nature and talking circles. In addition, educators should strive to be culturally confident by immersing oneself in local culture.

3. Sociological Perspectives

3.1. Knowledge and understanding of diversity within the classroom

3.1.1. Text (Inclusive Schooling and Gender): There are stereotypes that boys are good at math, science, and technology while girls excel in literacy. This can affect the pedagogical approach a teacher may take, or how they treat or expect from a student.(Wallace, 2007). Personal Reflection: As a girl, I have always felt that engineering and computer sciences were never achievable for me. Between having few science/math teachers growing up and never having any role models within any science field, it made it seem that women don't fit in there. As a teacher I believe it is imperative to deviate from the gender norms of society and challenge them. In the classroom, strive to treat each child how they need to be treated, not based on your preconceptions. In addition, show people in jobs that aren't necessarily gender- normative.

3.1.2. Guest Speaker (Melinda McNie): Gender is not a black and white issue, it is fluid. This puts a demand on teacher's to be knowledgeable and aware of students gender identity, expression and sexual orientation so that they can create a comfortable and safe classroom for all students. (M. Mcnie, personal communication, March 20, 2014). Guest Speaker (Melinda McNie): In your teaching you must be aware of how you take up gender and sexuality. To promote an inclusive and safe environment it is important to have strong relationships with your students, as well as use inclusive language, address bullying, and leave your judgement behind. (M. Mcnie, personal communication, March 20, 2014).

3.2. "Hidden Curriculum": What we implicitly teach our students

3.2.1. Text (Education and Diversity: Framing the Issues): The Hidden Curriculum is what is taught in the classroom outside of the set curriculum, or what is implicitly learned. Generally it promotes dominant ideologies of society and consequently systemic racism. They can be conveyed through content, school calendar, class celebrations and teacher behavior. (Egbo, Barakett,& Cleghorn, 2013, p.165-166). Personal Reflection: Because The Hidden Curriculum can instill discriminatory and negative perspectives, I think that teachers need to reflect on what attitudes and behaviors they may be perpetuating within the classroom indirectly. This can include discriminatory remarks or negative reaction to a students religion or cultural practice. Teachers need to constantly be aware of the consequences of their actions, and strive to be a role model to the students. That being said, no one is perfect, and because some ideologies are so ingrained into our own identity it is nearly impossible not to perpetuate some dominate ideologies. The key is simply to reflect, make an effort to be unbiased and present alternative ideologies.

3.2.2. Text (The School as an Informal System of Socialization): Socialization is the process through which people gain knowledge, skills and sense of self. This is required to fulfill social roles. School is a secondary place for socialization outside of the home where they learn social norms, roles and values. Teachers can act as a mentor to students, influencing their ideas and values. (Egbo, Barakett,& Cleghorn, 2013, p.126-128). Personal Reflection: Similar to the Hidden Curriculum, teachers need to remember that what they say and do , and how students perceive these actions ultimately impacts a students ideology. As a teacher, if you are constantly, and maybe even unknowingly, asking boys to demonstrate in Gym class, some girls may internalize that they are inferior to boys in sports.