ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Teaching Perspectives Influence How One Approaches Learning

Updated on April 12, 2016
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge holds an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction, an MS in Elementary Education, and a BA in History. She also homeschools her children.

Consider how your teaching philosophy influences your students' potential learning.
Consider how your teaching philosophy influences your students' potential learning. | Source

My Personal Perspective on Educational Practices

Throughout this writer’s educational career, she has encountered a variety of teaching methods and teaching styles from her instructors. Although she has noted both major and minor differences in teaching methods— and has obviously preferred some methods to others— she has never considered the philosophical positions of her teachers, how those positions influence teaching methods and how the philosophies might influence her as a student and future teacher. This paper will discuss the perceived philosophical positions of her sixth grade teacher, Mr. W., her high school math teacher, Mrs. H., and a college teaching professor, Dr. H..

Mr. W- The Neo-Scholasticist

Mr. W. was the quintessential tough sixth grade teacher who had been at this writer’s elementary school since the first day it opened. He had literally taught several grandparents of this writer’s classmates and had no intention of leaving the teaching profession anytime soon. Although he had been offered administration positions for years, he preferred to stay with the students and teach students. He was a traditional teacher in every sense of the word, with seats in straight rows facing the front of the classroom. He expected respect from students, and treated students with a firm but loving spirit. He genuinely wanted every student in his class to succeed and fostered each student’s strengths by encouraging some students in the arts, others in sports and others in traditional book learning.

Upon examination of the different philosophies presented in Knight (2006), this writer considers Mr. W. to be a prime example of a neo-scholasticist teacher. Despite working in a public school, Mr. W. integrated Biblical concepts into the classroom. Like Aristotle, Mr. W. “taught that the universe has design and order, and that every result has a cause” (Knight, p. 56). He taught values and help students accountable for their actions. As described by Knight, Mr. W. often integrated synthetic statements into the coursework, and required students to approach problems logically.

Mr. W.’s teaching philosophies helped this writer understand that it is possible to be a witness for Christ in the public school system without ever saying the name of Jesus Christ. As Blackaby and Blackaby (2001) suggest, being a leader requires a walk with the Lord that oozes integrity, that others can not help but notice something different about you (p. 104). Mr. W. way of life seemed to epitomize the concept of 1 Corinthians 10:31, which reminds man to do everything to the glory of God.

This writer attended public school for high school as well, where she took a new math class. This writer perceives her math teacher, Mrs. H., to be a classic pragmatic teacher, since the teaching goal seemed to teach students how to “learn to learn” instead of how to actually complete arithmetic problems (King, 2006, p. 73). Correct answers were not important in this “new math” classroom, so much as the student put forth an effort and attempted to learn concepts. Mrs. H. prescribed to the so-called neutral curriculum, as described by Van Brummelen (2002) in that students were taught that values and methods of completing tasks were up to interpretation and dependent upon the situation (Van Brummelen, p. 3).

Despite the similar agenda of many public schools, the teachers can have different philosophies and worldviews.
Despite the similar agenda of many public schools, the teachers can have different philosophies and worldviews. | Source

Mrs. H- The Classic Pragmatic

Mrs. H. employed classic pragmatic techniques as described by Knight (2006), such as wanting students to experience everything and involving participation by everyone in the class (p. 74). Carson (2009) suggests that teachers often teach in the style that they prefer to learn (p. 96). This writer supposes that all the hands-on activities in the classroom was due to the fact that the teacher’s own preferred learning style is kinesthetic.

While this writer generally liked the teacher is personality, she was often frustrated by the methods employed in the classroom for determining grades. She often felt like she was being pandered to, and never felt like she completely understood how to complete assignments correctly since the emphasis was on feelings and the process rather than correct answers. Too often math assignments centered on word problems and situations rather than concrete problems and how to determine the answer. While the teacher may have thought she was sparing hurt feelings by not correcting homework with helpful critiques, this writer was often frustrated by not knowing how to solve problems correctly.

Mrs. H.’s teaching philosophy influenced this writer’s own teaching philosophy by wanting to show students that there are absolutes and that answers are not relative to the situation. While Mrs. H.’s math class used experiential techniques almost to the exclusion of other learning techniques, this writer plans to recognize the learning preferences of her students, and implement various teaching techniques as described in Nilson (2010). While there are several theories and variations on learning styles, this writer recognizes the overarching concepts, and plans to determine each student’s preferences and teach materials using several styles so that each student has an equal opportunity to learn. As Nilson notes, “knowing and being able to take advantage of student’s learning-style strengths also helps instructors prepare them for the real world” (p. 229).

Like Knight (2006), this writer recognizes that there are beneficial and unhelpful elements to any teaching philosophy (p. 99). Despite the pragmatic methods of communication instead of teaching concept, this writer recognizes that language is related to power and can be used as an effective teaching style when not used exclusively (Knight, p. 99). This writer is strong enough in her faith to recognize the good and bad in different methods and integrate particular aspects in a selective manner.

Dr. H- The Neo-Scholastic

Although this writer only had Dr. H. for one course in college, the instructor left a lasting impression due to her enthusiasm for teaching, desire to help students enjoy and understand the concepts, and for her love of the subject matter. This course was at the master’s level and was on the subject of teaching elementary science. While this writer did not particularly enjoy the idea of the science classroom, Dr. H. showed evoked excitement for the course by showing how to find God’s handiwork in nature and the order of the universe.

This writer perceives that Dr. H. prescribed to the neo-scholastic philosophy, since she emphasized the “intellectual and spiritual aspects of culture” as described by Knight (2006, p. 60). Dr. H. encouraged her teaching students to consider ways to integrate God’s plan into the science curriculum, and look for the precise answers. Knight further notes that the “ecclesiastical neo-scholastic sees the role of teachers to be that of spiritual leaders as well as mental disciplinarians” (p. 59). Dr. H. exemplified that sentiment by encouraging her teaching students to foster a strong relationship with Christ in order to be a successful teacher.

In summary, this writer has had teachers that have been both a good and bad example of how to be an effective teacher in the classroom. This writer has learned how to communicate God’s truth in the public and private setting, and has recognized the importance of paying attention to the needs of the child, without making the child the focus of the school day.

References

Blackaby, Henry & Blackaby, Richard. (2001). Spiritual leadership: Moving people on to God’s agenda. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group.

Carson, D. (2009). Is style everything? Teaching that achieves its objectives. Cinema Journal. doi: 1876730441

Knight, George R. (2006). Philosophy & education: An introduction in christian perspective. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.

Nilson, Linda. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resources for college instructors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Van Brummelen, Harro. (2002). Steppingstones to curriculum. Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)