Portfolio Purpose and Educational Philosophy
Reflections about Teaching
I think that the teaching profession is one of the most important professions that exist. If done right, teachers can change students’ lives, influence them to pursue careers, help them become the people they will end up being, and serve as a lifelong inspiration. These are very important roles which pose heavy demands from any teacher. This does not mean that teachers are expected to be perfect beings. Up until now, teachers, in their capacity as knowledge dispensers, are expected to demonstrate a perfect control of the subject they are teaching. However, with the proliferation of knowledge in the world and the growing popularity of a “student centered” teaching approach, teachers will be seen more as mentors or guides that step in whenever a need arises. This teaching experience is seen more as an open-ended communal experience that allows the entire learning community to contribute, and accepts the fact that teachers are learners too. My experience shows that the most effective learning happens when teachers serve as guides while inserting planned “benchmark lessons” serving as a launching pad for students’ self-learning. The development of excellent observational skills are becoming the focal point of 21 st century teaching, because watchful observation can detect when students face problems and need a push to continue their ventures in the right direction. I believe that all knowledge is connected and nothing manifests it better than the internet. Effective teachers take this into account and plan inter-disciplinary curriculums by situating knowledge in a meaningful context that helps students see the big picture.
Seymour Papert's The Children's Machine
Yasmin Kafai and Mitchel Resnick (Editors)
Constructionism in Practice: Designig, Thinking and Learning in a Digital World
Lev Vygotsky's Mind In Society: Development of Higher Psychological Processes