About a year ago, I found myself really thinking about my philosophy of teaching for the first time. At that point, I was looking forward to learning and growing and changing through a 6th year certificate program in Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy offered at the University of New Haven. Today marks the day that I look back at that philosophy statement and see if its time to craft a new one. For reference, my original statement can be found here.
Philosophy Statement V 2.0 –
In a world that is more connected than ever before, we must ensure that we, as educators, impart upon our students the necessary skills and dispositions to become active and productive participants in that interconnectivity. We must ensure that our students are responsible, ethical, and critical towards the information that they interact with and create through a wide range of multimodal (print, video, audio, image, etc…) experiences. We must make sure that our students understand that, through the use of technology, the world is getting smaller and smaller every day. They must be able to communicate across languages and cultures and develop the appropriate discourses that allow them to function within these diverse communities.
As effective educators we must recognize the impact that technology is having on the students that we teach. We must utilize these new resources to develop more engaging and authentic learning experiences for the students in our classrooms. We must be willing to make learning a partnership between student and teacher. In doing so we must also be willing to transition our role from “Sage on the Stage” to “Guide by the Side”. We must ask the question “Am I more interested in knowing what my students have learned or that they can follow the rules to get a grade?” We must be flexible in how we allow our students to demonstrate their learning. Students that may not be able to write a perfect essay may be able to affect the same emotion through a masterfully produced video or song.
We claim to teach individual students and encourage them to be creative. Yet we ask them to all complete the same assessments, to regurgitate facts and figures, to follow the format laid out by the rubric that typically focuses on structure rather than content. Another question I often ask myself “What are we teaching our students to be? Are we teaching them to continue to be students (i.e. college) or are we teaching them to be functional and productive members of society?”
These are the thoughts that guide me as I teach and learn. I am looking forward to the next time that I have the opportunity to review this statement and the changes that revision might bring.