Okay, so I’m not in a formal classroom anymore. However, I do have a teaching philosophy through which I see an educational setting.
I think that every day humans seek to achieve personal, tribal, familial, institutional, and community well-being. Actions may differ from place to place because of varying cultural patterns, environmental conditions, geographical locations, political capital, natural capital, cultural capital, social capital, and other resources that affect human lives. The teacher, be it formal or informal, affects the lives of his or her students’ thinking by leading them toward seeing the world through unbiased lenses, and to see each human being for what he or she contributes to the fabric of humanity.
A passionate teacher does everything in her or her power to build learners. How can we make our classrooms a level playing field so that each learner engages within his or her own abilities. Does that means that we have to employ a variety of methods that speak to varying types of learners: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Do teachers have this luxury, or is their day proscribed for them? I would like to see feedback for this notion.
Though the classroom, naturally, employs a variety of textbooks, I believe that students learn from encouraged self-discovery so that they see themselves in the contexts of educational settings, the family, the social arena, in cultural arenas, the workplace, the community, national arena, and the world. These contexts help the students to visualize how cultures, ideals, and preferences are built.
Other concepts and questions:
I love geography, because it employs geographic inquiry, which helps students understand local to global issues in physical and human systems. This inquiry also helps students to ask questions about the past, understand present issues affecting community, and to envision a future that includes individuals and families who are emotionally, socially, healthfully, financially, and civically-minded.
Other elemental themes in teaching could include meta-cognition tools that encourage students to understand their own thought processes that shape personal, cultural, and world thought.
Spatial orientation and thinking encourages students to think about environments, where they live, work, and play (habitats), and the world in spatial terms. Spatial thinking gives students a sense of place in history, presently, and the future. How do we go beyond thinking to describing our “spaces”, relationships of objects to one another, and going from the large (macro) to the small (micro)? A possible question: Beyond thinking, can you describe your “spaces” using direction, employing mental maps, describing scale (size), and other relational vocabulary?
Places and Regions: Does where you live affect how you interact with your environment? Does where you live affect your way-of-knowing? Does where you live influence your health? Does where you live influence your economic well-being? Can people have different points-of-view living in the same community, region, or family? Do your places/regions change? How does that affect you?
Not sure if I’m repeating myself, but I love education, and I hope that each students walks away better for it.