My personal philosophy of teaching is that learners need an academically challenging and yet developmentally appropriate learning context that is authentic, relevant and student centered. The classroom should be outcomes based, with clear targets, high expectations and as many opportunities to succeed for as many learners as possible.
As a constructivist, I provide sufficient scaffolding to enable students to unpack ideas and experience new understandings and contradictions for a deeper understanding of various issues.
I am convinced of the benefits of trans-disciplinary curriculums that are developmentally appropriate, student centered, that provide a safe and supportive learning environment, which values diversity whilst integrating various forms of assessment and acknowledging prior learning and individual student needs.
It is not easy to design and implement engaging and flexible experiences for the whole class, groups and individuals but the process of doing so is very rewarding both for the teacher and the students.
A classroom that caters to diversity must be student centred where every child is viewed as a diverse human being with specific needs and requirements that requires individual attention, support and scaffolding in a humanistic and holistic classroom environment that respects their right to safety and security.
An acceptance of diversity naturally lends itself to learning and teaching methods that promote individual and cooperative learning. It naturally promotes a sense of confidence in the student and a belief that the student can and will do better with each attempt. Having experienced working in Hong Kong, where cultural expectations are different from either the United Kingdom or Australia, I have seen at first hand the consequences of treating diversity as inadequacy.
Successful lesson planning takes account of sound pedagogical knowledge, appropriate curriculum and assessment methods. When a teaching episode fails for some reason, it is important to reflect on the experience and try to determine why it failed.
Professional development through reading, discussion, reflection and writing is a powerful stimulus to become the teachers we always hoped to be.