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What is your teaching philosophy? Define your personal teaching philosophy and how it has evolved through gaining more teaching experience.

Diary submitted by Julia A, Erasmus+ internship in Valencia

 I wanted to premise this reflective diary by stating that I believe that teachers are not accredited as much importance as they should be in society, neither in terms of wage or respect. As a teacher, my philosophy is centred around 3 main points; trying to reach a correct balance between a teacher-centred and student-centred approach, the importance of creating an all-round profile of a student as a person (not only as a student), and the importance of managing to adapt as a teacher to a globalizing and increasingly technological society through research-based learning.

    First, I believe that a teaching philosophy on student-centred approach and teaching-centred approach requires the ability of a teacher to adapt to different students and to listen to their needs. Until I started my internship I believed that student-based approach was the most important factor in a classroom, because it allowed students to interact and to a certain extent learn on their own and from each other. But, as I began teaching in a class, I quickly learned that teacher-centred learning is important as well, and instead of giving more importance to one or another a balance between the two is key. This is because some students did not enjoy working in groups or the class would become too chaotic. I do still believe that, based on circumstances, a student-centred can reach a very beneficial outcome for the student, but I now think that it depends on the class dynamics and on the students.

    Secondly, I think that a teacher should be trained to a certain extent in psychology, and place more importance on a student as a person rather than only based on academic performance. This can be done by establishing a psychological profile for students based on their academic performance as well as their culture, family, motivation, availability, mentality and personality. These are all things that affect the learning ability of a student and their attitude in class, and should not be undervalued. This is a big part of my teaching philosophy which is stimulated by a particular interest in psychology. 

    Lastly, I believe that we live in a world where teachers need to adapt to a fast-paced, increasingly technological and multicultural society and transfer this to their students. I think many teaching systems are out-dated. My personal philosophy is that research-based learning should be at the centre of teaching. This focuses on developing critical thinking skills rather than simple assimilation of information through memorization. We live in a world where students could acquire information very easily on their own, and therefore the role of a teacher is to help teach a student how to verify, manipulate and critically engage with this information. 

Bibliography:

– “Teacher-Centered vs. Student-Centered Education.” Portland, 6 Apr. 2018,

education.cuportland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/which-is-best-teacher-centered-or-student

centered-education/.

– Saptuti, Susiani. “Research Based Learning (RBL): How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills?” SHS

Web of Conferences, www.researchgate.net/publication/322761158_Research_Based_Learning_RBL_How_to_Improve_Critical_Thinking_Skills.

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