A sense of security encourages risk-taking by children, both emotionally and intellectually.
The teacher should strive to nurture each child and the group in a manner which is consistent with developmentally appropriate practice. To this end, strict lessons should be minimized and supplemented liberally by child-directed activities and play-oriented roles. Stress can be minimized and children can be explorers of knowledge.
With respect to the students, they should learn to teach themselves. They should be allowed to define problems and the means by which such problems are solved. They should be allowed to test new ideas and observe the consequences of different actions.
Finally, a strict curriculum should be de-emphasized and students allowed to help choose what and how they will learn. Within limits, curriculum and assessment should be collaborative. I believe this will make students more engaged.
The first value that we should teach children, and one not stated explicitly enough in my view, is that every child is capable of learning. Research on meta-cognition, in effect learning how to learn, suggests that students who keep a record of their learning tend to perform well. This can be reinforced in the early childhood context by having students keep a picture diary or journal. They can draw what they have learned and reflect on how much they have learned every week or every month.
Another important value is the value of diversity; more particularly, the sincere recognition that other people, whatever their gender, race, or personality, have something important to offer the larger group. This is important because students must learn to succeed in other social settings in the future. This can be taught using play-oriented activities in which a successful resolution depends on the contribution of each member of the group rather than the acts of, say, a single individual.
Children should also be taught the value of reflection; more specifically, they should be taught that patience and learning can co-exist. This can be taught by requiring a thinking time before accepting answers or comments.
The value of persistence is also of great value. Children should be taught that learning is a cumulative process. This can be taught by having periodic reviews where students demonstrate what they have learned in a child-initiated environment. The teacher participates rather than directs. Students can ask and answer the questions.
Finally, students should be taught the value that learning is useful. Too often students are left to wonder why they are doing what they are doing. What is the purpose The teacher should design activities which allow the children to apply what they have learned. The activity may be clever or purely humorous, but the link between concept or theory and use or application should be instilled in the children.
My Philosophy of Education
As a teacher, I feel that it is my primary obligation to create the safest and most learning-conducive environment possible. Although I do value the mastery of specific learning outcomes, this is not my ultimate goal; rather, I hope to create learning values that the student can apply to develop emotionally, socially and intellectually. I also hope to convey a relevant curriculum for the learner, so that students begin to see the usefulness of