LEARNING THEORIES: MY CHANGING TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

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Hello ECI833,

I am a Mathematics teacher and have always been fascinated, proud of my profession and I must say that my teaching philosophy has changed significantly in many stages since I began teaching in 2010. For this week’s blog post we were given a task to analyze the knowledge and learning to underpin our own teaching philosophy and classroom practice; These theories are Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Connectivism, and Constructivism. According to academics, scholars and instructive experts, fruitful education takes place through a practice of investigation in the classroom because learning can take place in many ways. Even though academics or scholars may not always agree with each other’s methodology of how effective learning can take place, they all comprehend that explicit teaching needs to be considered and enabled in order for effective learning to take place.

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As stated above I was fascinated about a teaching profession and when I left the university to become a teacher, I was excited and fully energized with a goal to guide my students in the path of a new learning experience. I was in an assumption that students would be naturally motivated as I was, and they would be learning in different ways. I thought that Inquiry and equitability will be the base of my teaching practice where I will design an experiential learning strategy and my students will be benefitted with a new breeze of the learning experience. I believe that my teaching practice would reflect the theories of Cognitivism and Behaviorism. But my thoughts and dreams were short-lived, just like Haiming states in her blog post, I noticed that every student construct knowledge from both their experience and their interaction in the social environment. It didn’t take me long to realized that my students came to my class with different personalities and background, where I had to act more than a teacher. Teaching was not the only the task I had to perform and sometimes I had to act in multiple roles. The lack of real classroom experience affected me because I started

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teaching straight out of university and my approach to instruction was very organized. Every topic and chapter for the day involved a precise method which was encompassed with instruction, an activity, and an assignment. Even though I started my career with a thought if inquiry-based learning principle, I slowly realized that I was basically following a traditional practice and this did not prove to be effective. As I progressed gradually in my career, I adopted new and distinct teaching strategies which would fit the need of the individual student and I witnessed that my teaching had transitioned from Cognitivism and Behaviourism to constructivism and connectivism. I started to realize that my students were understanding the concept in a much clearer way. I used to plan every chapter and each topic in such a way where every student had multiple ways to learn each topic. Mathematics class is considered one of the boring and disliked session and the more I talk to my students about math, the more I used to hear these words: “I don’t like math, because math problems have only one answer. I’m really bad at math how can I get better but things turned around and the same math session became an interactive journey of a learning experience.

Finally, with everything that being said, I feel that I might change my teaching philosophy and classroom practice again and I also feel that for every educator instructional practice is never constant and we can’t help but change and teaching can never be constant. There is no one singular learning theory that outperforms the other; each theory has a place, and each theory has its advantages and disadvantages just like not every child learns in the same way, and not every class will be taught in the same way and what are your thoughts about this? and what learning theory do you think finds best for your classroom environment? And will it be constant for every year?

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