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Sunday, August 09, 2015

My Educational Philosophy

"My educational philosophy is a combination of how I desire to teach and my motivation to be a lifelong learner." according to LTC (Retired) Eric T. Moore, instructor, writer, and facilitator for the Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course, Army Management Staff College (AMSC) at Fort Leavenworth, KS. 

Photo: Faculty Focus

As a teacher at the Army Management Staff College, I am constantly learning during classroom and student interaction. Therefore, I am also a student. According to the Center for Educational Innovation at the University of Minnesota (2014):

A teaching philosophy is a self-reflective statement of your
beliefs about teaching and learning. In addition to general
comments, your teaching philosophy should discuss how you
put your beliefs into practice by including concrete examples
of what you do or anticipate doing in the classroom.
My purpose for developing an educational philosophy is to reflect on and improve my classroom interaction and overall effectiveness. Through the development of this philosophy, I identified four critical areas that are paramount to classroom success:

1. Adult Learning Environment  

As a facilitator or teacher, I am responsible for establishing a successful adult learning environment, one that values and enables learning for both students and teacher. I thoroughly believe that students are responsible for their own learning because the greatest learning occurs when adults:
  • Take responsibility for determining what they learn
  • Learn what is personally beneficial
  • Learn what they discover for themselves
  • Learn from both experience and feedback instead of just experience alone (Adjunct Faculty Guide, 2012)
The classroom climate must be safe, professional, and collaborative, allowing students to feel at ease to express their views, share experiences, and discuss differences of opinion. I must also facilitate effectively to integrate student experiences into our discussions and use those examples to illustrate relevant teaching points. It is important that I create and preserve a complex, rigorous, and realistic classroom climate that is both student- and problem-centric, while ensuring that I provide enough tools and information to solve a problem, but not give the answer. Furthermore, my personal contribution to sustaining a learning environment includes motivation (be prepared to spend extra time), aptitude (know the material), presentation (organized and enough variety), repetition (multiple emphasis of relevant points), and reinforcement (realistic practical exercises) (CNC Concepts, 2014). Last, honest feedback is critical to maintaining an effective and realistic adult learning environment, as well as helping students see themselves and achieve “personal movement” (K. Summers, personal communication, 2015). 

Source: Faculty Focus