When developing oneâ€™s personal philosophy on school and learning, an educator should spend time researching past and present theorist, gain insight into where we were and where we are going, as well as reflect and list points most significant to the educator themselves. With the experience in my coursework and knowledge, I have gained thus far, I have spent time doing just that. As mentioned, after reading and reflection, I began to identify most with John Deweyâ€™s inquiry approach to learning (Gutek, 1995, p. 485) as well as the ideology that all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity or intellectual disabilities should have the right to education to fit their needs and ultimate goals in life.
The aforementioned statement is one that is near and dear to many educatorsâ€”myself included. While working in a clinical setting serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the clients who I serve and hope to continue to serve require intensive behavioral interventions and supports as well as individualized goals and programming to meet the current and future needs of the child and/or their parent. For this reason, it is important for instructional practices to include structured time for rapport building, in-depth assessment, and analysis of a childâ€™s current skill level and continued progress, as well as teaching to each childâ€™s various learning style.
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As previously mentioned, the educational philosophy that has been constructed places significance on building rapport between the child/student and the adult/teacher. Graham (2009) mentions the impact a teacher has on the studentâ€™s behavior and vice versa (pg. 239-244); for this reason, creating positive relationships with each student is imperative in creating an atmosphere â€œof grace and forgivenessâ€ instead of â€œlegalism and performanceâ€ (Graham, 2009, p. 239). In addition, the impact an educator can make on a young mind could be life changing for a number of students. Many of the smiling faces that come into the care of educators go home to turmoil; it is imperative to be their light just as Jesus is to us (John 8:12, English Standard Version).
Graham, D. L. (2009). Teaching redemptively: Bringing grace and truth into your classroom (2nd ed.). Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications.
Gutek, G. L. (1995). A history of Western educational experience (2nd ed.) Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.