Teaching is a profession that can yield something amazing when the right ideas and beliefs are implemented in the classroom. I hold many ideas and beliefs about teaching. I have held some of these beliefs for a very long time, while others have come about as a result of the educational experiences I have had over the years. The following ideas and beliefs summarize my teaching philosophy:
I believe that the purpose of teaching is not to teach students how to memorize facts, or how to know all the correct answers. The purpose of teaching lies in getting students to truly understand the concepts being examined.
aims and objectives
What constitutes effective teaching may be subject to debate—it would be simplistic and reductive to insist on a monolithic definition of effective teaching, considering the multiplicity of factors that come into play—but most would agree that the basic purpose of teaching is to enable learning. The most effective teaching is that which results in the most effective learning. An elaboration on this is provided in CDTL Paper (T102)5. Briefly, it may be said here that higher education must do more than provide information and training, although undeniably these are relevant concerns. Higher education, in particular, should move beyond the lowerorder skills of acquisition and reproduction of facts.
Indeed, in a knowledge-driven society where information having increasingly short shelf life, it is important for teachers to focus on the longer-term goal of preparing our students for life, equipping them with more than a finite and rapidly obsolescent body of knowledge, and developing their faculties for understanding, applying and creating knowledge, as well as their ability to constantly refresh and upgrade their knowledge. A quality graduate is life-skills oriented, learning-enabled and lifelong capable. The aims and desired learning outcomes of effective teaching may thus effect positive changes in the following:
- Discipline/profession-specific knowledge.
- General knowledge: fundamental concepts that an educated person/university graduate should have, regardless of area of specialisation.
- Awareness/familiarity across knowledge domains (i.e. ‘rounded’ education).
- Ability to identify what information is needed and where to find it.
- Evaluation of information and discrimination of what is valid and useful from what is not.
- Application/adaptation of knowledge to problem solving and making of informed judgements.
- Self-directedness in learning and the ability to sustain lifelong learning.
- Capacity for independent research and knowledge.
- Ability to communicate ideas clearly and structure arguments convincingly.
The most socially useful learning in the modern world is the learning of the process of learning, a continuing openness to experience and incorporation into oneself of the process of change.6
- Questioning habit of mind with readiness to seek evidence/support for ideas/concepts presented, and to investigate/challenge established and controversial views including those which are generally taken as ‘knowledge’.
- Awareness of the complexity and dynamic nature of human knowledge and the need for evaluation and re-evaluation of knowledge.
- Enjoyment of learning.
- Learning as a lifelong habit.
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Teaching strategies are different ways to teach. They are divided into 3 groups: direct instruction (teacher directed, such as lecture), social learning strategies (such as peer projects, cooperative learning) and indirect strategies (such as experiments, discovery learning). To understand this list, you need to study them a bit. These strategies would be appropriate for ESE, but need to be adapted. Type in ESE teaching strategies in your browser's search engine and you will be directed to sites with many ideas. The source site below is very good for students who need more support in learning.
Teaching strategies are the methods you use to allow learners to access the information you are teaching.
For example, you could read the information to them; you could display it pictorially; you could allow them to research the information themselves; you could present it as a PowerPoint presentation.
People learn in 3 main ways - visually, auditory and kinaesthetically.
Visual learners learn by looking at/seeing something.
Auditory learners learn by hearing it/being told it.
Kinaesthetic learners learn by actually doing/experiencing it.
Your teaching strategies should aim to include all types of learner.