MARICOPA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT (MCCCD)
TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Introduction to Education (EDU221)
Signature Assignment: Philosophy of Education
Special Note to Instructors: These guidelines may be adapted as long as the original purpose and learning product are maintained.
A “philosophy of education” is a document in which you define yourself as a teacher. It includes statements of value (what’s important to you), examples of application (how you demonstrate your values) and rationale (expected outcomes or reasons). Your philosophy will be a narrative essay citing course concepts of most importance to you at this stage in your development as a future teacher, and demonstrating your understanding of the most critical aspects of education.
PURPOSE and AUDIENCE
The purpose of this assignment is twofold: 1.To provide you with an opportunity to reflect on what kind of teacher you plan to be. 2. To engage in a professional activity common to all teachers. Therefore, you should plan your philosophy for an audience outside of your classroom or college. Imagine a principal is reading your philosophy prior to interviewing you or a district human relations director reading your philosophy to determine how good a “fit” you might be for
the mission of the district. These are authentic audiences for whom you should plan.
STEPS FOR SUCCESS
Note: Some of these steps may be part of class activities; others will be completed outside of class.
1. Engage in an activity to start you thinking about what is most important to you. Consider the
list of course concepts attached to these guidelines (your instructor may augment these as
necessary). Choose a prewriting activity to generate your thinking about: a. Exactly what each
concepts means to you. b. Examples of how you might live up to each value. c. Expected
positive results or reasons. Freewrite, talk in your group, outline, map, cluster, etc. 2. Decide is there is a best way to order the topics you wish to include in your philosophy. Is
there some kind of logical order to them? Do you want to talk from most to least, or from least
to most important? Number them in the order you are thinking they best fit. 3. Share your choices and thinking with at least one partner and ask these questions: Can you
think of other things I might say that I have not yet thought of? Does my order make sense to
you? Can you give me some ideas for how to describe/define/explain _____?
4. Draft your philosophy following a three-part (not necessarily five paragraph) format as outline below. The suggestions offered here are intended to help you frame your paper, not your thinking.
Introduction. You know that introductions are intended to grab readers’ attention. You will want to plan some opening that does just this. However, your opening should not be lengthy because the most important thing is getting to your point quickly. You may use an inspirational or significant quote from an appropriate source (no unknowns or anonymous, please!). You could make some provocative statements about the importance of education or your role as a teacher. You might invoke the attributes of an influential teacher in your own experience. One way to form your introduction is to use the 2QBAD formula: Question + Quote + Background + Anecdote + Description.
Body Paragraphs. It is easiest to discuss one point at a time, but if you are confident about yourself as a writer, it is also possible to connect closely linked course concepts into sesame paragraphs. Plan this carefully; however, so that you still discuss the distinction but also the connections between these points.
Develop body paragraphs to include: a. Explanation or extended definition of each concept. b. Examples of how you might demonstrate it in your practice. c. Benefits or positive outcomes. Each topic sentence should be a strong statement of belief or value.
Conclusion. The best thing about conclusion is that they’re short! You will not say anything new here. You will also not repeat your main points or your introduction. The intention is to provide a brief wrap-up and leave a lasting impression. One writers strategy to consider: Reference or connect your final impression to whatever you used as your opener or attention-getter.
REVISION and EDITING
5. Take an opportunity too “hear” your writing for the first time. Read your paper aloud – really
aloud, con todo gusto. Have a pencil in hand so that you can make quick corrections and notations wherever you hear errors or opportunities for reworking.
6. Prepare a clean, correct copy of your paper at this point. Engage in any one or combination of the following strategies for effective revision. Your instructor may choose to require and structure these or other opportunities to have your philosophy heard. You may wish to prepare some questions from the checklist and/or evaluation criteria to guide the feedback
i. Peer/partner review
ii. Small group reading and response
iii. Writing Center tutoring
Note: Revision refers to attention to the content of your philosophy – what you said. Editing is
attention to the writing skill and conventions – how you said it.
7. Using feedback from the revision process rethink, rework, revise your philosophy as you choose. Get it ready for your authentic audience.
PUBLISHING FOR AN AUDIENCE
8. Prepare your final draft in manuscript form in accordance with the specifications of your
instructor in your syllabus.
9. Self-assess the quality of your thinking and writing. Use the rubric to identify the grade you
believe your paper most closely represents. Highlight or underline key words and phrases
from the rubric to justify your decision.
10. Submit an error-free copy in your electronic portfolio attending to the features of online
TIMELINE and DUE DATES
Brainstorming Activity ______________________
Draft for Revision ______________________
Peer Revision in Class ______________________
Writing Center Visit ______________________
Final Draft ______________________
Portfolio Upload ______________________
COURSE CONCEPTS Brainstorming, reviewing, freewriting, and concept mapping are all ways to generate possible topics for this essay.
Purpose of education in a democracy
Purpose of education in a global society
Purpose of education for an individual
Multiple roles of a teacher
Qualities/Dispositions of an effective teacher
Conditions for learning
Meeting all students needs’
How students’ learn
Teaching styles strategies
Alignment with a formal philosophy
MODEL STUDENT PAPER
Life, Learning and A Passion for Teaching:
My Philosophy on Education
Construction is an important aspect of teaching. The construction of knowledge and healthy social and academic development are the building blocks on which individuals build their lives. As a teacher, I lay the foundation on which my students will begin building their futures. Such a foundation must be solid, yet flexible enough to encourage change. It must be large enough to hold a volume of knowledge and information, yet with a capacity for human development and enrichment. The education of my students is my first priority, and my values will help me live up to this goal and provide the most positive school experience for my future students.
I understand the multiple influences on what and how I will teach and view the curriculum as the cornerstones for my teaching. Using state and district standards as springboards for my own curriculum development will ensure my students are receiving the preparation desired by policymakers and parents. My lessons will align with these standards and be designed with individual student interests and needs in mind. In an effort to address multiple learning styles and exceptionalities, I will be conscience of differentiating lessons for the individual students who require special accommodations. Providing students with choices where it is appropriate to do so is a student-centered approach to activity development and assessment processes. Because students learn best by doing, I hope that by offering a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning, students will be motivated to learn and be successful with their schoolwork. Including the language arts across all subject areas will provide a skills approach to my teaching and that a thematic approach will help students see connections among skills and subjects.
In order to be successful in teaching, I must provide a positive learning environment. Establishing a classroom in which students are safe, comfortable, and free to take risks in their work is the keystone in my classroom. Above all else, my classroom will promote learning by being student-centered and accommodating and honoring diversity. I want to create a classroom that is inviting – one in which my students are surrounded by relevant, meaningful active
engagement in all curriculum goals and objectives. The walls of my classroom will be colorful and stimulating, lined with posters, and include a class library with shelves stocked with books of all
genres, topics, and reading levels. In addition to creating a positive physical environment, my students need to feel secure in the emotional atmosphere of my classroom. Feeling a sense of belonging will provide the students with the solid foundation for their learning. I will utilize a variety of positive reinforcements and rewards systems for encouragement and praise, and plan a series of individual student conferences throughout the year to help keep students’ attitudes and
progress on a positive track.
Closely related to both my approach to instruction and to classroom environment is my approach to management. I will establish clear rules and procedures for smooth operation in my classroom, and students will be held accountable with appropriate consequences. My approach to discipline will also be positive and in line with teaching responsibility. Students will have clear parameters for behavior and take on classroom jobs such as computer manager, supply monitor, and homework checker that will teach leadership. Building a positive and inclusive classroom community is important for the success of all students; they need to feel like they are part of a team and are valuable to that team. Working in groups promotes teamwork which, in turn, builds self-esteem and provides children first hand problem solving skills, sharing, and the acceptance of others. Attention to aspects of cognitive, social, and emotional development of children frames my beliefs about the kind of classroom I wish to create.
I have established high standards for my teaching and my students. In order to be successful, I must present my best professional self. My organizational skills, compassion and empathy for students, and desire to serve students well will hold me in good stead as I continue to plan for teaching. Presenting a professional front and developing nurturing relationships with my students are also part of my professional value system. Recognizing the important role of parents in the learning process will ensure that I include them as partners in teaching their children.
Because every child has the right to opportunity and education, every educator, including me, extends a promise to all children: I promise that I will educate my students with patience and urgency. I will foster self-esteem through independent and social settings. I will speak and I will listen. I will provide opportunity for cognitive, social and emotional development. I will inspire and stimulate wonder to think critically and creatively. I will accept and expect, give and receive respect. I will build strong foundations for my students.
This tool may be used for individual or peer revision.
CONTENT and IDEAS Present Needed 1. Have I stated my beliefs about important course concepts? ? ? 2. Have I explained why I hold each as a value? ? ? 3. Have I given examples of how I might practice each? ? ?
1. Have I started my paper with an effective, concise introduction? ;;;? ? 2. Does each body paragraph open with a clear statement of value? ? ? 3. Are paragraphs developed fully and interestingly? ? ? 4. Have transitions been used to help the paper flow and to connect ideas? ? ? 5. Does the conclusion leave appositive impression? ? ?
1. Have I used the active voice and strong action verbs? ? ? 2. Have I maintained the first person “I?” throughout the paper? ? ? 3. Do I seem deeply committed to my philosophy? ? ? 4. Is my tone positive? ? ?
1. Have I used professional/course vocabulary correctly? ? ? 2. Is my language natural, not convoluted, forced, or overdone? ? ? 3. Have I chosen words precisely and carefully? ? ? 4. Is my language rich and expressive? ? ?
SENTENCE FLUENCY and CLARITY
1. Have I avoided monotony my varying sentence structures? ? ? 2. Have I avoided fragments? Run-ons? ? ? 3. Is reading easy? Clear? ? ?
1. Have I attended to correct spelling? Punctuation? Capitalization? ? ? 2. Is my grammar and usage correct? ? ? 3. Are all writing conventions used correctly? ? ?
1. Does my essay conform to assignment specifications of length & format? ? ? 2. Is my essay headed and titled appropriately? ? ?
HOLISTIC EVALUATION RUBRIC
Holistic evaluation looks for an overall impression made by the essay supported by general statements
of criteria and standards.
STANDARDS “A” “B” “C” Exceptionally Competent, Clear, Competent, Clear, Creative Adequately Complete and Clear; TRAITS Creative; Inconsistent “Model" Work
Includes all required elements of the Includes all required elements of the May lack required elements of the assignment. Demonstrates genuine assignment. Demonstrates assignment. May lack a variety THINKING, understanding of a variety (3+) of acceptable understanding of a variety (Fewer than 3) of course concepts or IDEAS & important course concepts. Includes (3) of important course concepts. be redundant and repetitive. Develops CONTENT sophisticated discussion of both Includes both information and concepts with little depth and information and application of application of concepts (beliefs, interest. The combination of concepts (beliefs, rationale, rationale, examples). Is mostly information and/or application is not examples) Stays focused and focused and displays depth of consistently balanced of presented. displays a depth of thought beyond thought, although perhaps not as Awareness of and attention to a the obvious and superficial. Displays thoroughly as for an “A.” Displays professional audience and purpose awareness of and attention to a awareness of and attention to a may be lacking. professional audience and purpose professional audience and purpose. throughout. Develops an effective three-part Develops a three-part structure: May not include all three parts structure: compelling introduction, introduction, well developed body, (introduction, body and conclusion) well developed body, memorable conclusion. Body paragraphs are or any one or more parts may not ORGANIZATION conclusion. Details are well chosen ordered in most cases, to flow have been well developed. Reliance & well developed in body smoothly from point to point. Minor is on 5-paragraph format. Body paragraphs. Paragraphs are well flaws or lack of finesse in some paragraphs are only modestly ordered and connected with aspects of the format may be in developed, and may not be well transitions so as to provide smooth evidence. ordered or connected resulting in flow of major points. some choppiness in flow of thought. Uses first person (“I”) and exudes a Uses first person (“I”) but may exude Uses first person (“I”) but perhaps sense of idealism, commitment, and only glimpses of a sense of idealism inconsistently or may lack a sense of VOICE sincerity. Presents a personal, and commitment. Is sincere, and idealism, commitment, or sincerity. professional and positive approach. presents a personal, professional and Positive ideas are presented, but the Employs strong active voice and positive approach but perhaps, with overall voice may be objective or active verbs for a direct tone. less refinement than an “A.” distant in places. Vocabulary is professional and Vocabulary is professional and May not use professional vocabulary reflects course terminology. reflects course terminology, but may or course terminology consistently or Wording is natural, not convoluted. not always be used clearly or correctly. Wording may not be Rich, expressive language is used precisely. Wording is natural, not natural or mature. Reliance is on WORD CHOICE and words are used correctly. Avoids convoluted. Language is mature. simple expression and slang, casual slang, casual expression, and clichés. There may be minor lapses in use of expression, and clichés are in Clarifies acronyms, if used. slang, casual expression, clichés, or evidence. Generally, language may acronyms. be repetitive and lackluster. Sentences are well-crafted, varied Sentences are varied and There may be enough sentence and sophisticated. Transitions are sophisticated. Transitions are used to errors (fragments, run-ons, awkward SENTENCE used to provide fluency, smooth flow provide fluency, smooth flow of or unclear wording) to interrupt flow CLARITY & of thought, and ease in reading and thought. Occasional fragments, run-and understanding. Transitions may FLUENCY understanding. There are no ons or awkward or unclear wording not be used at all or frequently fragments, run-ons or awkward or may interfere with easy reading and enough to provide fluency. unclear working. understanding. All conventions of standard written All conventions of standard written Frequent or persistent errors in English have been observed and English have been observed and only spelling, capitalization, punctuation, controlled. Only insignificant errors minor or occasional errors in grammar, usage, and citation (if CONVENTIONS in spelling, capitalization, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, needed) detract from reading. and punctuation, grammar, usage, and grammar, usage, and citation (if Editing and/or proofreading may PRESENTATION citation (if needed) are evidenced. needed) are evidenced. Format and have been neglected. Format and/or Format and presentation are presentation are appropriate to form presentation may be flawed. appropriate to form and flawless. and flawless.
ANALYTICAL EVALUATION RUBRIC
Analytical evaluation assigns a value to each criterion and standard and
determines the overall grade mathematically.
Percentage of Overall Trait 1 2 3 4 Comments Grade
Content and Ideas. Demonstrates genuine understanding of a variety (3) of important course 20% concepts. Includes sophisticated discussion of both information and application of concepts (beliefs, rationale, examples) Stays focused and displays a depth of thought beyond the obvious and superficial. Displays awareness of and attention to a professional audience and purpose throughout. Organization. Develops an effective three-part structure: compelling introduction, well developed 15% body, memorable conclusion. Details are well chosen & well developed in body paragraphs. Paragraphs are well ordered and connected with transitions so as to provide smooth flow of major points. Voice. Uses first person (“I”) and exudes a sense of idealism, commitment, and sincerity. Presents a 20% personal, professional and positive approach. Employs strong active voice and active verbs for a direct tone. Word Choice. Vocabulary is professional and reflects course terminology. Wording is natural, 10% not convoluted. Rich, expressive language is used and words are used correctly. Avoids slang, casual expression, and clichés. Clarifies acronyms, if used. Sentence Fluency and Clarity. Sentences are well-crafted, varied and sophisticated. Transitions 10% are used to provide fluency, smooth flow of thought, and ease in reading and understanding. There are no fragments, run-ons or awkward or unclear working. Conventions. All conventions of standard written English have been observed and controlled. Only 15% insignificant errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, usage, and citation (if needed) are evidenced. Presentation. The essay meets all specifications for length, format, and presentation. 10%
Points Possible Grade
Ideas & Content ____ x 20 = ____ Sentence Fluency ____ x 10 = ____ Total Points: _______ Organization ____ x 15 = ____ Conventions ____ x 15 = ____ Percent: _______ Voice ____ x 20 = ____ Presentation ____ x 10 = ____
Letter Grade: ________
Word Choice ____ x 10 = ____