As an educator, I know that I need to be able to choose my teaching philosophy wisely among the broad variety of options in hand as they are presented in the professional literature, however; there are few philosophies that I have a firm hold of my teaching.
I believe interaction is the key to learning. Therefore, the theories that I keep a grasp on are Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and also Scaffolding theory. The Scaffolding theory proves that even though I thrived for student-centered learning whereby students are expected to solve problems on their own, however, a little guidance would always be in favor in order to keep them on track in achieving the learning objectives. Meanwhile, for the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) theory, students learn not only from what they can discover by themselves; but also from knowledgeable others. The “gap” in ZPD theory differentiates of what students are capable to do with their existing knowledge and what can they improve after getting help and guidance from the lecturer and their peers.
I consider personal interaction with my students as one of the most important aspects of my teaching as I believe each student is unique and have different abilities to unfold. Every student comes from different background and has a different story. Thus I believe intelligence should be measured not by what he could do independently (for instance standardized examination) but by what the students are able to do with the help of more competent others.
Cooperation is the key to good teamwork. I believe educators should no longer be the single source of knowledge in the classroom but rather are engaged in helping students move from passive recipients to active creators of knowledge and ideas. I hope to uphold students’ prior knowledge and abilities to engage them in a critical look at the real world situations they encounter every day and to encourage them to see themselves as artists in the intellectual field, a world where thoughts and ideas have both potential and consequences. I strive to maintain a cooperative atmosphere in the classroom. I would always conduct class discussion, (student- lecturer and student-student) not only for them to improve their critical thinking skill, but to also prove to them that they can be a good reflector in considering others’ opinions and argue about their stances.
I love to teach and I do know that I learn as I teach. Life is a learning process, and teaching is a beautiful learning experience. I learn to be flexible in my methodology and approach in order to communicate better every time I teach. I learn that every student has a story and we, as educators, need to know why we make these choices and we need to be flexible and always open to implement new ideas into our teaching at the same time.