Educationis a tool that should be used to improve the world in which we share.It is the right of all children that they be granted a free, public educationhowever, it is the responsibly of educators to provide a safe and constructivelearning environment that motivates children to want to learn. Educators needto be prepared that not every child that passes the threshold into theirclassroom is prepared or even willing to learn.
Creating the spark, fostering ahealthy and trusting relationship, and encouraging children to desire continualgrowth through education are only a few of their goals. For those teachers whofight these constant battles, as they advocate for their students, the rewardis a child who enjoys coming to school and looks forward to the next day’sacademic adventures. With the student now primed and ready for learning,educators can help shape the future for a child into what will hopefully becomeone of moral fiber, positive influence and unlimited potential. (Keywords: education, motivation, relationship,encourage) Howcan educators encourage children to make the most out of their education? Theearly stages of childhood is the ideal time to introduce children into apositive learning environment. It has been said many times before: children arelike sponges; they absorb everything. It is at this time in their lives whereeducators can begin to develop a lasting impression. One must understand thatevery experience a child has, what they see and behaviors they adopt, will allimpact their future. Early childhood education stimulates socialization outsideof the immediate family, fosters the understanding and concept of teamwork, andpromotes confidence.
Arguably more important is the ability to generateeagerness and enthusiasm for lifelong learning and express the value of a goodeducation. When a child enrolls in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, teachershave the opportunity to become a role model. By introducing young children toeducation in a fun and exciting way, they are promoting positive experiencesthat demonstrate the value of education. “The future success of every childis in many ways determined before he or she turns eight.
During those earlyyears, how that child learns and develops — mentally, emotionally and socially— is critical” (Skarda, 2015). Often times, if a child fails tograsp the importance and value of their education the consequences in thefuture can be disastrous. These students “are morelikely to experience academic failure, mental health problems, substance abuse,gang activity, and justice system involvement, according to research. They’realso more likely to drop out” (Langberg & Ciolfi, 2017).
Theschool-to-prison pipeline is only one example but according to Langberg andCiolfi, studies from Virginia showed that out of 70,000 students who were suspendedin one school year, one-fifth of those were in pre-kindergarten through 5thgrade. This is the time when teachers can have the greatest impact on a child’seducation; it is a responsibility that cannot be ignored. Educators are endowedwith the power to become a positive role model for students, enhance thelearning environment so it is fun and exciting, and develop healthyrelationships with their students. The result may be a child that iseager and willing to enter into society prepared to make it a better place. Education is a toolthat should be used to improve the world in which we share for the benefit ofmankind. Philosophy of Schools & LearningMypersonal philosophy of education is: education is a tool, use it for good. I’ve always felt that education is something, once earned, can never betaken from me.
In the same breath, it needs to be said that an education shouldbe shared in the effort to benefit mankind. Apart from the benefits ofeducation such as money and confidence, an educated person can do more for theworld than, perhaps, a high school dropout. Education helps people become auseful member of society. The school-to-prison pipeline demonstrates of how alack of education can produce negative consequences. For those that see thevalue of education and continue their learning journey beyond the twelve yearsof high school, there is a world full of unbridled possibilities. For me,education has opened doors I never imagined accessible.
“Aristotle designatedthe liberal arts as those studies that liberate people by enlarging andexpanding their choices” (Gutek, 1995, p. 51). To use one’s education for the good of mankindis to go to medical school, join NASA, or become a teacher. An educatedindividual has the ability not only to make the world a safer place but canimpact society through contributions to their community, and promote economicgrowth.
Itall begins with the teacher’s philosophy for education. “Behind every school and everyteacher is a set of related beliefs–a philosophy of education–that influenceswhat and how students are taught. A philosophy of education represents answersto questions about the purpose of schooling, a teacher’s role, and what shouldbe taught and by what methods” (Sadker, 2017). There are both teacher andstudent-centered philosophies. I personally stand on the side of astudent-centered philosophy because I do believe that a teacher must work withthe student to discover the best way for them to understand the topic.
“Theteacher’s role is to identify those aspects that are critical and to develop conditions that enablestudents to attend to those critical aspects through an experience of variation”(Msonde & Msonde, 2017). Thestudies which have been conducted around this topic demonstrate that feedbackand instructional methods are factors that have an even greater impact on how astudent learns that those of their home environment (Msonde & Msonde,2017).In a student-centered philosophy of education, teachersfocus on the individual needs of the student and the school is the setting- aplace that aims to help students improve society and realize theirindividuality (Sadker, 2017). Teachers will face challenges are they seek todiscover what motivates each child to learn. Trial and error will come intoplay as one method fails them and a secondary route must be explored.
However,teachers are prepared for this as they too have sought out levels of highereducation. Aristotle who believed that as a result to learning, man wascapable of practical reasoning and ethical behavior and our ability to fulfilour purpose (Gutek, 1995). That purpose is to find a way to communicate withstudents in order to prepare them for a changing future. Instructional Practice”Student centered learning is regarded as amethodological orientation that focuses on certain teaching and learningmethods, “participatory methods,” which involve students taking charge of theirown learning” (Msonde & Msonde, 2017). Looking back at theprogression of education through the centuries, I have found that the road toeducation and truth has a great deal to do with those who teach. Plato’s planto create his ideal Republic demonstrated his belief that educators must beinvested in their pupils; they need to care about their present and theirfuture.
“Educating is a moral enterprise and it is the duty of educators tosearch for truth and virtue, and in so doing guide those they have aresponsibility to teach” (Smith, 2013).Onemethod of instructional practice I would use, is one that places the studentsas the central focus: Social Reconstructionism. This philosophy is known for”combining study and social action, and believe that education can and shouldgo hand in hand with ameliorating social problems” (Sadker, 2017). Thephilosophy further promotes exploration of student experiences and how to takesocial action on things happening in our world; teachers promote the idea thatactions based in theory can change the world. In Dead Poets Society, John Keating, played by Robin Williams says tohis class: “No matter whatanybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world” (Haft & Weir, 1989).This film is a prominent example of a teacher inspiring his students in theclassroom. Though fictional, the story demonstrates the importance of reachingstudents on an individual level to enhance their learning experience and is onereason I would try to implement this into my own practices. By helpingstudents and encouraging them to cherish their education I think more advanced learningcan occur.
According to the Socratic teaching method “Knowledge will not comefrom teaching but from questioning” (Smith, 2013). Discover what motivates a child to lean andkeep them wanting to participate in their own education. As a future schoolcounselor, I hope to do just that. Teacher-LearnerRelationshipsLearningis a two sided coin; it is not solely the responsibility to the educator nor issolely the responsibility of the learner. The two must work harmoniously toachieve optimal results. The learner fulfills his or her duty by taking anactive role in the learning opportunities avaliable and accepting theresponsibility that they are accountable for their failure as well as theirsuccess inside the classroom. Simple things like completing assignments,behaving properly and attending class are also the responsibilities of thelearner. The teacher wears many hats: advocate, mentor, resource.
They are responsible for finding the balanceto drive education forward. The goal of the educator should be for the twosides of the coin to operate in sync with one another, forming a student(learner) – teacher relationship. Therole of a student-teacher relationship is very important for children.
Considering how much time a student spends in the classroom over the course ofthe school year, it is important that a teacher aims to be approachable andable to create a classroom environment that is inviting and supportive tolearning. There are several factors that are necessary to create a positivestudent-teacher relationship; things like open communication and mutual respectwill foster this relationship. Teachers are well aware that no two students arealike; students have different abilities and therefore will learn at differentrates.
“Positive teacher-student relationships evidenced by teachers’ reportsof low conflict, a high degree of closeness and support, and little dependencyhave been shown to support students’ adjustment to school, contribute to theirsocial skills, promote academic performance and foster students’ resiliency inacademic performance” (Rimm-Kaufman & Sandilos, n.d). There is no doubtthat a positive student-teacher relationship is long lasting. Researchconducted by Rimm-Kaufman & Sandilos showed that the relationship canimpact not only academic achievement but behavioral problems as well.DiversityAspreviously mentioned, teachers may go through a period of trial and errorbefore the find the appropriate way to optimize a student’s learningexperience. The reason behind this is clear: no two children are exactly alikein behavior, background or learning abilities. Some may adjust quickly to the school setting and learningmay not be a barrier for them while others may not speak English or havedevelopmental disabilities. “The broad range of experiences and perspectivesbrought to school by culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diversestudents offer a powerful resource for everyone to learn more—in differentways, in new environments, and with different types of people” (Saravia-Shore,2017).
Diverse classrooms have many benefits; they allow students to gatherdifferent perspectives, interact with children who are different from them,which in turn promotes respect and an understanding of different cultures.Teachers may experience difficulty connecting with students of a differentcultural background and may need to practice teaching procedures that build onthe student’s strengths. Diversity may bring challenges intothe classroom but educators should strive to see it as an opportunity.”Students tend to want to participate and do their best when a teacher isnurturing and caring…we will not achieve even that academic successunless our children believe they themselves are cared for and learn to care forothers” (Saravia-Shore, 2017).Therefore, teachers need only to take the opportunity to get to know eachstudent; know their family, concerns, goals, strengths, weaknesses and homechallenges. As the evidence suggests, when a student feels cared for, and teachersare able to forge a learner-teacher relationship, diversity ceases to be anissue and becomes a gift. Conclusion It is not a simple task foreducators to discover what it takes to help students get the most out of theireducation.
Chances are, it takes more than the child simply coming to class forthem to understand the value of their education and how, within in their hands,is the ability to improve the world around them. Teachers have the capacity tomotivate and influence students to develop a continual appreciation foreducation, especially once they generate that spark. When a teacher chooses tocenter a learning environment on the student they are emphasizing the idea thatthe student is in control of his or her education. By drawing on induvialexperiences and strengths and developing a learner-teacher relationship, apositive foundation of education can be built.
Educators need to jump at theopportunity to help develop and mold children while they are still young toembed the thirst for knowledge. Teachers have a profound impact on theirstudents and a little understanding and encouragement can mean the differencebetween a high school graduate and a high school drop out on the fast track toprison. If teachers can instill the importance of an education from the start,children will realize that they have unbound potential and ability to changethe world.