How would you define the characteristics of a teaching professional, and how will codes of ethics shape your professional practice?
Most people regard teaching as a skill and not a profession mainly because it lacks a clearly defined autonomy and rigorous training. Although critics argue that, these two main features make teaching less of a profession, several other qualities affirm its position as a profession. One, the ethical standards for conduct that apply to all teachers gives the field a professional outlook. Ethics can be defined as the set of standards that prescribe suitable professional conduct. Internationally, the National Education Association (NEA) has developed a code of ethics that governs the way in which teachers relate to their students.
While the aspect of autonomy is not clearly defined, the teaching profession still holds great autonomy. In the classroom, teachers are fully autonomous in that they have the authority to decide which subjects are taught, the techniques of teaching and the method of evaluating students. Teaching can also be considered a profession because of the ability of teachers to make a spontaneous decision and conduct self-reflection activities. Complying with code of ethics increases the reputation and marketability of a teacher. By having the knowledge that ethics are implemented in the workplace, a teacher can stay focused as a professional. It also describes the expectations from all teachers so that they can always perform their best as educators.
Describe the key elements of effective observation and explain how teachers can use this vital skill to support student learning.
Observation is a valuable tool for learning about students’ behavior in the classroom. Dr. Gonzalez- Mena emphasized several vital elements of observation. She proposed that any teachers conducting an observation go into that process with an open mind. She prompted the teacher to provide various speculations and assumptions to avoid restricting observations. Gonzalez- Mena also proposed that teachers should avoid making judgmental decisions. During observation, they were expected to use objective expressions and details. Observing would means watching how students read or play in school. Dr. Gonzalez- Mena affirmed that the teacher observing should distinguish their own emotions and after pondering on them, assess the students in an objective manner without any feelings. A professional teacher would be very considerate of how the students feel about being observed. Some students may become nervous and uncomfortable during this activity. Once an instructor uses the key elements to gain understanding and knowledge, they can use this knowledge to foster a favorable setting for learning. These remarks can be distributed to parents and other school employees to create an exchange of information to produce the excellent learning experience for children.
Identify the key elements in each of these philosophies. Then choose one of them and describe what kinds of activities you might see in a classroom in which the teacher is guided by this philosophy.
Idealism dictates that ideas can be considered the only consistent form of reality. It involves reason, accuracy, and generalization with great works of writing, music and fine art. This viewpoint can be described as elitist as the ideas originate from the affluent and the privileged (Kauchak & Eggen, 2008). The philosophy founded upon the principle that the world exists in spite of whether or not human beings are there to recognize is the basis of realism. It reasons that there are significant elements to discover, and observation of the actual, physical universe is the certain way to understand these elements.
Pragmatism declares that the truth is the most practical thing. This idea also promotes change when the appropriate conditions deserve it. To a realist, truth represents communication between the surroundings and the person (Kauchak & Eggen, 2008). Existentialism puts forward that people are not members of a systematic world and that human beings fashion their own realities in their own special methods. Many existentialists cleave to negative views of civilization (Kauchak & Eggen, 2008). The philosophies of learning include progressivism, post modernism, perrenialism, and essentialism. Perrenialism is associated to both pragmatism and utopia in that it promotes the idea that the world and human nature are invariable. Instructors who adopt this view will offer a thorough, academic curriculum for all learners (Kauchak & Eggen, 2008). Essentialists subscribe to the notion that there is a basic knowledge that all learners should possess. This type of educationalist stresses on proficiencies and information that are practical in the current world (Kauchak & Eggen, 2008).
Why is this teaching practice critical in today’s era of standards and accountability, which was addressed in Chapter 1 of the course text?
Dr. Sternberg asserted that if an instructor demanded more productivity from their students, it is imperative that they set high expectations for them (Sternberg, Kaufman & Grigorenko, 2009). He mentioned a few instances; one of his earlier school days where he performed dismally on an examination and because of that, the instructors did not expect him excellent performance from him. He was then accepted to the next level without grasping the skills necessary to pass the current class. A few years later, the doctor encountered a teacher who placed higher expectations on him.
The high benchmark resulted in better grades in school. Dr. Sternberg stated that when an instructor places high expectations in their students, it determines whether these children shall become successful academically. There is an emerging reason for alarm because instructors have been constantly progressing students that did not obtain the skill set required to advance to the subsequent grade (Sternberg et al, 2009). If teachers begin demanding higher expectations from their students, and upgrade their own standards, then it becomes very likely that the students would get the education that they warrant and that will eventually assist to protect their futures.
Kauchak, D. P., & Eggen, P. D. (2008). Introduction to teaching: Becoming a professional. Upper Saddle River, N.J: PH/Merrill/Pearson.
Sternberg, R. J., Kaufman, J. C., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2009). The essential Sternberg: Essays on intelligence, psychology, and education. New York: Springer Pub. Co.