The teaching philosophy assignment will be responded in two phases.
Phase I: As this is the foundation course to early childhood education, most students do not have the prior knowledge on educational theories, practices, and methods to reflect and clarify their teaching philosophy. The purpose of this Phase I (at the beginning of the semester) is to help teacher candidates start to formulate their personal philosophy. In other words, this is a pre-exercise for developing a personal philosophy of teaching. The questions listed on the assignment sheet are guides to help students think about the personal reasons, characteristics, motivations, and factors for pursuing a career in early childhood education. As there is no magic formula for writing this personal paper, students just need to put their honest thoughts on paper.
Phase II: The second part of the assignment is due toward the end of the semester. However, students will be reminded throughout the semester to make notes on the theories, philosophies, practices, methods, and approaches that fit with their beliefs on teaching young children. Note cards with references may be an efficient way for students to organize information. Students will also be encouraged to examine and share their personal beliefs regarding specific theories or ideas that are discussed in the class.
A discussion on the rubric and the nature of writing a personal philosophy paper will be reviewed at the mid-semester. A sample of a teaching philosophy paper will be given to students to prepare for a draft of their own paper.
After making notes and considering the questions listed in the assignment sheet, students will be encouraged to develop an outline that describes their personal beliefs about teaching. The outline should be specific to reflect what they value and hold important. At the same time, students are reminded to be sure that all of their ideas support what they value in education. When expressing their personal beliefs, students need to consider their audience to be their future employer. Toward the end, students are required to develop a draft that incorporates the guiding questions and this working draft will be reviewed by a peer in the class. The working draft with comments from the peer and final draft must be submitted at the end. If written communication skills are weak, students need to seek help from the Writing Center.