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Philosophy of Education       


Consistent and Quality Teaching: My Role As An Educator


     Students in my classes are encouraged to be involved. Every student has an equal and legitimate voice regardless of skill. It is vital to cultivate the conviction that each voice makes a difference. I challenge my students to speak to and feel proud of their contributions to the community. It is a responsibility to both themselves and society to identify with these connections. Cooperative learning is an integral part of this concept. Students learn that art is one way in which voices matter in the democratic process. They also come to understand how important working together is in creating anything. It is through this practice that the circle of education continues towards a better world. I hope that my current students are encouraged to believe that they can play an active role in this concept.


    I believe education is a continual process. Therefore, it should allow for freedom of expression as well as the diligence of discipline. Because of this, it should be an experience of both encouragement and challenge. As a facilitator, it is my responsibility to encourage students to reach beyond their comfort zones and foster a belief in their abilities to complete their goals. I challenge my students to work beyond the middle ground by creating scaffolded assignments focused on whole learning.


     Education is about passing on the knowledge of where we have been and the visions of the future. Learning requires nurturing and expansion. For us to reach our full potential, expanding on this care is a key component. Differentiated instruction is something that I employ frequently. For this reason, tests are infrequent. Assessing the learning in my classroom focuses on both process and articulation. Students are encouraged to create baselines of their knowledge at the start of instruction. Over the semester, they keep a journal to show their thought processes. At the end of the instruction period, they critically analyze their learning. This student-guided assessment of learning fosters an environment that encourages critical thought. It enables a student to use multiple modalities to reach their own goals. Students willingly articulate what they know and provide ample data to prove it with this approach.


     Education is a social function woven into every thread of our lives. Our responsibility is to take hold of those opportunities afforded us and use them to preserve culture and contribute to a better world. My students are frequently encouraged to consider the impact their learning can have upon their community. They are encouraged to share experiences and speak about their differences. Taking a heritage-based approach affords them an understanding of how diversified the table is. It can create a global closeness.


     As an artist-educator, it is my responsibility to provide my students with the chance to meet these educational goals by supplying a sound foundation. Providing ample opportunities to explore art in a unified manner and encouraging students to use art as a means to explore their questions in other academic disciplines is a building block to this foundation. In addition, investigations that include problem-solving, process documentation, editing, and reflecting will produce learners that have honed their ability to think critically and foster self-­expression to create a stronger bond between art and life.


     Students have the opportunity to experience a critical history and solve the puzzles that life creates. Viewing where we have been can often be as important as moving forward. Art happens for a reason. Students need to be able to make those correlations to generate observations about their work. Museum trips, studio tours, books, images, web searches, and artist visits are viable ways of meeting this goal. In addition, students are encouraged to assess how other artists have handled materials, composition, content, and form to become well-versed in pulling the tools they need for the future from history.


     My current students have a unique opportunity to embrace and interact with their community. As a result, they learn to be fluent contributors to their own lives and foster the future. It is humbling, and as an educator, I am grateful to be part of that process.  

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