Cultural competency and the art of teaching ~
I believe that truly knowing each child is the heart of great education, and that building rich and meaningful relationships, is the key to the heart of the teaching profession. I also believe that, if we truly hope to help young people develop the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to flourish in a complex, diverse, and increasingly interdependent world, we must strive to create a meaningful and safe environment for all children to grow and flourish in. We must put as much effort as possible into engaging each child’s intellect, imagination, and awaken their senses for social responsibility.
I have witnessed, that if we want our young people to become confident, resourceful, and enthusiastic learners, we must commit ourselves to building a diverse and welcoming school community. Children have the right to be in a school community where compassion, humor, and respect, are woven throughout the curriculum, and the spirit of the school; a community that understands the beauty and value of diversity.
I base my core education philosophy, findings, and interpretation of what is a thoughtful learning experience, primarily on the tenets of Social Constructivist Theory, which asserts that knowledge is built by the learner internally rather than being imported from an external source, or as Magda Gerber so beautifully wrote “Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play.” In addition, with the understanding that the experiential world is complex, intricate learning must involve the consideration of multiple truths, representations, and perspectives, thus constructivist learning environments must emphasize authentic tasks in a meaningful context rather than abstract instruction out of context. Furthermore, to facilitate our constructivist view, we ought to design a school environment that encourages children to freely and creatively manipulate objects and ideas, and construct the day in a way that helps them unfold, and bring into focus what is relevant to them.
And finally, I truly believe that by providing the motivation for meaningful and contextually grounded explorations, in which multiple realities are explored, we may offer children to unravel cognitive knots in a joyful process, thereby acknowledging the complexity of the real world.
With love, Joy, and gratitude,