SIB 1Running head: STATEMENT OF INFORMED BELIEFS Statement of Informed Beliefs Essay Bree Hohnbaum Instructor: Kae Hamilton EDUCATION 204: Families, Communities, & Culture Tuesday, Thursday, 10:00am-11:15am, Fall 2011
SIB 2 Statement of Informed Beliefs Essay Diversity in schools is everywhere; understanding what makes up a school is a crucial fortoday’s teachers. Understanding how each and every student learns can be a difficult task toaccomplish, but the reward is well worth the effort. As a future educator, I would like toaccomplish this difficult task, and master it, if possible. There are a few things to take intoconsideration when doing this. I will discuss, in the rest of this paper, how I would like to dealwith diversity in my own classroom someday. There are five sections in which I would like totouch on and these are: all students can learn, teacher’s expectations, students’ social ecologytheory, cultural diversity instruction, and curriculum for all learners.All Students Can Learn It is my responsibility to make sure that every student has an equal opportunity to learn.Each and every student is capable of learning, if he or she is given the chance. It is also my ownresponsibility, as a future educator, to make every student want to learn, not just because he orshe has to be there. I would like to make the education process something that is fun to eachindividual student, so that they will go on to future classes with a bright expectation and maybeeven change their previous views on school. The way that I can go about this is to learn whateach student’s strengths and weaknesses are and this can be measured by Howard Gardner’sTheory of Multiple Intelligences. There are eight of them and they are listed as linguistic,logical, mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal,existential, and naturalist. The idea is that every student has strength in one of these categories.It is then my job, as their educator, to learn which intelligence each student works best with, andthen work on helping that student learn what they need to know in the way that works for themin their own intelligence category (Berns, 2010). For instance, if a student is struggling with a
SIB 3math problem and they are a naturalist, I could relate the problem to something in nature thatrelates to them. The management of the classroom plays a big role in how students will learn. I will,personally, manage my own classroom using positive reinforcement when it comes to the rulesand norms of the class. I would like to give students points for good behavior through the day,and then at the end of the day I will give the student with the most points a small toy or a pieceof candy for being on their best behavior and learning that rules are important. Using this, it willmake the classroom more orderly and will make students want to behave so that every studenthas a chance to learn without there being chaos. Also, in order to avoid bullying, I will takeaway recess minutes to those who need more discipline. I do think that it is important for theteacher to know all students and have an idea of the students’ background, as in learning whommembers of their nuclear family are and what is going on within the students’ microsystem, sothe student will know that I care about them individually.Teacher’s Expectations “Children with high expectations for success on a task usually persist at it longer andperform better than children with low expectations” (Berns, 2010). This is true for school ingeneral as well. If I place high expectations on my students, they will then place thoseexpectations upon themselves and succeed. However, if the expectations are too high or areunreasonable, this could set the student up for failure. When I make the expectations, I will becautious to make them reasonable and obtainable for all. If the student has an internal locus ofcontrol, this makes having high expectations easier for the student will take it into their ownhands and see that the control is within them to succeed.
SIB 4 Having clear, set goals is very important when it comes to students’ educational process.Giving reasoning behind the goals is a way to help students learn why those goals are set therewhich is more effective than saying just because. There are three different types of goalstructures: Cooperative, Competitive, and Individualized goal structures. I would like to useIndividualized goal structures because they promote teacher-student interaction and make thestudent take responsibility for his or her own self (Berns, 2010). If there are no goals foreducation, there will be no standards to live up to, and the student will no longer want to try. Ifthere are set goals and possibly a reward for achieving these, the students are then moremotivated to learn. However, it is my own responsibility to make these goals known and pushthe students to achieve this. I must take accountability for the outcomes of each student and Imust live up to the school or state’s standards as well as making the students live up to my own.Student’s Social Ecology Theory Connecting learning to students’ social ecology is crucial. The student’s social ecology isconnected to learning in more ways than just one. Ecology is “the science of interrelationshipsbetween organisms and their environments” (Berns, 2010). According to UrieBronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development, school is in the students’microsystem and this directly affects them. Learning is something every student must do, inorder to succeed in life and in order to get him or her effectively socialized for later on in theiradult life. It is my goal, as a future teacher, to effectively pursue this. Families, Communities, and Culture all impact the student’s learning greatly. Since allof these things are in the student’s microsystem, according to Bronfenbrenner, it will have agreater effect than if they were in another system, like the mesostyem. For example, ifsomething happens to the child at home, like a divorce in the family between the parents, the
SIB 5child is likely to take this to school and it can affect their working performance. The child willnot be able to easily concentrate and might need to leave the classroom frequently. This willcause a direct effect to the student’s learning. My goal is to help these students when somethingbad does happen in their family, community, or culture. I will try to give everyone a fair chanceand learn the most I can about the student’s religions, family members and things that are goingon at home or anywhere else they go when they are not in school. I can then take this and applyit to my own curriculum and give everyone a fair chance. Things do happen outside of schooland as an educator; I would like to help the student maintain a proper education in their own timeof need.Cultural Diversity Instruction One thing I would like to try in my own class is; on the first day or so of school, haveeveryone go home figure out what their histories are and what ethnic background he or she camefrom. I will then take what I have found and put various pictures around the room that relatesand I will also try and work some sort of activity into my curriculum that reflects the student’scultural background. Every student is unique and my job is to make sure every student feelwelcome and want to learn. If I do this effectively, then no student will feel bad if they do notget to participate for some project or for some other sort of holiday that we celebrate in theclassroom. This will also teach the other students and me (being a future teacher) about culturesaround the world, which is an important thing for students to know. Cultural assimilation is “the process by whereby a minority (subordinate) cultural grouptakes on the characteristics of the majority (dominant) group” (Berns, 2010). Culturalpluralism is “mutual appreciation and understanding of various cultures and coexistence insociety of different languages, religious beliefs, and lifestyles” (Berns, 2010). This being said,
SIB 6the difference between the two is that cultural pluralism is good and is what I am striving topursue in my own classroom for the classroom is always very diverse and no two people havethe same background. Cultural assimilation is something to steer clear of because I wanteveryone to be unique, I do not want the majority of the group taking of characteristics of thedominant culture or cultures. Society as a whole is moving away from cultural assimilation.Equality and appreciation of those that are different from us is something I strive to push in myown classroom.Curriculum for All Learners In order for my own methods and assessments to work, I will have to adjust them asmany times as possible for the student’s to receive the information effectively. Trial and error iswhat I will be doing in my first year or so, for I do not know what to expect of a class I do notteach yet. I do have a set list of ways I would like things to go throughout the year, but if somestudents are failing and others are exceeding, I need to implement different teaching methods orassessments that equally fit their needs. Asking another teacher who has been at the school forsome time might be a good solution when I get stuck on something or when I need some advice.Most teachers will be willing to help. As far as delivery of information goes, I have a way that Ithink things will go, but as I said before, everything is subject to change depending on howsmoothly things go through the year. My overall goal is to have every student come out of myclassroom and know that they learned a lot that year. Through getting to know each student based upon their assignments, work in class, andtests, I will get a grasp on where the student needs improvement and where they can advance.Some students may need more time than others to complete specific tasks or tests, and otherswill need shorter times. My theory is that I will have a list of other assignments or art projects
SIB 7that the students who are fast on things can work on while the others need more time finishingthings up. This way, everyone gets a fair chance, but at the same time, the students who are fastat finishing things are not bored and cause chaos in the room for they have more things to workon. I would also like to show a video or something to keep the students occupied while I cantake those students who need more one-on-one time with me and work on the things they needhelp with. I would like every student to be on grade level at the end of the year, when they leavemy classroom and go on to the next grade up. In conclusion, all students are different. They come from different backgrounds, cultures,religions, communities, and economic backgrounds. My goal is to make each student feelwelcome and want to learn. In doing this I must consider every student and take the time toknow the little details. This helps the students to succeed when they know that I truly care aboutthem and know a little about their past. I would like for both the students and myself to comeout of the classroom at the end of the year knowing that we learned a lot, not just meeting theeducational goals, but that we learned a lot about each other as well. The more diverse schoolsbecome, the more we need to all strive for equality and the universal design. No student shouldever be left behind.
SIB 8 ReferencesBerns, Roberta M. (2010). Child, Family, School, Community: Socialization and Support. (8th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Print.