Karina's Voice- Revisiting the role of Education
I believe that the goal of education is not only to teach academic subjects, it’s to socialize children and prepare them for adulthood. Effective curricula is used to deepen understanding about the role of friendship, perseverance, dedication… to build character.
“Intelligence plus Character- that is the goal of true Education.” Martin Luther King
There are many different forms of Character Education, but all explore the development of values. Values guide our decisions as to what is good, true and right. They depend on our feelings as well as our thoughts. The challenge as a professional teacher is to develop principles for dealing with values-laden issues in a open and ethical way. I believe my role as teacher is not to instil facts and skills, it's to foster creative thinking, trust, teamwork, and positive relationships. Everything I teach, whether it be Circus, Science, Math or English- all are simply different tools to instil the confidence and values of emotionally competent human beings.
My teaching philosophy is grounded in child development theory. Piaget and Kohlberg both discussed the importance of moral education and reasoning. I also believe that children need to have open and public discussion of day-to-day conflicts and problems to develop their moral reasoning ability. (Wikipedia.org)
Values must be co-created and shared by a community in order to be developed. Classrooms should have a value identifying and community building activity that will carry through the year, and has hopefully reflected in the school philosophies. An example of this is the Community of Learners Exercise, or the co-creation of a list of values such as below:
Example Classroom Principles/Values (adapted from Unitarian Universalist Principles)
- Each person is important
- Be kind in all you do
- We are free to learn together and search for truth and meaning
- All people need a voice
- Build a just and peaceful world
- We care for planet earth, the home of all living things.