The function of schooling is not to enable students to do better in school. The function of
schooling is to enable students to do better in life. – Elliot Eisner
Connection Between the TPI and Philosophy of Teaching
These words speak to the great responsibility of teachers and highlight the breadth and
importance of the non-curricular skills and values we instil in our students. Through the
Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) and our study of common learning theories and models, I
have produced my philosophy of teaching statement. Results from the TPI reaffirm the
significance I place on creating connections with my students, as Nurturing was my sole
dominant perspective. The overarching theme of my philosophy of teaching is an ethics of care
(Noddings, 2005) in which I strive to establish genuine relationships with students. I care deeply
for my students and I challenge them to be the best versions of themselves. Apprenticeship was
another perspective with a high score, and this aligns with my belief that strong learning occurs
when students are working on authentic tasks. Instead of working individually from a textbook,
my students are collaborating with one another while solving real-world problems.
Two further guiding principles are reflection and student-centred learning. Trusting
connections take time, however, they are invaluable as they allow students to be vulnerable and
take risks in their learning. I lead icebreaker activities, which allow each person to get to know
each other. I believe children learn best when they feel comfortable and I endeavour to create a
safe and nurturing environment where everyone is respected and valued. I share Noddings’s
position that “[caring] relations provide the foundation for successful pedagogical activity” (p. 4).
Correspondingly, I regard open communication and collaboration with parents, colleagues,
administration, and the community as crucial to the learning process. It truly does take a village
to raise a child.
Indigenization of Curriculum
I agree with Antoine et al.’s (2018) view that “Indigenization of curriculum requires much
more than adding Indigenous content…[it] requires us to bring Indigenous ways of thinking,
being, and learning into course design” (Antoine et al., 2018). As such, I strive to incorporate
many First Peoples Principles of Learning in my classes. Some of the principles that I feel
resonate the most with my students and I are: learning supports the well-being of the self and
the community, learning is holistic and involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions,
and learning requires exploration of one’s identity. I teach my students that each learner has
different needs and a preferred method of learning. Together we will find out what their learning
strengths are so they can most easily find success. When given autonomy regarding what they
will be learning and how they will be demonstrating their learning, students are highly motivated
and benefit from the ability to choose. From my professional development work studying First
Peoples Principles of Learning, I have a better understanding of the concept of the Medicine
Wheel and its four aspects of being: mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. It is a goal of
mine to pay more attention to each of these elements in my students, as they are considered
equally important. Lastly, being accountable for your actions is another critical life skill I stress
the importance of.
Theory of Teaching and Learning
The theory of teaching and learning I subscribe to is social constructivism. I feel this
model goes against the traditional classroom, where the teacher holds all of the knowledge and
the students soak up the content like sponges. Instead, the focus shifts to the students, how
they learn, and how active they become in their own learning. Solving problems by using inquiry
methods is a major component, as is working collaboratively with classmates. Rather than solely
lecturing, I find myself guiding students and facilitating the constructive process. For instance,
when I flip the classroom, students interpret content in their own way at home and then
collaborate with their peers the next day as they work through activities I prepared.
Constructivism’s Impact on my Teaching Approach
Moral education is important to me and constructivism allows me to incorporate learning
opportunities through debates and class discussions on real-world issues. Additionally, I model
moral character traits and support the acquisition of these qualities. Last, I train students to look
inward via meditation, yoga, and gratitude exercises. There is much to be learned about
ourselves, and this knowledge helps in our interactions with others. Students become cognizant
of the skills they have developed and the areas they need to improve in through a variety of
reflective practices. In an effort to help students ascertain their best learning methods, I
implement activities from different instructional methods. I want to support students in their
quest to build 21st-century skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and greater autonomy.
I am drawn to the approach that the teacher’s role should be more facilitative than
authoritarian and incorporate a holistic perspective. Possible topics to explore are discussed
with my students and they choose how to demonstrate their learning. I integrate experiential
learning into my lessons where students experience insights as they work collaboratively.
Although we follow provincial guidelines and I provide most of the resources, the curriculum
remains open-ended. Through active inquiry, my students build their knowledge by engaging in
interesting assignments and projects. I have had a wide variety of teaching assignments,
however, what has remained a constant is the passion and commitment to caring for students.
Through introspection, I have discovered areas I need to work on professionally and have
attained a greater understanding of myself. I am better able to approach my responsibilities with
authenticity and awareness. These qualities and continual reflections will serve me well and
help guide me through future challenges as I cultivate caring, culturally responsive, and happy
Antoine, A., Mason, R., Mason, R., Palahicky, S. & Rodriguez de France, C. (2018). Pulling
Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers. Victoria, BC: BCcampus. Retrieved from
Eisner, E. (2005). Reimagining schools. Routledge.
Noddings, N. (2005). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education.
Teachers College Press.