Meta-reflection for Standard 4: Pedagogy

The instructional strategies addressed in this paper foster effective and nurturing learning environments that promote cooperation and inquiry. This artifact satisfies standard 4: Pedagogy: Engages students in learning experiences that are meaningful, stimulating, and empirically proven to promote intellectual growth.

Instructional Strategies

Below is a direct link to all artifacts that I feel have implications regarding pedagogy.


Ethics and Morals Course Reflection


I am not the sole creator of my values; in-fact I play a small part in their development.  My values were, for the most part, chosen for me. My values were chosen by my parents in that they nurtured my character. They were chosen by my community as the community nurtured my parents. My values were chosen by my country as it provides the framework for my community’s culture. My values were chosen by my environment, my experiences, and how others as well as myself deal with those experiences.  My education and where I received that education, my husband, my friends -the only place where I have added a personal touch to my values and beliefs are in how I perceive things and how I have melded all these components of family, community, culture and environment into my continuously morphing personage. “We are not born with them [virtues], nor do we acquire them by any natural process that does not involve our own activity and perhaps more important, the activity of parents and other elders” (Aristotle).

How does this affect my teaching practices? If I believe that values are created within each person through the influences of others than I can make a difference in the growth of my students’ characters. This is true for me as well. If I believe that character continues to be shaped throughout one’s lifetime then I have the opportunity to learn alongside my students. This provides opportunities to model problem solving and to work through problems together, in the moment, or to reflect upon situations in order to wade through the pros and cons of various solutions. Everyone in a classroom should be an educator and a student when it comes to anything known or to be known in regards to morality or of any subject or discipline. “But to study with a teacher who not only speaks but listens, who not only gives answers but asks questions and welcomes our insights, who provides information and theories that do not close doors but open new ones, who encourages students to help each other learn…” (1993).

I must be explicit, cautious, and open when teaching or choosing a read aloud about responsibility, respect or compassion. I must also consider the larger community in which my students belong. “It reminds me that the questions I ask my students must take into account the larger community of truth in which they live their lives…” We do not want to create in our students “…a kind of schizophrenia in which knowing runs on one track, living on another, and never do the two tracks meet” (1993).

Yes, I have influence, but I must also take into account their ever-changing environment and self. I must create a gradual release of responsibility within my character teachings to provide a “…gradual and respectful acknowledgement of their increasing responsibility for their decisions…” (1999). My role is to guide students to become actively engaged democratic citizens. They need to be able to problem solve and be knowledgeable decision makers. It is my responsibility to show as many sides of a situation and provide my students with the tools to make educated decisions. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is not infallible protection against a soft head” (1974).


Lewis, C.S. 1974. The abolition of man. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Palmer, P. J. 1993. To know as we are known: Education as a spiritual journey. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Scales, P.C., Leffert, N. 1999. Developmental assets: A synthesis of the scientific research on adolescent     development. MN: Search Institute.

Grading Exceptional Learners

Grading…a challenge for every teacher. An extra challenge -grading children with an IEP; different learning goals than the general education student. What can we do to grade appropriately? Well, this PowerPoint will answer some questions and give some good ideas. It is important, however, to remember that grading processes are often to measure a child’s progress in comparison to the norm. Including an additional progress report with a quarterly report card, that highlights their progress in correspondence with their IEP, would be beneficial to all parties involved in the child’s education.    Exceptional learners and the Grading System Powerpoint Presentation

Ethical Dilemma: Public or private record keeping in regards to misbehavior

In my classroom I promote consistent positive feedback with a ratio of three positives to every negative. For the purpose of this paper I will be focusing on what I should do when consequences are necessary in order to redirect behavior.

I have tried two different management techniques since I began teaching at —- Elementary. A card-flipping method, which visually reminded the students of what consequences they had received as well as giving them heightened awareness of their behaviors as they were held accountable to flip their card whenever they were reminded to stop a certain behavior.

The second method that I am currently using is a more private technique. I keep track of individual  behavior reminders and tell students privately what consequences they must serve. I created a matrix where I record interruptions and any other disruptive or disrespectful behaviors. In the following sections I will dive deeper into my inquiry about the ethical controversies and dilemmas that I face when considering various techniques to hold students accountable for misbehavior.

Ethical Dilemma

Instructional Strategies: Environment, Interest, Inquiry, Assessment

Creating meaningful learning experiences begins with the learning environment. “The teacher-arranged environment [is] an active and pervasive influence on the lives of children and teachers throughout the school day. In the processes of teaching and learning, the physical environment…provides the setting for learning and at the same time acts as a participant in teaching and learning” (1999). Not only is the arrangement integral to the success of students’ behavior and academic independence but the culture and community that is developed through collaborative efforts between the teacher and the students is also an essential component. The instructional strategies addressed in this paper foster effective and nurturing learning environments that promote cooperation and inquiry. To read more Instructional Strategies

Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration?

On the very first page of the article Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration? the statement, “computers serve as a ‘valuable and well-functioning instructional tool’ in schools and classrooms in which teachers: … (c)  have some freedom in the curriculum” (25). Perhaps that’s the first thing that needs to happen if there is to be a chance for technology integration; define curriculum and then make technology a part of the curriculum. As was discussed in my instructional strategies course as well as a curriculum course I took a few quarteres ago, the purpose of curriculum is to ensure that each child whether in Mrs. Q’s class or Mr. W’s class receives the same educational opportunities. Technology is in our state standards and so should be treated as such. Technology education is not merely a freedom of instructional artistry but an educational necessity.

Before reading the article I wrote two things that I would need to change my instructional practices -of any kind- and I came up with needing the necessary knowledge, modeled scaffolding and accountability of my practice. I found it difficult to read through the first part of the article do to the focus on teachers’ beliefs and how beliefs effects what and how we teach. First of all discussing beliefs of any kind is daunting and seems impossible to wade through as everyone has different experiences, and so, has different background knowledge surrounding everything. However, I was relieved and a bit excited when I got to the section titled Implications for Professional Development. Ertmer cited Guskey’s thoughts,  “Change in beliefs follows, rather than precedes practice, and that by helping teachers adopt new practices that are successful, the associated beliefs will also change” (32). Teachers, like students, need to experience empirically proven strategies (frankly, whether they like it our not) and be held accountable for practicing and implementing those newly learned strategies or else nothing will change. If there was a more efficient and effective medical procedure that would cure an ailment I would expect my doctor to learn, practice and implement that procedure.  Truthfully, who can argue with efficiency and effectiveness  when we are constantly given more to teach in less time.

Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research & Development, 53(4). 25-39.

Maximizing Motivation

Motivation is the key to effectively educating children. There are three main aspects to maximizing a child’s motivation to read: choice, collaboration, and competence (Gaskins, 1998). “One reason that motivation and engagement may influence the development of reading comprehension is that motivated students usually want to understand text content fully and therefore, process information deeply” (Guthrie, et. al., 2004). Read more in the following document: Maximizing Motivation

Empowering Our Youth: Providing Opportunities For Discovery

The artifact below focuses on my understanding of how people learn, what the best environmental contexts for learning are, what motivates learners, what my role as a professional educator is and how these all combine into my personal pedagogy.

Human Development and Principles of Learning