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Opinions of Monday, 8 August 2022

Columnist: Daniel Yiadom Boakye

Developing an effective teaching philosophy: An overview of mine

A class in session A class in session

"Teaching philosophy is a self-reflective statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning. It's a one to two-page narrative that conveys your core ideas about being an effective teacher in the context of your discipline," according to the University of Minnesota's Driven to Discover.

My teaching philosophy is that 'learning takes place better when the teacher comes down to the level of students’ understanding'.

This philosophy is based on the principle of cognitivism which is anchored essentially on following pillars:

• Learning is a process of organizing information into conceptualized models.

• Instructions should be organized, sequenced, and presented in a manner that is understandable and meaningful to the learner.

• Retention and recall are important to build schemata in the brain.

• Memory is supported by organizing learning materials and

• Teacher providing tools that help learner's brain to process information.

As a student of politics and a prospective Government teacher, I had developed taste for verbosity or big words and terminologies which eventually underpinned the very nature and form of my teaching as an inexperienced teacher during my internship at Obuasi Senior High Technical School in the year 2012.

Two weeks into the internship, some students organized themselves to bring to my attention how it was difficult for most of them to understand the words I used in class, talk less of understanding the lesson itself.

The revelation from those students led me to create and adopt for myself, this teaching philosophy which uses very simple and moderate words to present lessons in a manner that is easily comprehensible and meaningful to the learner as practicable as possible.

Teaching philosophy such as mine does not hinge merely on simple words, it demands effective preparation and organization of lessons in a sequential manner, making good use of relevant teaching and learning resources in the shape of pictures, diagrams, videos, and other materials relevant to specific lessons to build a mental codification of experience that enables the lesson to
stick with the student forever.

The validity of this philosophy is that it provides a very simple mode of communication as a medium of giving and receiving instruction in order to relieve the students from struggling to understand the words, in the first place, before the lesson itself.

Also, effective preparation, sequential presentation of instruction, and using relevant teaching and learning resources reduce talking as they do the talking for the teacher.

The application of my philosophy has actually made my work easier and simpler because it does avoid duplication of work since I do not have too much burden to explain unfamiliar words before coming to the lesson itself.