My Pedagogic Creed*
Updated: Aug 7, 2020
*Modeled after John Dewey’s Pedagogic Creed
by Dr. Kyra M. Caldwell Templeton
ARTICLE ONE. WHAT EDUCATION IS
I believe that education is a sphere of influence that is fostered through constant discourse initiated at birth and carried on throughout generations for the purpose of advancement. Education does not solely exist in the formal institutional state (ie. School buildings and universities) however, it is an evolving sphere of influence that transforms through personal and societal experiences. The informal aspect of education (ie. Familial and community based) is the most influential and long lasting for the purpose of development and growth of the society in which it occurs.
I believe that education is liberating. Acquiring knowledge traditionally (academics) and non-traditionally (experience), education provides choice and choice is equivalent to freedom. However, one must choose education in order to be liberated by it. If that does not occur, ignorance and confinement prevails.
I believe that education is humane. The existence of all forms of education, informal and formal, serves humanity. The denotation of humanity states that it is the condition or state of being human, a collective view of humankind, the totality of human beings. Therefore, education connects humankind and provides them with the language to communicate in a multitude of ways. Hence, it is imperative for education to be offered to all equally. Education should emphasize service to humankind, beyond the act of education, but using acquired knowledge to serve others and propel them towards advancement. Additionally, the practitioners of education must exemplify humane practice because they have the responsibility to provide effective discourse that creates a language of knowing and understanding.
I believe that education is tenacious. Its consistent nature allows for societal and cultural longevity. Through the multitude of past, present, and future worldly obstacles, education transmits information and awareness throughout generations. Education has the responsibility to maintain and communicate traditions, beliefs, and practices.
I believe education is diverse. Diversity in education is imperative because the various cultures that exist in the world that should be considered in the learning experience. Knowledge acquired from numerous cultures provides a well-rounded view and perspective that can be utilized for continued evolution. In order to cultivate a democratic educational experience, diversity must be considered. The diversity that exists in society is reflected in many classrooms today. The diverse composition of classrooms conveys many challenges as well as many opportunities for teachers and students. With the knowledge of effective practices and procedures, teachers can create and implement an educational experience that is responsive and conclusive to the diverse needs of all children.
Diversity in pedagogical practices allows teachers to present, instruct, and inform students of human experience, actions, and social conditions, thus contributing to a well rounded learning experience. Teachers must be mindful of the diversity that exists in the classroom, embracing the differences and encouraging students to accept the variations is the first step to teaching to diversity.
I believe education is illuminating. It provides a clear path to understanding. Additionally, education elucidates the path from the past, to provide clarity to the future. It enables individuals to create a passageway to their own success and make meaning from their own experience.
ARTICLE TWO. WHAT THE SCHOOL IS
I believe that the school is the façade of education. It is a location in which learning takes place in the traditional sense.
I believe that the school is social. It is the place in which discourse occurs and education is formalized, however, the school promotes social interaction in order for knowledge to be transmitted in an organized way. Knowledge is created through collaboration and school provides that space in which that can occur. It provides a physical environment in which community can be developed and maintained.
I believe the school represents a microcosmic view of life. While certain aspects of the school are representative of life, the school should be a place where one prepares for life and the social interactions one may be presented with in life. Additionally, schools provide social interaction, which is the foundation for cognitive development. Social interactions embed cooperative learning in the curriculum, and as a result learning becomes engaging.
I believe school is an institution that helps develop academic and personal relationships, both, which accelerates educational discourse and the transmission of knowledge through experiences. Teacher/student relationships are fostered through the teaching and learning process. The significance of relationships functions as the basis of motivating students to learn, thus improving overall academic performance and personal growth. Student/student relationships develop through constant academic and social interaction. It is critical for peers to learn to connect on various levels and work collaboratively to create experiences and create new knowledge through experiences.
"Teacher/student relationships are fostered through the teaching and learning process."
I believe that the role of the teacher in a school is to facilitate understanding. Teachers should be facilitators of knowledge, leaders of discovery, and directors of interpretation. In the modern classroom, the role of teacher is to ensure that students are engaged in the active construction of knowledge. Teacher as facilitator, leader, and director relates to how learners learn through discovery and an interpretation of their experience. Facilitating empowers learners to be responsible for their learning, they will begin to explore the “what” and the “how” themselves. The stark dichotomy that exists between teacher and facilitators present a clear reason regarding the need for transformation in schools. While teachers present and provide, facilitators guide and inquire. This type of behavior is needed in order to support the ever-changing realm of education. If this behavior is practiced, the result will be a classroom that is a community of shared experiences that functions as the catalyst for the construction of knowledge.
I believe that the role of the student in schools is to be an active participant in the learning experience. Education is an active process. Learning should not be “passive absorption”; it should be a constructive and intentional practice with associations and experiences. In conjunction with social interaction and knowledge construction, education is a connection of shared activities, which shapes and molds its participants through active engagement.
Learning is an ever changing and evolving process that is at times viewed as linear and standard, a process with a beginning and an end. Overall, the practices, the attitudes, and the values of the facilitator can promote student learning. The school indeed presents a continual process in which prior knowledge and experience creates new knowledge, thus stimulating the mental process of understanding and synthesis. The school is a place were learning goes beyond thinking.
ARTICLE THREE. THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF EDUCATION
I believe that the subject-matter of education should represent individuality, progress, and change. Regardless of content, all subjects should encourage students to formulate their own voice in order to create meaning. The subject-matter of education should be progressive to promote cognitive growth in the teacher and the student. If this occurs, deeper connections to the content will stimulate self-reliance and efficiency. Change is critical to education because is supports the ideals of education as a fluid experience; a social and active process that promotes the concept of “life-long learning.” The continuum of knowledge will transform the role of education in a democratic setting. All participants will react positively to change, create and maintain a common goal, and strive to cultivate the ongoing experience of education.
I believe that the subject-matter should be relevant. Through decades of educational research, curriculum, and instruction, it is evident that people gain knowledge from what they consider to be relevant to their lives, based on this evidence; curriculum should focus on the needs, experiences, interests, and abilities of all students. Students should interact with one another and develop social proficiencies to evolve and incorporate change in the community in which they live. Ultimately, curriculum and instruction should be a process of ongoing growth to stimulate life-long learning.
I believe that the subject-matter in education is an exploration of identity and knowing. All core subjects serve a purpose that can be classified in a myriad of ways; however, they all can be viewed as avenues that a student can take in order to hone in on their various cognitive abilities through reflection and collaboration. Math and science reinforce problem solving skills and inquiry. English and History require the ability to reflect connect, and communicate. Although schools focus on core subject areas, additional content inclusive of Fine Arts and Physical Education are important when considering the cognition of the child in a holistic way.
The goal of all subject-matter should be to effectively engage students for the purpose of inspiring them to invest in the practice of life-long learning.
ARTICLE FOUR. THE NATURE OF METHOD
I believe that the nature of the method should be conscious. The presence of conscious pedagogy will assist in the production of meaning through an educative process that will shape and mold a curriculum. As a result, a democratic classroom will become a reality because the participatory experience will foster continual growth.
I believe that the nature of the method should be fluid. The most valuable element about teaching is flexibility; the ability to be prepared for whatever challenges the students or the profession places in one’s path. If facilitators maintain a liberal view, it allows for innovative ideas, which results in the active development of the school as well as the individuals in the school.
I believe that the method should be communicative. Teachers, students, parents, and the community should partner to participate in constructive discourse in order to positively affect learning. Continuous communication amongst all stakeholders allows for all to work towards a common goal and will encourage collaborative efforts to achieve that goal.
I believe that the nature of the method should be carefully planned. Facilitators of knowledge should be intellectual in the sense that they are experts in child development and their respective content. Possession of the aforementioned characteristics will enable instructors to respond appropriately to the environment in which they teach. Understanding how students learn and granting them equal access to the curriculum is the responsibility of the teacher. Teachers must encourage students to learn through thinking in order to make meaning of the content presented, this can only occur if lessons are adequate planned and executed. An effectively planned lesson includes the generalities of the content embedded with the knowing of child development and learning styles. Additionally, instructors should be able to identify misconceptions and readjust instruction as needed in order for mastery to be demonstrated.
"Understanding how students learn and granting them equal access to the curriculum is the responsibility of the teacher."
Lastly, the nature of the method should be engaging. Teachers have the responsibility to promote learning through engagement. If a teacher does not present information in a creative and joyful manner, students will not be invested in the learning experience. Through active engagement, teachers motivate. In an effort to maximize motivation in learning, teachers must create an environment in which optimal learning can occur. In order for this fervor to be transmitted from the teacher to the student, the subject matter must inspire students to act and think.
ARTICLE FIVE. THE SCHOOL AND SOCIAL PROGRESS
I believe that the school and social progress must advance simultaneously. It is imperative that as society is cultivated, the school should mature and work to support that growth in order to better prepare students for academic and personal success outside of the confines of school. Students should be equipped with the appropriate skill set in order to further advance and become active change agents in the society in which they reside.
I believe that the school should prepare students for social progress through embedding self-regulating and self-directed behaviors in order for them to understand how to adjust with the changing times. Both behaviors are beneficial for inspiring students to engage throughout the learning experiences. The student will be motivated to learn through experience and satisfaction throughout the process will become fundamental to their personal and academic success.
I believe that school and social progress are reformative. Reform is elicited through the reaction to the needs of the school as well as the social environment in which it exists. The responsibility of the community is to respond to the deficits of the school in order for it to progress. Comparatively, it is the responsibility of the school to conduct outreach to the community in order to impart traditional knowledge to assist with addressing the societal deficits. Ultimately, the collaboration between school and society should be cyclical in order for the benefit to be dual.
I believe that the school cannot advance socially if stakeholder investment is not solidified. It is not only the duty of the school entities to advocate for reform, but also the community and governmental entities to support the efforts. Schools produce the future citizens and resources should be invested in order to sustain education and protect the environment in which it occurs.
Finally, I believe that all elements written in the aforementioned proclamation should support cognitive development, elicit self-determination, and promote life-long learning.