The cornerstone of my educational philosophy and practice is the recognition of the fact that I believe students learn through discovery and doing.
My classes involve Inquiry-based and Project-based learning. A strong emphasis is placed on "21st Century Skills":
- Information Media Literacy
- Technological Literacy
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Creative Thinking
- Project Management
- Ethics and Responsibility
Learning to Code, which falls under the category of "Do / Construct" promotes the deepest level of learning according to Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning.
A recent global survey of Chiefs Executives, Educators and students conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (The Skills Agenda: Preparing students for the future 2015) asked contributors to try to identify what skills might be required to learn and earn as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.
The Design Cycle
The Design Cycle is a problem solving methodology that is used extensively in my curriculum.
The Design Cycle is used to structure:
- Inquiry and Analysis of design problems
- Development and Creation of feasible solutions
- Testing and Evaluation of students' models, prototypes, products or systems
My goal is to support and lead students to develop skills that will enable success and fulfillment in life.
- I strive to engage students in rigorous and relevant activities through hands-on, experiential learning.
- In addition, I am strongly committed to the Digital Learning Environment and have used both Moodle and Edmodo. All information for all my classes is online (notes, assignments, unit plans, marking sheets, examples of exemplary work).
- I encourage students to design and implement their own solution to problems I pose. This requires the development of problem analysis, decision-making and problem solving skills.
- I encourage students to be self-motivated and responsible.
- I encourage, and in many cases require group work, communication and sharing of ideas. These are some of the most important skills required in today's workplace.
- I encourage students to take pride in their work and to strive for excellence in all the work they produce.
- I encourage students to self-evaluate and also to peer-evaluate. Assignments are only handed in to me for marking once a student has had other students test it thoroughly.
- I encourage students to actively show respect for others and their environment.
- I recognize that to deliver an effective computer science curriculum, I must always strive to stay on the cutting-edge of computer technology. I am constantly updating existing units and creating new ones.
- I recognize that students in computer classes possess a wide range of skills and knowledge. I take pride in knowing that I can challenge the more experienced students and at the same time provide the help needed by students who are struggling.
If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.
- John Dewey, American Psychologist and Educational Reformer
The principle goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.
- Jean Piaget, Swiss Developmental Psychologist and Philosopher
The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
- William Arthur Ward, American Journalist and Author
I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
- Albert Einstein
The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
- Mark Van Doren