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This paper is a reflection of what I have learnt through out the course. One of the things that I have learnt is professionalism in pedagogy. Professionalism in the field of education is very important because it reflects on the integrity of the teachers and the image of the school. There are several attributes of professionalism and one of them is the commitment to the needs of the students so that they can be helped to achieve their potential. Professionalism entails more than punctuality and appearance, it also touches on personal discipline, manners and personality.
This means that teachers must be role models to the students and these calls on the teachers to have a higher standard of influences. For the teachers to be responsible towards their students they must observe their professional code of ethics strictly and this helps teachers to do what is right and also to generate respect from the students. Professional teachers make sure that they are committed in making their students achieve their goals and objectives in a safer learning environment. They also make effective programs and plans, have wide knowledge of their areas of teaching, adapt easily to change and also have great classroom management skills.
Another area I will reflect on is cognitive learning and the most important theory in this area is the Piagets theory of cognitive learning. In this theory, Piaget outlines four main stages which are the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and the formal operational stages. According to Piaget, human beings construct their individual meanings by interacting, accommodating and assimilating. This theory can be readily applied in a primary school classroom. In the preoperational stage, teachers can use concrete props and visual aids and make sure that they use short instructions. In this stage, the teachers should also be very sensitive because the level of interpretation for the student is low.
For the concrete operational stage, the teacher should give the students the opportunity to manipulate and test various objects and also make sure that the presentations and readings and well organized and brief. In brief, these cognitive theories and theories of social development are very applicable in a primary school classroom. They are very important because they help in the creation of fundamental structures that can help in the interpretation of the learning needs of an individual and the class as a whole. This means that the understanding of these theories is very important because they act as a guide that helps the teachers to deliver the curriculum to a wide spectrum of students of different abilities and ages. Another area of interest is behaviorism which is one of the most important theories of education. Behaviorism is a theory that concerns itself with observable behaviors and how they are dictated by environmental stimuli.
According to psychologists classical conditioning is a type of learning that occurs when people learn to produce emotional and psychological responses that are involuntary. One of the most important elements of learning is construction of knowledge which leads us to the constructivist leaning theory. This theory suggests that learners create their won knowledge of the things they study rather than receiving the knowledge that is transmitted unto them by the teachers. This theory focuses on personal and internal constructions of knowledge.
From a social point of view, constructivism suggests that all learners first construct knowledge in a social context then personalize it by individually internalizing it. Another important thing in education field is motivation. For learning to take place, the students must be motivated to learn. There are two types of motivation- intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within a person and is driven by thing such as desire to succeed, desire to accomplish goals and the desire to get recognized.
On the other hand extrinsic motivation is motivation that is influenced by external things such as rewards and motivation. Teachers can motivate the students and help to improve their quality of learning. For motivation to take place the Maslow hierarchy of needs must be taken in consideration. The role of motivation and volition in initiation and maintenance of learner's efforts is emphasized in self directed learning. It also affords the learners a great deal of independence by shifting control from the teachers to the learners and since the learners know their needs better than the teachers, they are able to decide what is worthwhile and what is not worthwhile for them.
This method is very beneficial to the students because it helps them to develop domain specific knowledge and allows the learners to transfer conceptual skills and knowledge to diverse situations (Knowles, 1950). Learners can be supported as participants to self-directed learning by teachers through raising awareness of their role in learning and engaging them in discursive activities. These discussions can yield valuable insights that will ultimately help the learners even though these discussions may not provide the answers they need. Teachers can help in the learning process by creating a supportive atmosphere that will facilitate learning.