John Dewey has long been hailed as among the world’s philosophers, particularly in the field of education.
His groundbreaking theories on the various learning models advocate a participatory learning approach in education; approaches which have found practical and effective applications inside the classroom even a hundred years since he first forwarded his ideas.For me, the study of Dewey’s philosophies and teaching strategies should be a cornerstone of any teaching curriculum. I believe that the study of Dewey and other schools of educational philosophy is a foundation course that all teachers should know and take into heart. In particular, Dewey’s ideas on using real-life tasks and challenges find great significance in my e-learning course. In particular, the immersion, or the practical experience of handling a class was of great importance because it was through this hands- on activity that I was able to see how the theories I have been studying find actual application in the real world.As Dewey said, there is no better context for learning than the context of real life.
Most e-learning courses offer pure theories without any exposure on how such theories find practical form, while some skills training courses offer a sink or swim design without offering any background information. I believe that regardless of the type of platform, the best programs offer solid theoretical foundations as well as practical experience, and that is what my program has given me. Studying this course, I was given the opportunity to learn Dewey’s philosophies and see it in action as well.Statement of PurposeStudies have shown that among Hispanics, the single biggest factor that affects the students’ fluency in oral English is the strong use of Spanish in the home and the immediate community. The disparity between phonological characteristics between Spanish and English creates a thick accent in Hispanics that can negatively affect communication, and hence can be a barrier in their learning as well.
As a teacher with a Spanish accent, this study is very significant for me. I have realized that often times, what we say is not as important as how we say it. I may be articulate in my choice of words, but because I speak with an accent, then that gets in the way of how my message is received.
Inside the classroom, this translates to confusion. If the teacher cannot be understood because of her pronunciation, then it becomes a barrier to learning. Instead of focusing on understanding what I say, my students will focus instead on trying to listen to the sound that I make. This situation is similar to reading, when your students are fluent and can read fast and automatically, then they can focus of comprehending the content. Therefore, if my accent is too thick, then my students will use most of their learning time trying to recognize my words instead of trying to understand them.
This for me is an unacceptable situation. As a teacher I should be the one to create the opportunity to learn and not be the cause of its delay. That is why I am resolved to improve my English pronunciation and neutralize my Spanish accent, so that what I am saying is clearly recognized and understood by my students.