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Reflective Education


  •  Education is a vital key component in children’s life. As civilization progresses, we must make changes to our curriculum based on past theories, concepts, and ideas in order to make a superior teaching system for not only students, but for society as well. It was in Education Foundation course 305 and 306 where I learned not only about the philosophy and history of the educational systems, but also child development

  • In Education Foundation course 305 I learned to think more holistically about students. To be an effective teacher you have to be culturally relevant; to make the curriculum more relatable to each child rather than one child. According to Gloria Ladson-Billings-creator of the term, culturally relevant teaching is a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Participating in culturally relevant teaching essentially means that teachers create a bridge between students’ home and school lives, while still meeting the expectations of the district and state curricular requirements (Coffey).

  • Education Foundation course 306 discussed theories on child’s development and the education. It is important to understand the child’s development and how it might affect the classroom. Two theorist play a vital role in the theory of cognitive development: Piaget and Vygotsky. Piaget’s cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and environmental experience. Children construct an understanding of the world around them, then experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment (McLeod 2009). Vygotsky believed it was the role of culture and social interactions that affects the children’s cognitive development (Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development). Vygotsky also came up with the zone of proximal development, ZPD; where tasks that are too difficult for children to master alone, but can be mastered with assistance (Santrock 2013).The ZPD states the role of a teacher as a necessary facilitator of a child’s cognitive development.

  •  By using these theories and concepts in my future classroom, I am positive it will make me an effective teacher. In today’s society we are very culturally diverse. I want to teach in a way that every child from different cultures can relate to. In my years of education I have only learned about the Western culture; it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I realized this. Culturally relevant teaching is a better and more efficient way to teach students in the twenty-first century: to teach with a curriculum that the child can be familiar with rather than forcing the Western culture. Based off of Piaget’s theory I will take a constructivist approach at teaching; teaching in a way that the students discover the answers, reflect on them, and discuss them, rather than imitating the teacher. From Vygotsky’s theory I will place instruction in a meaningful context; I will provide students with the opportunities to experience learning in real-world settings (Santrock 2013). I believe that education is the key to success and that by incorporating these theories and concepts into education, I will set my students up for success.

 Works Cited

Coffey, H., Culturally Relevant Teaching. Retrieved from

Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. (2009, September 17). Jean Piaget. Retrieved from

Santrock, J. (2013). Cognitive Developmental Approaches. In Child Development (13th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Samantha G
Experienced Elementary Education Tutor
Northeastern Illinois University
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