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MY CREED AS AN EDUCATIONAL LEADERS

04/12/2012

The word creed is derived from Latin word credo which means I believe. It is a set of beliefs which expresses a particular opinion and influences the way you live (Oxford Advance learners Dictionary). As an educators and educational leader, my life journey is guided by some beliefs which inspire me and my people in the conversation, the reflection and so that we could grow together as lifelong learners.

First of all, I would like to realize the changes and the development of the world where we exist and do our apostolic works to serve young people to search the meaning of their lives. The first prominent change is globalization and the development of information and technology which has re-shaped how the way people relate each other and how the knowledge is transmitted to the learners. Second is the decrease of the teachers’ authority on knowledge possession. Students are frequently more advance than the teacher because of their curiosity and their contact to the media such as internet and online games. Students acquire knowledge from other sources outside the classroom. Students are getting more independents in acquiring the knowledge and they have different learning styles. Third, the fast changing world with a great amount of information requires the people in education institution to prepare the young people with certain skills to understand and to use the information/ knowledge to navigate the change they are facing.

Knowledge formation and learning processes.

As educational leaders I believe that “Knowledge emerges only from situations in which learners have to draw them out of meaningful experiences. … Student cannot learn by means of rote memorization; they can only learn by directed living whereby concrete activities are combined with theory. The obvious implication of this theory is that students must be engaged in meaningful activities that induce them to apply the concepts they trying to learn. (Miranda (2011) about Dewey in Democracy and Education (1916), Experience and Education (1938).

Learning should be meaningful to student’s life. Students should be involved actively in the learning processes and apply the concepts they are learning to solve the actual problem in society. Students use their previous experiences and the new one to construct new understanding about the concepts they are learning. The authentic learning will happen if learning is “embedded in a social context, such as a classroom, where students can take part in manipulating materials and thus forming a community of learners who construct their knowledge together.” (Miranda (2011) about Dewey in Democracy and Education (1916), Experience and Education (1938).

I also believe that the basic of learning activities is discovery. Students should become creator who can produce new knowledge. “To understand is to discover, or reconstruct by discovery and such condition must be complied with if the future individuals are to be formed who are capable of production and creativity and not simply repetition. …Children go through stages in which they accept ideas they may latter discard as wrong. Understanding therefore is build up step by step through active participation and involvement. (Miranda, 2011 about Pieget in Understand is to invent, 1973).

Learning is that it is a social event. Learning happen in the social interaction with other individuals where students exchange and refine their concepts together with other students. Miranda(2011) quotes from Slavin (2000), two key principles of learning which derived from Vygotsky’s ideas. First, learning is social in nature. Children learn through joint interaction with adults and more capable peers. Through cooperative project children are exposed to their peer’s thinking process. This method makes the learning outcome available to all students and makes other students’ thinking process available to all. Second, students learn best the concepts that are in their zone of proximal development. When children are working together, each child is likely to have a peer performing on a given task at slightly higher cognitive level, exactly within the child’s zone of proximal development. Therefore, cooperative and collaborative learning should be applied in the process of teaching and learning.

Since knowledge is formed by individuals, students should become the center of all efforts in the educational institution. The yearning, wonder, wisdom, fear and confusion of the students become central to the curriculum (Kessler, 2000, p. x). Related to the instructions, it should be developed according to the need and the development stage of the students. “Instruction must be commensurate with the experiences that make students willing and able to learn. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily understood by the students. Instruction should be designed to facilitate exploration to something beyond the given information.” (Burner, 1973 in Miranda, 2011).

Developing the self-dignity of the students

Education should develop the self-dignity and self-worthy of the students. For this, I believe that educational process should be in respectful, honest and trustworthy relationship between the adult and the youths. All students should feel accepted as they have self-worth and self-dignity. “If I believe that children are loveable and capable, then it is my responsibility to honor their dignity by meeting them where they are. (Senge, 2000, p.121). Trust relationship between teachers and students, between students and students will facilitate the learning processes. Therefore it is my responsibility to nurture the sense of community of learners in the school institution where they continuously help each other to grow academically and personally in an honest, respectful and trustworthy relationship.

The four pillars of learning.

The teaching and learning should be based on four pillars as mentioned by the UNESCO so that education could help the youth to develop their intelligences and become competence to live in the fast changing world nowadays. The four pillars are learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together. (http://www.unesco.org). Through this four pillars, I believe that student will develop their sense of dignity and capable of handling the challenge in this fast changing world. “Only students with strong sense of their own dignity can grow up to be adults who can take risks, handle minor failures, and act to protect other’s people dignity. (Senge, 2000, p.123).

The role of teachers

As an educator and educational leaders I firmly believe the central role of the teacher in the success of the students. Teachers should play role as facilitator in students’ learning; they should help students to build and to create their own knowledge about the world around them. As quoted from Hattie (2003:3) in a discussion paper for Australian Capital Territory of education and training, the variables that affect student achievement, research suggests that between 50% and 60% relates to what students bring to the learning environment (their experiences, abilities, needs, cultural and ethnic background, learning styles and intelligences). But within schools, teachers are by far the most profound influence.(http://www.det.act.gov.au). Through their living examples, teachers pass on the living values and principles to the students.

I believe that educating youth and children we need partnership with parents, teachers. We all understand how important it is for parents to support their children’s education. It is common knowledge that children benefit when their parents are involved in school (Hoerr, 2005, p. 159). Therefore it part of the education leaders’ task to create condition where parents feel welcomed to involve in the school.


References:
1. Delors, Jacques Mr & Mayor Federico Mr (Director General of UNESCO), (1996) Education: the necessary utopia. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/ delors/utopia.htm
2. Gardner, Howard (1999) The Multiple Intelligence (MI). Retrieved from http://web.cortland.edu/ andersmd/learning/mi%20theory.htm
3. Hoerr, Thomas R. (2005) The art of school leadership, Association for supervision and curriculum development, Alexandria, USA
4. Hutchinson, Nicholas, FSC (2006) 100 Short Quotes: Saint John Baptist De La Salle, England.,
5. Miranda, Jesus, Jr., OP (2011) Constructivism in the Non-Traditional System of Education, PHILIPPINIANA SACRA, Vol. XLVI, No. 137 (May-August, 2011) pp. 313-344.
6. Senge, Peter M. Cambron-McCabe, Nelda. Lucas Timothy. Smith, Bryan. Dutton, Janis and Kleiner Art, (2000) Schools that learn: A fifth discipline field book for educators, parents and everyone who cares about education, Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc, New York, United State of America.
7. Teachers: The key to students’ success, Australian City Territory Department of Education and training. Retrieved from http://www.det.act.gov.au/data/assets/pdffile/0009/17964/seiTeachersKey ToStudentSuccess.pdf
8. Kessler, Rachael (2000) The soul of education: Helping students find connection, compassion and character at school, Association for supervision and curriculum development, Alexandria, Virgina USA.

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