Competency 4: Think Critically and Reflectively

    Narrative

    For the first part of the competency, “develops a personal vision of inclusive educational practice,” I chose my Multicultural Teaching Philosophy. Throughout this paper, I incorporate my own experiences of being transracially adopted in a primarily white area. Most importantly, I wanted to approach multicultural education as something ingrained into the curriculum, instead of a “feel-good additive” as Nieto (1994, p. 260) describes. Inclusive educational practices are not an afterthought, but part of the entire curriculum. Over the past year, after experiencing several different instances of ignorance (which is not inherently a bad thing) with regards to other cultures, specifically Asian ones, I’ve been intentional about using my blog as a tool to help educators incorporate multicultural books into their classroom. I’ve created book lists featuring kids with different physical abilities, special gifts, from different time periods, and from all over the world. This journey is never-ending as each person’s experiences in life are singular and unique to them.

    For the second part of the competency, “identify the relationship of discipline to the broader field of education,” I chose a journal article reaction paper from EDPS 545, Social And Affective Development Of Gifted Students. My passion for gifted students has stemmed from many misconceptions and understandings surrounding gifted education. I wrote this reaction to a case study that followed fourteen gifted students who dropped out of high school. Their insight was fascinating and shows the importance of supporting gifted learners, especially in middle school years. This case study shows that while gifted learners love learning, school was the place where this love was nourished the least. Throughout my lesson plans, I seek to create open-ended opportunities for students to guide their own learning. As I gain more experience with different gifted learners across the country, I am learning how best to let them lead their education. It has reminded me not to lose the love of learning in the midst of standards.

    For the last part of the competency, “critically evaluates theory and practice,” I chose a trend analysis paper on problem-based learning (PBL). PBL has its roots in constructivism and has had proven benefits in school. However, PBL is not often easily implemented in classrooms because of time constraints, interests, and their depth. With gifted learners, PBL is an excellent option to keep students engaged and the information relevant, as many PBL problems involve modern day applications like climate change or entrepreneurship. At first glance, aspects of theory and practice might seem incompatible. This trend analysis paper, and other similar papers, have helped me realize the connection between theory and practice. Understanding how to read and evaluate theories has helped me better implement evidence-based research into my resources.

    References

    Nieto, S. (1994). Affirmation, solidarity, and critique: Moving beyond tolerance in education. Multicultural Education Magazine, 1(4), 9-12, 35-38.

    Artifacts

    EDCI 58500 Multicultural Education: Multicultural Teaching Philosophy

    EDPS 69500 Gifted, Creative and Talented Practicum: Journal Article Reaction Paper

    EDCI 52003 Theories and Trends: Trend Analysis

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