4 Educational Philosophy, Concepts, Methods, and Skills in Teaching Second, students are actively engaged in making decisions about their learning. Third, students are encouraged to share their thoughts, concerns, and ques- tions. Finally, students are helped to see how their classroom learning is appli- cable to their—and their classmates’—experiences in the field (Carpenter-Aeby & Aeby, 2013). The Importance of Process Content (what is taught) and process (how it is taught) must be woven together in a design that permits the reciprocal support of curriculum objectives and students’ active participation in their own learning. We believe that students internalize professional values and learn the theory base when instructors view teaching and learning ecologically. Learning and teaching are reciprocal pro- cesses that shape the professional development of each participant—student and teacher. Through active participation, everyone learns and everyone teaches. Students learn not only from the teacher and their own efforts, but also from one another. And the teacher learns from the students what consti- tutes effective learning and teaching. Instructors gain from their students’ fresh perspectives on old ideas and impetus to examine together new ideas about their validity and applicability to practice. The following five teaching strategies facilitate the integration of process and content. Readers will note how these parallel the skills of engagement discussed in the text. Present Overview of Course Content In our teaching, we find it useful in the first session to present an overview of the course and to relate it to other courses in the total curriculum, including the field practicum. This gives the students a sense of direction and a structure into which they can fit the pieces represented by the semester’s detailed analyses of themes, concepts, and principles. The course overview also provides a context for eliciting student interests and expectations and, where possible, relating them to course expectations. Present Overview of Teaching Methods We believe that it is important to identify at the outset our commitment to peer learning (Gitterman, 2004). This requires a classroom climate in which students learn from, rather than compete with, one another, and they learn from their mistakes and ask unsophisticated questions rather than showing off.
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