i need to state my teaching philosophy of museum teaching in one to two pages.
Please give me some suggestions. Also, please let me know any grammar errors. Thanks a lot!
My teaching philosophy is informed by Vygotsky's socio-cultural theory, which focuses on the social processes that contribute to cognitive development. It argues that the development of higher forms of thinking is mediated by social interactions (Rogoff, 1990; Wertsch, 1985, 1991). Social interaction is the "active collective activity of a group of people [and]...true learning is created through collaboration" (Davydov, 1993).
Drawing upon socio-cultural perspectives about how knowledge is constructed; to me, learning is not merely gaining new knowledge (Falk & Dierking, 1992). Instead, learning refers to gain new things primarily based on learner's former experience or knowledge through interacting with others. Learning is not only focuses or examines how much a learner understands new materials; rather, is to assist he/she to integrate new knowledge and old experiences together through the process of co-constructing.
Influenced by sociocultural theory; moreover, I believe that learning is not only about individuals, it is social and contextual as well. By contextual I am referring to that learning should situate in context which is meaningful to learners. Based on this premise, the role of teacher in learning is not about how much he/she passes on knowledge to learners. The more important thing is that he/she needs to carefully observe learners' interests and even better to know their backgrounds or former experiences to come up different ways to well support their learning and make it meaningful. Teaching is a science but also an art; in other words, teacher needs to know the goals/objectives as well as keep the flexibility simultaneously.
Additionally, a museum teacher should be aware that not every visitor is familiar with the museum as he/she is, or the same as those frequent visitors. It is crucial for a museum teacher to give visitor some time first to get familiar with the environment and become comfortable. I deem that providing visitors enough time to explore the setting before the teaching starts is good for effective learning.
While I believe that social interaction provides an essential means in the learning process, learning is also a very individual construct. For example, I prefer learning by asking a series of questions. However, others definitely do not learn things in the same way as I do. People grew up in various backgrounds and even came from different cultural backgrounds; hence obviously, how people learn would surely influenced by their backgrounds. A learner may have his/her preference when learning new things-by passively learning to instructors/teachers, by actively engaging in activities, by hands-on interacting with objects, etc. As a teacher, it is pivotal to sense that every individual is not the same, and providing multiple ways to take care of these learning needs is necessary. Encouraging learners to learn in their own way could also be helpful to build their confidence in interacting with exhibits in museums.
In all, in my opinion, being a teacher in the museum means that most time he/she is the more knowledgeable person comparing to the visitors. The background knowledge of work/exhibits displayed in museum enable the museum teacher to bridge the distance between exhibits and visitors. Hence, in the teaching process, a museum teacher in fact acts as a media to help visitors to communicate with exhibits. Yet, because the role of being a mediator, he/she will not impose his/her own thoughts or the so-called "right answers" on visitors. In order to obtain the goal of good museum teaching, a museum teacher needs to be open-minded instead of thinking his/her say is way more important the visitors'. Then the collaboration will bring learning into full play.