As a philosophy & foundations of education teacher, I begin each term with students by speaking to why we aren't going to be writing a philosophy-of-teaching statement. My colleagues at UVIC agreed with me, and we write about our reasons for why we find 'My Philosophy of Education Statements' problematic in this article.
However, I encourage students to reflect on their beliefs and the narratives that influence beliefs. What stories-that-we-all-know are told to us and through us? And are there philosophers that have impacted our teaching beliefs?
My approach to teaching leaders, teachers, and early educators is to engage in praxis. I promote the action of assessing whether or not one's practices connect and support, or alternatively disconnect and undermine, their beliefs and goals.
I am influenced by the work of Jacques Rancière, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Marie Battiste, Brené Brown, and Marshall Rosenberg.
Rancière's work commits me to equality; I see myself and my students as equally intelligent. This is not to say that we know the same things, but rather that we have equal capacity for intelligence. We are capable co-contributors in the classroom.
Freire inspires me toward reconciliation and radical love. I let go of the need to control the lesson and open up to other possibilities. I seek to really see oppression, examine my role in systems of oppression, and enter into solidarity with the oppressed.
hooks makes liberatory pedagogy and praxis accessible. We all theorize. And we can all reflect and transform. Her approach to writing, storytelling, and anti-oppression also have an ongoing voice in my work.
Battiste has had an impact on my settler worldview, and challenged me to do the uncomfortable work of decolonizing my mind and my teaching practice. This is an ongoing process. She has also influenced me as a storyteller and narrative researcher.
Brown is a deep well of inspiration from which I draw regularly. I direct my students to her accessible and thoughtful resources and ideas. I pull on her work when I need reminding to be brave and vulnerable as a compassionate leader.
Rosenberg's approach to Nonviolent Communication inspires me to practice democracy in the moment. The ways in which I listen, speak, and think can support others in their goals to be fully human.