Learning Objectives

  • Determine your motivation and goals for becoming a teacher 
  • Write your initial philosophy of teaching 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of TwentyFirst Century Skills & Literacies 
  • Identify focal points for teacher content and pedagogical knowledge 
  • Identify and explain teacher focal points: philosophy, content, and communication 

Pre-service teachers require a strong foundation that includes an understanding of the student’s motivation for becoming a teacher, reflection on the ethics of an educator, awareness of and identification of their own philosophies of education, and an understanding of twenty-first-century skills and literacies. In addition, pre-service teachers need to know the fundamentals of what being a teacher involves, the certification process to follow which leads to becoming a teacher, the standards bodies which exist for content areas, and how to communicate effectively with students, parents, administrators and other stakeholders in the community. 

In this chapter, you will explore your motivation for teaching, and reflect upon those educators who impacted you. As you reflect on the experiences that these educators provided to you, your own preferences in terms of teaching and learning will come to the forefront, allowing you to explore and identify your own philosophy of teaching and learning. A teaching philosophy is like a lighthouse; when questions of effectiveness arise, a teacher’s philosophy is a guide to appropriate educational actions. While your philosophy will likely evolve and change as your teaching expertise and confidence develop, the initial philosophy will provide a foundation to build upon. You will also learn about twenty-first century skills and literacies that meet the needs of a quickly evolving economy and therefore are changing approaches to teaching. You will understand the importance of the integration of teacher content knowledge and teacher pedagogical knowledge. The development of each of these forms of knowledge shape your performance as a teacher. Finally, within content and pedagogical knowledge, you will gain awareness of focal points which shape your identity as a teacher.