PORTFOLIO ARTIFACT REFLECTION FORM ARTIFACT NO. 7 TITLE OF ARTIFACT: Philosophy of Education Paper DATE: Spring and Fall 2010 - 2011 STANDARDS AND BENCHMARKS ADDRESSED: 9.06 (1) (e) (ii), 9.06 (3) (a), 9.06 (3) (b), 9.06 (3) (c), 9.06 (3) (c) (ii), 9.06 (3) (d), 9.06 (3) (e), 9.06 (3) (h), 9.06 (4) (a), 9.06 (4) (b), 9.06 (4) (c), 9.06 (4) (c) (i), 9.06 (4) (c) (ii), 9.06 (4) (c) (iii), 9.06 (4) (c) (iv), 9.06 (4) (d), 9.06 (4) (e), 9.06 (5) (a), 9.06 (5) (a) (i), 9.06 (5) (a) (ii), 9.06 (5) (a) (iii), 9.06 (5) (a) (v), 9.06 (5) (a) (vi), 9.06 (5) (b) (i) 9.06 (5) (b) (ii), 9.06 (5) (b) (iv), 9.06 (5) (b) (vi), 9.06 (5) (c9.06 (5) (c) (i), 9.06 (5) (c) (ii), 9.06 (5) (d), 9.06 (5) (e), 9.06 (5) (f), 9.06 (5) (g), 9.06 (5) (h), 9.06 (5) (i), 9.06 (5) (i) (i), 9.06 (5) (i) (ii), 9.06 (5) (i) (iii), 9.06 (5) (i) (iv), 9.06 (6) (a), 9.06 (6) (b) (i), 9.06 (6) (b) (ii), 9.06 (6) (c), 9.06 (6) (d), 9.06 (6) (d) (i), 9.06 (6) (d) (ii), 9.06 (6) (d) (iii), 9.06 (6) (d) (iv), 9.06 (6) (d) (v), 9.06 (6) (d) (vi), 9.06 (6) (e), 9.06 (6) (e) (i), 9.06 (6) (e) (ii), 9.06 (6) (f), 9.06 (6) (f) (i), 9.06 (6) (f) (ii), 9.06 (6) (g), 9.06 (7) (b) (i) 9.06 (7) (b) (ii), 9.06 (7) (c), 9.06 (7) (d), 9.06 (7) (e), 9.06 (8) (a) (i, ii, b), 9.06 (8) (c) (i -vi) 9.06 (8) (d), 9.06 (8) (e). MY ROLE/CONTRIBUTION and CONTEXT: This is a paper that I wrote over a year ago that explains my philosophy of education. REFLECTION: I found myself spending a lot of time reflecting about reading this paper again for the first time since I turned it in over a year ago. In that year my life has gone through some significant changes. I have changed jobs and some would say I even changed careers. I moved across town and became a homeowner, and I have completed a licensure program. I find it very interesting that with all the changes in my life, my basic philosophy has not changed at all. I still strongly believe that the only way to meet the needs of students with health issues is to use a combination of education and therapeutic interventions. Both of these issues are preventing the students from being successful in school. Why not address both of these issues at the same time to increase the chances of the student finding success? I believe that my faith in my philosophy was one of the reasons that I had to change jobs. My last job did not agree with my philosophy and did not allow me to serve my students using this approach. In fact they forbade me from being in the TILA program and would not sign my paperwork. When I refused to drop out of the program and enroll in the program that they wanted me to attend, I was told that I could no longer work there and they bought out the remainder of my contract. I knew that they would be too afraid to try out a new educational approach so I had already found a new job. Three days after I walked out of their doors for the last time as an employee, I started working for Denver Public Schools. DPS wants to be a leader in the field of special education and they are more supportive of my innovative educational philosophy. This artifact reminds me how strong my belief in my philosophy is and how important it is to be supported by administration. A case study was included to demonstrate how I can assess a student from both an educational and a therapeutic perspective. I found myself very impressed with the depth in which I assessed this student. I consider assessment and research to be a strength of mine. I know that most of my peers don’t like assessment and think it is a pain but I actually enjoy it. I am a numbers person and I enjoy statistics. I also enjoy strategizing and problem solving. I believe the more information you have, the better prepared you can be. Of course the more prepared you are, the more successful you will be. I probably go a little over board in my preparation at times but that has been the way that I have approached things for years. I think the habit developed when I used to play football. I would watch film for hours, learn the other teams’ whole play, know their tendencies for certain downs and distances, and analyze their statistics. The other players used to call me a brain and now other teachers call me a stats nerd. I guess some things never change. My philosophy is outlined in this paper. I believe it is interesting how the philosophy did not change despite all of my experiences over the last year. Although the philosophy has not changed, the focus has. When I wrote the original paper my focus was on developing a philosophy of education to educate students who are dually diagnosed and attending school at a facility. The current focus of my philosophy is using my unique approach to educate students with mental health issues in a public school setting before they need to go to a facility. I believe that it is a credit to the effectiveness of my philosophy that it would have been successful in a facility as well as a public school. I believe that regardless of the setting, my philosophy is an appropriate and effective manner to educate students with varying degrees of mental health issues. The case study also demonstrates my philosophy. I used several educational assessments to gather information about his academic performance as well as several psychological tests to assess his mental health. I used the educational and psychological data to paint a holistic picture of this student. I don’t believe that many other teachers could prepare such a complete assessment of a student. I am sure that most, if not all, teachers could assess the academic information as well as I did but very few, if any, could conduct the mental health assessments. I believe I was able to obtain more information from the diverse assessment. This would also suggest that I would be able to gain a better understanding than a teacher who only assessed the academic data. I believe this paper shows the strength of my philosophy as well as the advantage that my unique professional background gives me. Also included in this artifact were pictures of my classroom. This serves as an example of how I have designed my classroom using principles from the Peace 4 Kids Curriculum and my clinical psychology background to create the most beneficial learning environment for students with mental health issues. Included in this artifact are also several work samples from actual students. These work samples show how therapeutic issues such as family issues, social justice, and community building and mentoring can be addressed at the same time as education standards such as literacy skills, creating educational environments, and democratic principles. These assignments are proving that academics and therapeutics can coexist in a classroom setting. I believe this artifact supports the Literacy (9.06), Math (9.06, Assessment (9.06), General Academics (9.06), Classroom Management (9.06), Addressing the student’s Needs (9.06), Technology (9.06 ), and Democracy (9.06) Standards. In therapy there is a great deal of interpersonal skills that involve reading, writing, and oral communications that are consistent with the literacy standards. Therapy and education both involve data collection. Whenever there is data being collected there is an opportunity to have students apply the math skills that they are currently working on to analyze the data. As the case study demonstrates, being able to provide someone therapeutic and educational services requires a great deal of assessment from both perspectives. When creating a therapeutic setting one must involve several different general academic skills such as fitness, music, art, science, social studies, history, cultural awareness, and social sciences. Having the structure of the classroom contain such a strong therapeutic presence creates a healthy environment that helps in managing the classroom. The students in my classroom all have mental health issues. Providing them therapy in the classroom is the most logical way to address their unique needs. There are several ways that technology can be used in therapeutic settings. The teacher must be creative in order to figure out how to best use these technologies. I use the technology as a means to relay important information, create a relaxing and safe environment, as well as teach the students how to use technology to express themselves. There are many parallels between democracy and therapy. Both of them involve freedom and choice. Both processes are designed to improve the quality of life of the students and teach them how to independently better themselves. My goal for next year is to attempt to get more teachers throughout my school to use some aspects of my philosophy in their classrooms. My class is designed to serve students with mental health issues but I know my six students are not the only students in the school that have these issues. I believe that my philosophy can be used to help general education teachers educate their students who act out the most and will likely decrease the amount of office referrals that are written.
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