Personal Teaching Beliefs

As a teacher I can empower children to become learners for life through

I believe teachers can develop their expertise, and learn strategies for teaching that maximise the learning developed by children. Expertise can be developed in three broad areas: knowledge of curriculum documents; knowledge of teaching, learning and assessment practice; and knowledge of beliefs about children and their learning.

I believe that the best tools we can give children for their future are mind tools - the ability to learn how to learn and how to think, how to create new ideas, how to evaluate ideas and information, and to care enough about thinking to do it for themselves (Nisbet 1990; Prashnig 1996; Hattie 1999). I believe students also need to be taught to be metacognitive to enhance their own learning (Wilson 1999).

I believe there are many different types of intelligence and that we all have access to all these intelligences. We find, organize, process and retrieve information in different ways, and construct our own meaning from this information (Jones,M G & Brader-Araje,L 2002; Stein, 1998). Different conditions (learning, thinking and working styles) may be necessary for optimum learning to occur (Eisner 1995; Smith; Brualdi 1996).

I believe that we learn by involving all our senses - by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, moving, doing, touching, imagining and feeling. I believe that learners must experience learning in a way that establishes links and connections between different items of knowledge, and allows learners to create new ideas from the knowledge they have (Costa & Bellick 2000; Nuthall 2001).

I believe learners need to be encouraged to have the courage to question, to acknowledge and learn from mistakes they have made, and to reflect on as well as evaluate their own learning (Clifford 1990, Costa & Bellick 2000). From this learning, new goals can be set (Eisner 1995) and curriculum delivery is stimulating and relevant.

I believe schools need to become a community of learners who develop responsibility for themselves and others, as well as tolerance and respect for each other. Therefore, it is as important to teach caring thinking as it is to teach critical and creative thinking skills (Brown & Thomson 2000; Dryden & Vos 1997; Corno 1992; Zajac & Hartup 1997; Whitehead 2003).

I believe that children learn and remember best when they are interested and involved (Wolk 2001; Stipek 1996). Appropriate assessment of children's work and feedback to children of the results is an integral part of this process (Hattie 1999).

Taking children outside the classroom is an effective way of developing motivation to learn and the attitude that learning is life-long. Children learn much about relationships, responsibility and themselves in preparing for and experiencing activities in the community (Strong, Silver & Robinson 1995). I believe effective teaching practices can be learned (Stipek 1996, Nuthall 2001) but that teacher's interest and involvement is also important to learners, as is the technique of modeling a task (Wegerif 2002).

I have a strong interest in computers and how they can be used to help with learning (Wegerif 2002). I use resources available on the Internet when they are available, and have worked on national and international projects with classes.

I am a strong supporter of encouraging parents to participate in their children's education by becoming involved in class work and outings. I also send home folders showcasing special projects done in class, and simple activities for parents and children to work on together (Finn 1998, see also White 2004).

Kaipara te moana, Whirituroa te maunga, Rangimarie te marae, Although Pakeha I claim this turangawaewae. I believe all New Zealanders have the right to understand and respect basic concepts of Tikanga Maori, and to be able to understand and use some simple reo.

I believe the aim of leadership is to establish and promote a shared vision of the direction for a school. Collaborative management is achieved by

I believe policies and procedures are a record and check of the belief and value system of a school, and the way these are to be translated into effective everyday practices. Effective management ensures a close match between policy and practice.


Brualdi, A.C. (1996) Multiple Intelligences: Gardner's Theory. ERIC Digest retrieved September 2004 from

Clifford, M.M. (1990) Students need challenge, not easy success. Educational Leadership (48)

Corno, L(1992) encouraging students to take responsibility for learning and performance Elementary School Journal, 93

Egan, Kieran (1989) Teaching as Story Telling: An alternative approach to teaching and curriculum in the elementary school. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

Eisner, E.W. (1995) Standards for American schools: help or hindrance? Phi Delta Kappan, 76, 758-764

Finn, J.D. (1998) Parental Engagement that makes a difference, Educational Leadership, 55(8),20-24

Hattie, J. (1999) Influences on student learning University of Auckland:Inaugural professorial lecture

Jones, M.J. & Brader-Araje, L. (2002) The Impact of Constructivism on Education: Language, Discourse, and Meaning American Communication Journal, 5 (3)

Kumar, V.S.(1996) Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: Issues for Research retrieved from Aug 2004

Nisbet, J. 1990 Teaching Thinking: An Introduction to the Research Literature retrieved from March 2004

Nuthall, G (2001) The cultural myths and the realities of teaching and learningNew Zealand Annual Review of Education, 11:2001

Smith, M. K. (2002) 'Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences', the encyclopedia of informal education retrieved from

Stein, D.(1998) Situated Learning in adult education, ERIC digest 195

Stipek, D.J. (1996) Motivation and instruction. In D.C. Berliner & R.C.Calfee (eds)Handbook of Educational Psychology New York:Simon &Schuster Macmillan

Strong. R. Silver, H.F.& Robinson,A. (1995)What do students want (and what really motivates them)? Educational Leadership, 53 (1) 8-12

Wegerif (2002) Literature Review in Thinking Skills, Technology and Learning retrieved from June 2004

White, C. (2004) Curiosity Kits Reading Forum New Zealand 19 (2) 2004

Whitehead, D (2003) Learning to think through literacy Reading Forum New Zealand 19 (1) 2004

Wilson, Jeni (1999) Defining Metacognition: A step towards recognising metacognition as a worthwhile part of the curriculum. retrieved from December 2004

Wolk.S (2001) The benefits of exploratory time. Educational Leadership 59 (2) 56-59

Zajac R.J. & Hartup, W.W (1997) Friends as coworkers: research review and classroom implications. Elementary School Journal, 98,3-13

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