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Key Pedagogical Principles

After reviewing my notes from my recent read, "The Seven Laws of Teaching" by John Milton Gregory - an oldie well worth your time, I was inspired to write a few pedagogical principles. Just some little snippets of truth that really are keys to successful teaching that helped me solidify what Gregory taught me and reminded me about teaching.

When it comes to instructional methods, every teacher needs a set of belief statements in regards to learning. These principles are the keys to successful teaching, which is the key to successful learning for any classroom, anywhere. It's these principles that make a teacher confident, and these are ten key pedagogical principles I believe to be true:

  • We learn by asking questions and seeking answers.

  • We learn by having engaging conversations with other learners and with the teacher.

  • We learn from memorable experiences.

  • We learn by adding to what we already know; therefore, we must have a solid foundation of knowledge and truth.

  • We learn when we have the end goal in mind. 

  • We learn when our uniqueness is considered - that our personal experiences, memories, talents, skills, strengths, weaknesses, likes/dislikes, feelings, interests, and background knowledge all impact how we learn, or how quickly we learn it.

  • We learn through an active process that includes (but is not limited to): connecting, writing, studying, questioning, problem-solving, visualizing, practicing, analyzing, discussing, debating, listening, creating, and presenting.

  • We learn when we put to use the study tools available to us.

  • We learn when we are confident in our ability to learn.

  • We learn when our teacher is also confident in our ability to learn and comes alongside us in our discoveries as a creative guide who assists, observes, suggests, and inspires us to learn on our own; where we apply the principles taught - well into adulthood.

I do believe that a key to successful teaching is to develop a mindset dedicated to learning about the methods and principles of teaching. I attempt to add a few books a year to my professional library or attend conferences to build that knowledge base or take graduate classes (for example, I just finished Diagnosing and Correcting a Struggling Reader and a Technology course this last semester). What are some ways you - as a homeschool teacher-mom or a public school teacher accomplish this in your life?

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