In Lesson plans, pedagogy, and the presentation of

education today teachers deal with an immense amount of pressure from the
curriculums implemented in order to ensure that their students are receiving
the education that they deserve. Lesson plans, pedagogy, and the presentation
of those lessons are a major key component that takes place in a classroom.

These aspects presented in the class take time and care to plan, which is not
so easy. In today’s society, it is very easy for teachers to just be handed the
curriculums and follow them by the book. This is not an efficient way to teach
lessons and certainly not the way to catch the attention of students.

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 However, there is a need for new and novel pedagogy that intrigues the
students in order to ensure that their education is the best it can be.

Therefore, it is important to implement a new pedagogy to use in classrooms
that involves dialogue, ethics of care, and a progressive sense of education.

The first philosopher that I would use in order to implement the new pedagogy I
plan on using would be Socrates. I would be using the aspects of critical
thinking and dialogue that are associated with his pedagogy. Dialogue is
something that I would focus on heavily since dialogue forms the whole basis
for education. Without dialogue, people would believe that there is only one
truth to things, and to Socrates, he believed that there is more than one
truth. That is the idea that I would use in my pedagogy. Not every single
person in the classroom is going to agree with how a certain aspect is
explained, taught, or believed to be. In order to engage my class, I would use
the Socratic method of dialogue to see the different interpretations and hopefully
by using this method, questions will arise from it. I would also implement
Socrates’ method of knowing one’s own limits. In the reading it states, “For
Socrates, the educated person is precisely the person who knows her or his
limitations, who knows that she or he does not know” (4). I would want to use
this idea in my classroom in order to show my students that it is okay to not
know everything. Learning is a gradual process and it takes time to learn the
subjects in school; it doesn’t come naturally! Having limitations is not
something to look down upon, it should be used as a building block to grow
higher in knowledge.

Next, I will use Dewey’s ideas to propose the pedagogy I will be using in my
classroom. The aspects that I would incorporate would be from his ideas of a
progressive education. Progressive education uses the child-centered method and
this is what I want to exemplify. It focuses on the children and making them
think for themselves. As Dewey stated in My Pedagogical Creed, “the
teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits
in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the
influences which shall affect the child and to assist him…” (Dewey 80). While
using this aspect of his pedagogy, I would not tell the students what to think,
rather I would encourage them to critically think in order to develop
curiosity. I want them to develop a sense of what they are learning in order to
empower them, and enable them to grow for themselves. I would not focus on the
facts of everything in my lessons, rather I would let the students draw meaning
and become more aware about the ideas surrounding them. His methods also
incorporate the ideas that a child learns best by doing and acting on the world
and I would do this by engaging my students’ senses and making them feel useful
within the classroom. I would make sure that the continuity of experiences is
essential, for example, encouraging positive experiences. This will modify
teaching in order to let students know that the teacher is happy to be in the
classroom so therefore positive encouragement is a norm. I would also use
Dewey’s main point of school being a social process. It is important to be
respectful and not study in isolation. In a classroom do not lecture every
single day, change up the routine in order to allow a collaborative setting. I
would use my authority in order to implement guidance and motivation for my
students to enable active learning.  

Furthermore, I would also be using ideas from Nel Noddings in my pedagogy to
promote ethics of care alongside Socrates and Dewey. Ethics of care has three
main components that I would focus on in the new pedagogy which are
engrossment, motivational displacement, and reciprocity. Along with these three
aspects, I would promote the aspects of Noddings’ moral education by modeling,
using dialogue, and validating the students by confirmation. In order to use
the three components of ethics of care, a teacher has to become a part of their
student’s life in order to demonstrate engrossment. This is important because
this allows a teacher to value the students and understand them. In order to
use motivational displacement, a teacher must not cut off their students and
allow their perspectives to be changed. I will make sure to acknowledge their
authentic voice and displace myself in order to walk in their shoes during
class. Then to demonstrate reciprocity, I would show that I care about my
lessons in order to receive care and respect back from my students. Modeling,
using dialogue, and using confirmation all enables a moral education to take
place and allows the whole class, including the teacher, to grow. In the
reading it states, “caring is more than emotions, Noddings’ main contribution is
to promote caring as an approach to life, to others, and it is an approach to
teaching and learning” (504). In my class, Noddings’ perspectives will help
promote care to and from teachers and to and from students. Care is something
that is important to teach and demonstrate to a class because it builds a
foundation of respect for everyone around the students and not just for

My class that I will be implementing this pedagogy on is my fourth-grade
language arts class. I will be using Socrates dialogue, more than one truth,
questioning, and knowing limits aspects in my pedagogy. Next, I will be using
Dewey’s child-centered learning approach and then Nel Noddings’ ethics of care
approach. In order to apply these aspects into my lesson plans, I have to put
myself in the shoes of the children. My lesson would be focusing on reading a
prompt and starting to write an essay about their views and interpretations on
what that specific author wrote. At first, I will instruct the class to read the
reading prompt together. In an article by Dr. Cavanaugh, “students acquire
knowledge and insight from diverse points of view” when participating in group
work (Cavanaugh 2001). This will allow them to bond and connect to the topic of
the lesson.  After the students are done reading together, I would give
them a white board in order for each person in the group to write questions
they have about the reading. After they do this I would then write some
questions I have about the reading on the board in the front of the class. I
would then tell the class that we are going to have a group discussion based on
the question they came up with. This would enable Socrates’s method of dialogue
and questioning within the class. While the class and myself are discussing our
questions, it would become apparent that every single student interpreted the
story in a different way and I would emphasize that their differing opinions
are okay to have. This also allows Dewey’s concepts to be used within my
lessons. Letting the children work in groups and develop curiosity with each
other is allowing them to think for themselves. I am simply not just giving
them the answers, they are coming up with questions and as a whole class, we
are helping each other! This allows students to feel useful and learn in a
collaborative way, a fun way. This is also a way that Noddings’ concepts of
ethics of care would be present within a lesson. I would show my students that
I care about what they are saying and their unique perspectives. I would show
interest and intense knowledge for the subject that we are focusing on in order
to receive the respect back from them. They are taking ownership for their
learning because I would practice my listening skills. I would not shut my
students down, rather I would listen and allow them to share their insights
with one another. This allows active learning to take place with guidance from
peers and the teacher.

After my students are done reading and answering and developing questions, next
would be the essay prompt. I would hand my students an essay prompt and ask
them if they agree or disagree, or feel both ways, with what the author of the
reading is saying. I would make this aspect of the lesson individual work in
order to let my students focus on their own thoughts rather than sharing them
with others. After they have written some of the essay, I would ask if they
wanted to work with others in order to get peer feedback. If the majority of
the class said yes, then I would let them choose between two to three people
per group and work on peer editing. This allows the students to share their
valued opinions on others’ work and receiving it back also. This allows the
students to learn by doing. Sometimes a student will not see a mistake in their
own work but when they work with others, the other students can point out
something that they did not see before. This allows respect and care to grow
within the classroom. Students learn how to question work, see more than one
truth, and critically think all together. After this is all done, I would
instruct students to hand in a final copy to me. When I look at these papers, I
will not grade them. I will add comments with encouragement and guidance in
order for them to fix their papers. This will allow them to see that they have
some limitations when regards to their work, and I want to tell them in the
comments that it is okay to have limitations. Knowing your limits as a student
helps you to grow and I want my students to embrace their growth, not get
ashamed of not knowing some things.  When I hand their papers back to them
I will singly go to every student during their revision process and ask if I
made appropriate feedback comments and if they agree or disagree with me. If
they agree, then they will accommodate their writing, but if they disagree I
will displace myself and put myself in their shoes. I want to see what they
think and what their mindset is, therefore when I go to to do the final
grading, everyone had an equal and fair say in the way the essay was built.

This allows the students to be valued, respected, and cared for within my
classroom. They achieved the lesson by having dialogue, questioning, and
understanding their limits. I want their education to be child-centered and
progressive because students learn best by doing! Group work and collaboration
works to bring the class together as a whole. This then allows care between
students and the teacher to grow entirely. As stated in Because Teaching
Matters, “the choices you make regarding your students, your classroom, and
your place in the larger school, district, and community all have implications
for the kind of teacher you will become and how you are remembered” (Pugagch
2). It all starts with the choices you make as a teacher regarding your students!
Therefore, it is important to implement a new pedagogy to use in classrooms
that involves dialogue, ethics of care, and a progressive sense of education.

An article by the NEA states, “the best teachers also care about the relational
aspect of teaching. They take the time to establish a trusting and caring
connection with their students, who in turn become more receptive to what is
being taught” (NEA Staff).  That is one of the most important aspects that
makes a great teacher, and an even greater classroom environment.

Although my new pedagogy can do wonders in the classroom, there are some
limitations within it. One limitation is how long the group discussion could
take based on the questions each student has. I want to implement the ethics of
care, but it might be hard to do that if I have to skip over students in order
to save time. If I have to rush, it will also give a message to the students
that I do not care about the lesson, and that is a false representation. I do
not want the students to think I do not care or value their voices. Another
limitation is the peer revision process. Sometimes students may give peer
revision to their partners but sometimes their partners will not really
interpret what the other student is saying and it might lead into confusion for
one another. Also, the peer revision can also take a longer time between
students rather between the student and teacher. These are two limitations that
I see my unique pedagogy presenting.

To conclude, teaching a classroom is a very influential and an important role
that a teacher must fulfill. Only using one method to teach a class will not
result in a successful classroom. Students need to have multiple strategies
shown to them in order to fully enjoy a lesson. It is important for a teacher
to use many philosophers when teaching their classes. A mix of influential
mindsets can only improve a classroom. The most important aspect of a classroom
is the student and the teacher must do everything they can in order to ensure a
stable and strong educational experience for the class as a whole. Using
influential philosophers like Socrates, Dewey, and Noddings can promote and
bring back all the important aspects of education that somehow got lost over
the years. Teachers can use their power and influence to bring back the aspects
of these important methods to ensure growth within the classroom.



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