Individual Teacher's Worldview

A deep, reflective examination of individual teacher's worldview is a pre-requisite to empowering student voice.

Photo of Jayme Holaway Hicks, EdD
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Many programs exist for "diversity training" or "multicultural education." The data on the effectiveness of these programs--by effectiveness I mean how effective they are in developing empathy for others and using that empathy to connect with students--is dismal at best. Guided examinations of one's own worldviews--especially those views "inherited" vs. those we choose--have proven successful in connecting with those who may be different from ourselves. In addition, creating student-centered classrooms and empowering student voice requires that 1) teachers understand what students' voices are saying, and 2) teachers find value in that understanding and use it to design instruction. Programs that allow people to examine their worldviews often reveal 1) how that worldview is revealed in their classroom, 2) how that worldview affects student learning--or not learning, and 3) can reveal how aspects of personal worldview promotes and/or hinders student success---as a human and as a student.  This examination also provides an opportunity to deeply examine just what our jobs are and are not. Is it our job to shove information into students? Or, is it our job to give them the tools they need to critically examine information? Is it both? More? So, this one is a big one; I'm just passionate about it and believe that we cannot possibly use student voice until we know our own---only then can we appreciate theirs.

Share insights you heard during your empathy work.

Teachers don't understand me.

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Photo of Amy
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Really interesting!