Archive for the ‘Standard 1.F’ Category

Standard 1.F

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

“Understand and respect the role, rights, and value of the individual in a free democratic society.”


I first became passionate about individuals’ roles in democratic America when I took AP Government as a junior in high school. Our teacher really challenged us, and by the end of the school year, I had begun to develop my own views on relevant policy issues. This one class got me interested in further studying social studies, and eventually led me to pursue a Political Science minor and Public Policy and Service concentration at my AP teacher’s alma mater.


Throughout my experience at Albion, I have come to further appreciate the individual strengths that each person brings to our society. My English and other art-centered classes have helped me to further appreciate the eccentricity of identity, culture, and diversity within our country, while my Political Science and Ford Institute courses have helped me to further understand the efficacy of individual involvement in current social and political issues. I feel as though my experiences have helped me to be open-minded to diversity, and passionate about the importance of individuality (and expression of this individuality) within our country.


In my three years in the Education department at Albion College, I have gradually been developing my own personal philosophy of teaching. Included in this philosophy is the belief that every student has the ability and right to a stimulating and challenging education. Just like in our society, every individual within a classroom brings his or her own strengths to the overall class dynamics. A classroom should be an environment in which students feel safe to express their own experiences, beliefs, and ideas within their learning community. As teachers, we have the social responsibility of showing students that their individuality is valued and needed.


During my student teaching, in celebration of Constitution Day, I had my students do an activity centered on the Core Democratic Values. Students had to pick one Core Democratic Value and draw a picture of how they saw (or didn’t see) that CDV in one of the four short stories we had read the same week. Many of the illustrations that students did touched on deep issues within the stories, and helped students to make connections to overall issues of humanity within the literature. In the future, I would definitely do a similar activity. I think that incorporating civic lessons into all content areas is vital, especially to adolescents who will be entering the adult world within a couple of years.



          Philosophy of Teaching

         Constitution Day activity:

 Constitution Day activity sheet 1

Constitution Day activity sheet 2

Constitution Day activity sheet 3