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What Principles Are

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Principle refers to the fundamental truth or law that provides bases of one’s actions. It defines the conduct one has to adopt and display in performing the roles demanded by his/her chosen career. Teaching principles then are the laws that guide the teachers to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in performing their tasks.

 

A very important educational principle was provided by Whitehead (n.d.)- that the pupils are alive, and not mere portmanteaus to be neatly packed. He considered this as the fundamental one. While it is true that educational principles are provided by the state and/or educational institutions, in teaching- the teacher should first consider the learners as they are the center of all educative processes. Whitehead’s principle could be considered then as the fundamental teaching principle.

 

Moreover, Brooks and Brooks (cited in http://www.nsdc.org/standards/qualityteaching. cfm) provide five guiding principles for teaching derived from constructivism. These are (1) posing problems of emerging relevance to learners, (2) structuring learning around "big ideas" or primary concepts, (3) seeking and valuing students' points of view, (4) adapting curriculum to address students' suppositions, and (5) assessing student learning in the context of the teaching.

 

In the local setting, Gregorio (1976) identified three fundamental principles of teaching. These are starting principles, guiding principles, and ending principles. Starting Principles involve the nature of the child, his psychological and physiological endowments which make education possible. Guiding principles, on the other hand, refer to the procedure, methods of instruction, or agglomerations of techniques by which the pupil and the teacher may work together toward the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of education. Ending principles are the educational aims, goals, objectives, outcomes, purposes, or results of the whole educational scheme to which teaching and learning are directed.

 

Educational institutions vary as regards prioritizing the aspects reflective of the principles of teaching and learning they are upholding. While others focus on the design of appropriate curriculum or the competencies which learners would acquire at certain levels, some others go into the learning delivery system- including the resources that enhance such delivery. At any rate, all of them have one goal in common- that is, the holistic development of the learners.

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