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Running head: Statement of Informed Beliefs 1

Statement of Informed Beliefs

Cheyenne Stephens

College of Southern Idaho

Evin Fox

EDUC 204: Families, Communities, and Culture

Spring 2017

Author's note: This paper was written for Evin Fox Spring of 2017 for Families,
Communities, and Cultures

Statement of Informed Beliefs

Education is an important thing in this world. It is needed to teach the next

generations how to learn and survive in the world that we all call home. This, however,

has posed some questions; who is responsible for the learning of the children? The

teacher or the student? How can a teacher accomplish all of these things? What part does

the family in this role? It is important to recognize the a student's learning style, the

ecology of a child's life, general culture, and school's curriculum all play a large role in

becoming educated

Ability to learn

Many people answer that it is the teacher's responsibility for teaching, but it

depends on a lot more than just the teaching. It is about the attachment between the

students and teachers as well as between the children. Berns states, that attachment is

the affectional tie that one person forms to another specific person binding them together

in space and enduring over time (Berns 2016). This bond affects the classroom and the

method of teaching. There are many different ways of teaching; to be an effective teacher

one has to be able to reach all of the students. The bond between a teacher and a student

is crucial. It is through this bond a teacher is able to recognize the areas a student may be

in need of extra help or attention. Some children need to hear things to learn the best

ways, others need to see it, and yet others need to be able to feel it and do it. A teacher

who is effective can mix all of these learning styles to reach all of the children in the

classroom. Often using a mixture of learning styles benefits all students because they get

it the material in more than one way. By teaching in this form teachers can meet their

goals as well as the goals they have for the children; the children can meet the goals that

they set for themselves too by using this form.

Social Ecology Theory

Theorist Urie Bronfenbrenner came up with a theory of what makes the ecology

in a child's life. First there is the microsystem, or the family, and the interactions that

happen in this setting. Then there is the Macrosystem, which is much like the the

community, or school that a child lives within. Next there is the mesosystem, which is the

interactions of the different macrosystem (Berns, 2016).

The family affects the child in a variety of ways they are the childs socializing

agent; in that they are the first teachers. One factor is what make up the typical family?

Is it a mom and dad and siblings, or just a mom and child? Do the grandparents live in the

house? There are many ways that a family can be made up and this can all have an affect

on the child. If there is a lot of support in the house, no matter how it's made up, it will

be beneficial to the children in the household; they will be able to meet the goals that they

have set for themselves and that others have set for them. The family teaches and passes

on beliefs and values that they hold onto the child. The beliefs are important to know

because they are a foundation of the family and what the family holds at a high value.

The families values are important too, because they are what the family finds important.

For example if the family values education for example, the child will thrive more, and

they will be willing to do whatever it takes. If a family doesnt value education then the

teacher might have to work harder to help the child learn.

The community plays a role in the child's life because it is where the child lives,

and in that community are the teachers and many other people who will touch that child's

life. People like to be with other people who are like them, it is human nature, so the

community often influences the beliefs and values shared by a people and their actions

and reactions. If there is a really supportive community who supports its people and

education systems then often the children will do better because they receive support in

multiple areas of their lives. The community allows a place for children to gain

socialization. Going to the grocery store or the library, children get to interact with an

abundance of other people which is beneficial for learning how to interact and

communicate and later learn through others.


Berns defines culture as, the knowledge, customs, or beliefs of a group of

people (Berns 2016). Cultures usually have a way of doing things, this affects learning

because different cultures use different methods, which is expected because not all

cultures are the same. Learning still occurs just through different channels. The culture

also dictates what the children are learning, this is because the culture have different

items that they hold important; for instance some cultures learn everything through

religion because that is what they find most important. Because of the diversity of school,

many cultures meet there, it is important for teachers to be able to adapt to the different

cultures and teach the best way. One of the most important ways of doing this is by

building a relationship with the children in the classroom. This goes along with the

attachment theory; children need to feel safe and secure before any learning can actually

happen. When the teacher takes time to make sure the child is safe, and gets to know the

children, the learning in the classroom can be maximized. It is also important that

teachers recognize the differences between them and the child and other children and use

these as learning activities; this is a great way to get parents involved in the classroom

and in their child's learning. If there is a difference of cultures, then some of the parents

can come in and talk about their culture and teach the children something from that. It is a

great way to share our world and to learn about the people in it. Using differences is also

a great way to teach children problem solving. When there is a difference in opinion

about who gets to play with a toy, problem solving can be used so the children come up

with a solution they are all satisfied with. It is also vital important that teachers focus on

how the children learn so they know the best way to teach. Teachers have to be able to

adapt to situations and different learning styles for their students to learn.


Planning for they day is something all teachers need to do, this way they are

prepared but the children can also be prepared if they need to be. Teachers should also be

making sure what they have planned is developmentally appropriate for the children. Lev

Vygotskys zone of proximal development, is defined as where instruction is most

beneficial for each student just beyond his or her current level of independent

capability (p. 1. 2012). The activities should be challenging but not impossible and they

should build upon the skills that the children have already acquired; through scaffolding

children can learn a lot more things, because they are constantly building on those skills.

The children should also be a part of the curriculum so they are a focus of what is being

learned. It is important that the children's interests are acknowledged because then there

is more focus in the classroom; they are learning more about things they want to know or

they are using things that they like to know more. The children should also be able to

plan their day in a way. At the labs at CSI the children are told what some of the activities

are and they get to plan where they go and how long they plan on staying there.

As previously stated above teachers cannot teach the same to everyone because of

this the teacher must be flexible in what they have planned because not everything is a

guaranteed success. This brings up the importance of having a backup plan, this way if

something isnt working it can be changed to something more successful. As a teacher it

is also very important to reflect at the end of each day or week so that they can see what

went well and what didnt, how it was changed, or how it could have been changed. It is

important for teachers to do this so that they are constantly learning how to be better and

help guide and teach the children in different ways.


Teaching is an important field and is still so needed so that children are learning

and growing developmentally, but there are so many other things that play a part in what

and how the children are learning. Many people are involved in this as well, the teachers,

family members, children, the community and the cultures that people come from are all

needed to teach the child. As a teacher it is important to look at all of these things and say

How can I use this to be better? What would be the best way to do this? Teaching

isnt always easy; it is so important for children to learn, that finding ways to teach in

more effective ways is a gift to the child, family, and community.



Berns, R. M. (2016), Child, family, school, community: Socialization and support

(10thed.). Stamford, CT: Nelson Education, Ltd.

"The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Why It Matters for Early Childhood
Learning." Teach. Learn. Grow. NWEA, 27 Nov. 2012.