Connecting purpose to practice: building philosophical foundations and relevant practices within an elementary school - a way forward through collaboration and investigation

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Jolley, Patricia H.
This project is the result of a learning journey toward affecting change in teaching practice through the development of a set of principles that guide teaching and learning within the school context. The purpose of the project was to deepen my understanding of the underlying principles of education and design a resource for teachers to use to bridge the gap between our beliefs about learning and our practices in the classroom. By reviewing current scholarly literature related to the principles of education, this project provided the means to compare and explore current practices in our school as they relate to the current research on how students learn effectively, and for developing a common purpose toward which to strive as a school community. Throughout the process of developing this project, it became clear that collaboration, ongoing reflection, and a common understanding are key factors in building an effective learning environment. In order to be purposeful, our practices need to be grounded in strong philosophical foundations. When teachers have strong beliefs and clear understandings about their purpose, their practices will change accordingly. Ongoing professional learning is essential and regular review of the principles that guide our teaching, and their related practices, are critical for effective change in improving learning for our students.
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