Teaching Philosophy Constructivism in the Classroom Constructivism is defined as a teaching philosophy that focuses on the personalized way a learner internalizes, shapes, or transforms information. Thus, learning occurs through the construction of new, personalized understanding that results from the emergence of new cognitive structures. My personal beliefs and philosophy of education follow closely to this approach. From my short time in education courses, I have adopted the notion of student centered, student driven learning. This educational philosophy stretches from physical setting of a classroom, to lesson planning, to the forms of assessment, and motivation that takes place in the classroom. Student centered teaching focuses on the development of big ideas wherein students draw their own conclusion. This environment should foster internal motivation and divergent thinking among students. Furthermore, in art education it is the educator’s job to make clear the underlying elements of what is beautiful and to help students explore, locate, and manifest their ability to create beauty themselves. In this way, students should be encouraged to integrate these ideas throughout all subject areas in order to inform and enrich every aspect of their life. Investigation of Individual and Social Identity I believe it is important to provide students with an education in which they feel successful and valuable as well as prepared for life and employment after school. Students seem more apt to learn in environments where they feel a sense of belonging and believe they are contributing members of a group or community. It is the educator’s job to equip students with the skills and knowledge that will allow them to be contributors. Ultimately, education should aim to foster growth of the individual while harmonizing the individual with his or her social group. Through art, students should be given the opportunity to investigate how their identity as an individual has a role in the larger whole of society—creating personal and shared meaning. Artmaking is an important step towards expanding self-awareness and emotional and intellectual development of an individual’s identity and potential identity. Students should be encouraged to not only think introspectively, but outwardly as well, seeking to understand their impact on society.