Reflection: the Foundations of Education

Drawing by me

Having studied the foundations of education, I believe I have grown in my teaching practice, and hope to apply what I have learned to the classroom.

What I have learned:

  • I have learned the history of education in Ireland, and how small, gradual changes led to the educational structure we have in place today. (Click here for my thoughts on the history of education.)
  • I have learned about the philosophy of education, and the importance of being an ethical teacher. (Click here for my thoughts on the philosophy of education.)
  • I have learned about the sociology of education, including equity and equality in Irish schools, and the importance of every child being aided in reaching their potential. (Click here for my thoughts on the sociology of education.)
  • I have learned about the psychology of education, including different theories on how children learn and develop. Vygotsky in particular had an impact on me. (Click here for my thoughts on the psychology of education.)
Image by freestocks

My learning process in relation to my studies composed of attending webinars, reading academic texts and newspapers, and of course, going through power point presentations. I am a visual learner, so these are often most appealing to me, and I find them very beneficial to get a broad knowledge of what I am learning. When I feel confident that I have an idea of the subject matter, I like to move onto academic texts, where I can expand my knowledge.

Having studied the foundations of education and having had an insight into the broad spectrum of interpretations and theories, I know that there is still more for me to learn. I would like to broaden my understanding of Vyogtsky and the zone of proximal development in particular, because I believe it will help me in my teaching practice. Understanding the importance of socialisation for children (Miller, 2011, p.32) is something I aspire to bring to the classroom, as I believe through collaborative learning children can more easily reach the zone of proximal development and of course, grow.

The importance of equity in Irish schools also struck a chord with me.  I believe that to truly have a fair school system, equity needs to be taken into account, so every child has a valuable learning experience (Fisher et al., 2017, p.124).

Image by Nijwam Swargiary 

One area in particular that challenged my perception of education is the notion that teachers need to have self-cultivation in their own lives in order to be a successful teacher. It had not occurred to me that teachers without this basis may attempt to live through their students (Higgins, 2011, p.171), however, I can see the sense in this argument. I will most certainly strive to attain self-cultivation, so I can be effective in my teaching practice and create a more positive atmosphere in the classroom.

Image by Sasin Tipchai 

I believe that having studied the foundations of education, I will become a much more aware and much more reflective teacher, and, altogether, will create a better learning environment for my students. I hope to create an active learning environment, where children can work together and aid each other in their growth. I also envisage that I will provide additional help to those who need it, so that the classroom is at a high equitable standard. Furthermore, I will strive to be self-cultivated, to create a better learning experience for me and my students alike. I will keep in mind the history that passed before, and remain aware that the school system will continue to grow and change, and I will strive to adapt to these changes.

Through my digital portfolio, I hope to continue my teaching journey, and continue to reflect on what I have learned. I believe reflection is invaluable, particularly for teachers, and it is a skill I will continue to utilise.


Fisher, D., Frey, N. Pumpian, I. and Smith, D. (2017) Building equity: policies and practices to empower all learners. Virgina: ASCD.

Higgins, C. (2011) The good life of teaching : an ethics of professional practice. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Miller, R. (2011) Vygotsky in perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: múinteoirsarahs

Trainee primary school teacher with particular interest in reading, writing and art.

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