Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Self Evaluation and Reflection

pbernal's picture

Paola Bernal

May 10th, 2015

P. Cohen, Education 266

Self Evaluation and Reflection


            As part of the teacher certification program, I have taken a few other education courses in previous semesters, however I have been able to see more academic and personal growth through the Schools in American Cities course than in previous education courses due to the unique classroom environment and classroom activities set by the professor.

            Participation is a big component of the class, for it sets the tone of the classroom environment as well as providing this cloud of knowledge in which we all find ourselves floating in as it gets bigger and bigger as the class keeps participating more and more by adding different perspectives and opinions on the readings and activities set in class. Personally, I am the type of individual who feeds off of other people’s vibes and I found it extremely helpful to be able to listen to different perspectives in the classroom and be able to see everyone want to pitch in and share what they had to add to the discussions. The more hands I saw go up, the closer I listened and paid close attention to what my peers had to share. It encouraged me to want to participate in class and at times even follow up with certain individuals after class about their perspectives on the readings or activities.

            The readings were very intriguing and tied closely to the week’s focus, which I found helpful to breakdown the course into different sections and approach each with different readings and focuses. I especially enjoyed reading the different articles posted about recent public school reform and its effect in local urban schools in Philadelphia. I felt like I learned the most from those readings because we were able to relate what certain educators were proposing while also reading about how they actually played out in urban school settings.

            I’ve been exposed to different ideas of pedagogy reform, but I don’t think I’d ever been asked to relate and think how the readings and current reforms being implemented in Philadelphia have taken a toll on the students and teachers. I’ve learned so much about how much effort it takes for proper reform to be implemented in urban classrooms and acknowledge what works and what hasn’t just yet. I’ve also been able to extensively learn about certain organizations like Teach For America and how they seem to share the same goals as many other educators, but differentiate in that they believe in a different protocol in accomplishing their goal of providing an equal education for students.  As someone who wants to go into education as a career, I’ve realized through this course, that I’ll encounter several individuals whom might share the same ideas as me in regards to pedagogy reform, but have different perspectives on how to accomplish them and acknowledge that we must work together to collaborate what’s best for students.

            Another big take away from this course was the opportunity of being able to meet and listen to educators currently working in urban schools in Philadelphia, whether they’d be public or charter schools. It’s one thing to read about the issues, but it’s a whole different experience being able to hear about them first hand and see how passionate and concerned several of the different educators on the panel were.

            Knowledge is gained through experience and through the Schools in American Cities course, I was able to apply, to an extent, what I’ve read and discussed in class as well as observe the issues and takeaways in urban classrooms, thanks to the Praxis experience.