My Educational Philosophy

My educational philosophy began with my own grade school education. As a gifted young student, I searched for a school or program that could keep up with my rapid learning pace. I attended public, private, charter, home, magnet, and un-schools— all before high school graduation. From these diverse experiences I developed a strong conviction that every learner has individual educational needs. No two learners are exactly the same; there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. As an educator, I strive to recognize and respect the individual needs of each learner and meet those needs in an equitable manner whenever possible.

  As a Music Teacher, my philosophy is strongly influenced by the work of Hungarian musicologist and educator Zoltan Kodály, whose method of music education has received worldwide recognition and acclaim. The Kodály method uses solfedge, folk songs, and experiential learning to help learners develop their ability to truly understand and enjoy music as well as create and perform it. It is not enough to just learn about music: it must be experienced, multiple times, using multiple learning modalities, to be learned. My pedagogy (for both elementary and secondary learners) is based in Kodály method, with elements incorporated from the Orff approach and Dalcroze Eurythmics. I believe in the importance of Experiential Learning and Constructivism. Lev Vygotsky’s principles of scaffolding to work within the learner’s Zone of Proximal Development have particularly impacted my practice. 

I have had copious experience with Special Needs learners through a prior position and feel comfortable adapting lessons to meet their needs. Currently, I am expanding my ability to use SDAIE in the music classroom to meet the individual needs of English learners as well. I have also had experience integrating music with academic content subjects, which I believe is beneficial to both disciplines, developing creative minds which can make connections and remember content more successfully. 

I have found my greatest successes as an educator come from applying my own experiences and knowledge to individual learners. Each and very person, regardless of race, gender, orientation, religion, nationality, has individual educational needs. Those needs deserve to be met as much as possible; this is my calling as an educator, one I strive to fulfill every day.

Sarah Earl

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