Jenmarie Vega


I am a fourth-year Environmental Science major at the University of Florida, and I am also working on a Secondary Science Education minor. My passions include environmental education, conservation, and sustainability. Inspiring people to live more environmentally friendly through education is one of my goals.

Teaching Philosophy

While majoring in Environmental Science, I found that one of the best ways to enact fundamental change is through education. We as a society cannot expect change to occur when the general public has not been educated as to why and how change needs to occur. Environmental education is not limited to a 50-minute period, Monday through Friday. It should be an ongoing, always-evolving experience for students. My experience and thoughts on how education should be developed, whether about the environment or other subjects, has shaped my view on how I would like to be as a teacher and how I would develop a teaching philosophy. As a student, I have found myself thinking more about how I was taught and how I learned rather than what I was taught. Differentiating between how I was taught and how I would like to teach has led me to develop my own teaching philosophy relying on learning theories that I find work best in my opinion.

Based on my own experiences as both a student and an educator, my teaching philosophy involves helping students connect their own experiences with what they learn and what they will continue to learn about. Using both Connectivism learning theory and Constructivism learning theory, I found that I myself retain and learn better when I am able to make connections between what I have learned in one class with what I am learning in other classes and what I experience or observe in my life. Being able to form these relationships and connections between students, their knowledge, and their thinking allows for a more complete view of the subject material that they can relate to more than just a test or homework. They can now apply it to their lives and to other problems that they will face in their other classes.

This is a fundamental part of teaching Environmental Science in my professional opinion. Being able to use what they discussed in class in their world, and making those connections to their lifestyles, their family, and their locale allows for students to feel involved in their own learning.