My Philosophy of Education

					                               My Philosophy of Education

       Education has no meaning if the teachers do not have a personal philosophy from

which to create teaching methods. The philosophies teachers hold greatly impact how the

students learn; the styles of teaching vary from teacher to teacher as the philosophies

vary. Some teachers focus on the classical books as the perennialists do. The teachers

who are essentialists focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. Progressivists teach

through methods that apply to real life situations. Critical theorists teach in the hopes of

changing society; the material taught is student driven and individualized. I have found

that my ideas on teaching are primarily progressive mixed with critical theory without

ignoring the basics.

       The purpose of schooling is to learn how to be a functional member of society.

The other function of school is to create people who are intellectual and can make

positive contributions to society. Students need to learn a basis that is nationwide so they

can function productively, but the material needs to be taught in a way so that the

students will want to learn the dry facts. If material is introduced in an attention grabbing

way, the students will become more invested in it, picking up the facts subconsciously,

remembering the facts and the other information that interested them.

       If students are not educated, they cannot participate in society and make decisions

that will benefit the society. Schooling gives children the opportunity to become

educated, so that they can make decisions in the real world and solve issues that are

relevant to today’s world. By attending school, children learn social skills on how to

interact with other human beings. Through the relationships built in school, children

begin to learn the basis of networking and making connections that may be helpful later

on in life.

        In an ideal classroom environment, students would be introduced to a topic by

their teacher. However, the students should be allowed to explore the topic through

avenues that interest them. For example if a student is interested in music, the student

should be allowed to study the music during that time period and learn about the time

period through this method. With the basic knowledge all people will have the same

basic understandings; yet, based on the individual’s interests each will have their own

specialized area of knowledge about the basic facts. The students will benefit, because

they will learn about topics that interest them and see the relationship to the central idea

that must be learned from the unit of material.

        In school, I enjoyed classes in which I was allowed to discuss issues that were

important to me with guidance of the teacher. I found that I learned much more when I

cared about the material, but when I did not care about the material I did not learn as

much. For example, I did not find the war of 1812 interesting at all, and I still do not

know a good deal about this war just the basic facts. I am interested in learning about

people and why they react the way they do. If a teacher would have discussed the mood

of the people and the cultures, I would have been much more inclined to want to learn

about the war and the facts, because I would have known why the people fought this war.

With a teacher who keeps the material interesting, students will learn the basic facts more

easily and with less resistance.

        It is very difficult to individualize learning when there are as many children in the

classroom as there are today. In order to create this ideal learning environment, the class

sizes would need to go down from the average of twenty students to no more than ten

students per class. The lower student to teacher ratio would enable the teacher to get to

know each child and understand the child’s individual interests to tailor the material to

the student.

       The source of the curriculum should be based on a body of knowledge that must

be covered and understood amongst all students, but the way the information is presented

must be tailored to the individual students’ interests. If one student likes to learn why

people react the way they do, teach this student about culture through books and such

allow the facts to work their way in. If you were teaching this student about the Boston

Tea Party, you could give the student a journal from one of the members of the Sons of

Liberty to read about the emotions of the time. The student would learn about the factual

information of the Boston Tea Party from a primary source and would gain the factual

knowledge required.

       The teacher has an important role in inspiring students to want to learn, challenge

ideas, and think critically about current world events. The teacher must push for their

students and preserve the methods of learning that they feel work best. In the schools, the

teachers must hold the students’ best interests at heart; teachers generally have more say

then the students when it comes to matters of the school. The teachers cannot let their

students go unrepresented; they must hold the students interest and involve the students

with the decisions of the school that will affect the students. Teachers must also advocate

for education, and present the benefits for society of a challenging, thoughtful education.

Teachers must advocate for their service just as businessmen must advocate for their

products; the difference is that teachers help people and make a distant impact on the

economy by instilling skills in children, while businessmen only have an immediate

impact on the economy. Teachers also have the responsibility of shaping attitudes.

       I have found that a very small part of essentialism is needed with a strong mixture

of progressivism and critical theory in order to make a difference in the world through

this profession. Education can be approached in many different ways, and the impact on

students is only as good as the methods used to impart this knowledge on the students.