"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Thursday, 10 June 2010

My Educational Philosophy

An educational philosophy is essential to reflective and effective teachers. Our educational philosophy serves us as a guide and it will inspire us through our teaching career. Our educational philosophy reflects our own approach to education.

I believe that teachers should be concerned with safeguarding and promoting cultural learning. I believe that teachers must be concerned about student morality and character development. So, the teacher has to display an intellectual rigor and good moral standards.

I believe that basic values should be included in the curriculum.

A classroom is a mini community and children learn to function in society from their families but also in a school environment. I think the basic values and ethics of being respectful, kind, and following the rules should be included in school. In the same manner, I believe that an effective teacher must promote growth in all students through the integration of academic, psychological, physical, and social learning.

Teachers should be concerned about student morality and character development. The essentialists maintain that moral development and character training must have a place in the curriculum (Webb 2010).

William Bennett (1993), former U.S. secretary of education, proposed the use of stories, poems, essays, and other works “to help children achieve moral literacy and acquire the traits of character that society most admires."

I agree with essentialists when they protests against the decline of intellectual rigor and moral standards in the school. Therefore, I believe in the philosophies of idealism and realism which are both embedded in the essentialist theory of education (Webb 2010).

We must adopt a more essentialist form of education that promotes a strong body of knowledge which will meet state standards. I believe that the use of an essentialist philosophy of education will help students improve their performances.

I also believe that a teacher-centered method and contents would help pupils meet the state standards. An essentialist method would teach students the background knowledge they indeed need in order to acquire a strong academic foundation.

But I also think that Dewey’s argument in favor of a system that is equally progressive and essentialist can work in schools. The student must relate to the subject in order to truly understand it. Therefore, the student needs some background knowledge in order to relate easily to the subject.

I think that lectures are indeed an effective way to teach subjects but they should be accompanied by other activities such as collaborative learning, playing games, using computers, and interacting with the help of debates.

Furthermore, I think that schools should not be punished because some students have failing test scores. Some educators think that NCLB looks good on paper but it does not work to its full potential in practical life until all the schools will have equal resources. And not all students can perform well on tests, especially the students who have a learning disability.

In addition, teachers should not be punished because they really try very hard to promote their students’ learning.

But I think that teachers should still have high expectations in order to promote students success and they should be hold accountable for the education they are giving to the students. Teachers should use essentialist methods so that the important knowledge for the tests would be covered before the exams.

I think that teachers should establish a comfortable, trusting relationship with parents. Students tend to be more successful at school when their parents are actively involved in school activities. Teachers should invite parents to an open house or musical performance. Parent involvement can happen during field trips, special projects, or individual tutoring during the school day. Parents can also help their children with homework.

Essentialism is my personal philosophy and my goal will be to implement this educational philosophy during my professional practice. For the essentialist, the primary purposes of schooling are to teach the basic skills or essential knowledge that all humans should know and are necessary for participating successfully in a democratic and technological society. Our culture and traditions of the past have a common knowledge that schools are obligated to transmit to students in a systematic disciplined way. At the primary level, the curriculum would include reading, writing, and mathematics. At the upper elementary grades, history, geography, natural science and foreign languages would be added. At the secondary level, the curriculum would insist on a common core that includes four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of science, three years of social studies, and a half year of computer science (Webb 2010). Essentialism is concerned with the teaching of the basic skills or essential knowledge that all students should know. An essentialist program teaches children progressively, from less complex skills to more complex.

As an experienced teacher (14 years of teaching), I believe that education should not be the same for everyone. I also believe that the study of educational psychology will improve the relationship between student and teacher. One compassionate moment of listening can help the student if he or she feels that they have been heard and understood.

I also think that the experienced teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.

Considering all I have learned, I would be ready to revise my own personal education philosophy because I have understood that an effective teacher must use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development.

The most important role of the teacher is to produce a classroom environment which will be the most conducive to learning.

As an essentialist teacher, I will not hesitate to incorporate other educational philosophy along my essentialist educational philosophy in order to create a classroom environment which will intrinsically motivates students to learn.

The purpose of a teacher is to educate students in how to think. Teachers need to teach students basic skills, cooperative behaviors, and hands-on experience. Therefore, to meet these goals teachers should combined two philosophies: progressivism and essentialism. Students should learn basic skills that will help them through their problem solving and scientific enquiry.

If teachers combine essentialism and progressivism in an effective way, these two philosophies can work side by side in the goals of the school. Progressivism focuses on real-world problem solving activities in a democratic and cooperative learning environment. But in order to focus on real-world problem, students should first develop disciplined minds and acquire a rigorous academic and moral training.

The perennialist teacher favors subject-centered method with lectures or lessons delivered to students. Therefore, the teacher can ask questions about the lessons in order to have more active students. Also, the teacher can ask group work about specific topics related to the lesson he or she has been lecturing to the class.

Effective teachers are aware of the importance of giving a safe environment with a clear set of rules and consequences. Teachers should make sure that all students are assured a fair and equal treatment.

On the whole, teachers should give students a desire for lifelong learning and to provide them with educational opportunities that will help them prepare for academic, athletic, and social success.

I believe that it is very important for a teacher to understand the philosophies and theories of education. An effective teacher should be able to formulate a philosophy of education and he or she must also be flexible and able to revise their personal educational philosophy. Teachers should promote a high cognitive level of education but they should also be concerned with multiculturalism in the classroom. Diversity requires new curricular approaches that help students understand their differences as well as their common culture which makes them part of a nation.

My mission statement as a teacher is to promote students success in all areas of life. I have to develop and nurture in students the belief that success is always possible. I must promote growth in all students through the integration of academic, psychological, physical, and social learning. I must help children with special needs to value their own identity and create a professional and supportive environment for them.

On the whole, a teacher should promote a high cognitive level of education and he/she should be concerned with safeguarding and promoting cultural learning. Teachers should be concerned about student morality and character development.

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