Communicating a Philosophy of Education

Our beliefs about education and more specifically, teaching, directly influence how we will teach and interact with students in the classroom. Therefore, a very important step in preparing to become a teacher is to explore those beliefs and crystallize them so that we ourselves understand our own goals and the values that will drive our teaching. In turn, we become focused in our teaching, making it more powerful.

While there is no “right” philosophy, there are research-based practices about effective teaching that should guide us in formulation of a philosophy. Also, the sum total of our experiences in educational settings, first as students and later as teacher candidates involved in field experiences, provides us with additional insight into both the art and the science of teaching. You will refine, extend, and continue to develop your philosophy throughout your professional career. This is a healthy and natural growth experience. As you continue this journey, keep in mind that while you should submit your thinking to scientific research, at no time are you required to change your philosophy entirely to fit that of someone else. A philosophy is a highly personal statement, and therefore will (and should) be unique.

 

Your assignment is to write a philosophy of education that addresses each component of the scoring guide provided. Essential guiding questions are provided below.

1. What is the purpose of education? For society? For individuals?

2. What factors influence curriculum? Political? Social? Economic?

3. What are my personal goals as an educator? What lasting influence will I have on my students?

4. Why and how must I consider the developmental stages of the learners I am charged with teaching? What theorists influence my thought regarding the developmental appropriateness of my teaching? Piaget? Erikson? Kohlberg?

What are the many ways in which students differ? (Gender, race/ethnicity, learning styles) How do I accommodate for these differences?

5. What is the teacher’s role in the classroom? The student’s?

6. How is the curriculum determined? How do national standards influence the curriculum? What other entities influence curriculum? (e.g., textbook companies, programs, media, community resources)

7. How do I plan to grow professionally? What role will reflection have in my development as a career teacher? How will I collaborate with others (e.g., parents, colleagues, community agencies) to improve my teaching?

 

Specific Guidelines: The philosophy statement should be typed in Times New Roman 12 font, double-spaced, and should not exceed two pages. The title should read “Philosophy of Education,” and your name and the semester should appear in the upper right hand corner of each page. A cover page is not necessary. Follow APA, 6th edition formatting guidelines. Refer to OWL Writing at Purdue if questions about APA.

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