Philosophy of Education

Recently I had to write my philosophy of education; something I have not done since my undergrad days many, MANY years ago. I wish I had a copy of what I wrote while an undergrad. Certainly I must have changed considerably although the way we teach has changed less.

Here are my thoughts. What do you agree with? Anything I missed?

An ideal classroom is a community of learners with the teacher as lead learner. Each classroom should provide a safe environment where risk-taking is encouraged. Children need to discover that it is acceptable to struggle sometimes, that it is okay for things to be difficult sometimes, that it is all right not to understand sometimes for it is from our mistakes that we learn the most. Students must learn more than facts; they should learn how to learn in an environment that is differentiated with regard to content, product, and process. Students will learn best when their learning experiences are authentic and include hands-on learning and manipulatives as often as possible. Parents are integral partners in their child’s learning and should be included as valued members within the classroom community.

Schools must consider the “whole child”. This includes their social, emotional, and physical aspects, as well as the arts. All children can learn and school needs to meet their individual needs through differentiation and teaching to the multiple intelligences. Children need to feel successful, be encouraged to push themselves, and have positive experiences in school. Providing choice for students when appropriate involves students in their own learning and empowers them. Children need to feel a sense of self worth to be successful learners and successful members of society.

Learning should be joyous; laughter should be heard in every classroom. School should provide experiences that might not otherwise be possible. Learning is a lifelong journey and children of all ages need to experience wonder, success, and challenge.

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5 Responses

  1. I’m going to be writing my philosophy of education in the next week or so for an undergraduate course! I’ll be sure to share what I wrote so you can compare the thoughts of a seasoned educator to those of a future one!

    Best,
    Andy

  2. Great philosophy of education! You alluded to, but I would add, learning extends beyond the walls of the classroom. School is not the place where learning happens, it is a place where learning is purposeful, life is where learning happens.

    • Kelly, great point. I was a little worried about not explicitly mentioning technology, but your idea of “extending learning beyond the classroom walls” helps elude to its use. I went back and forth on adding some language about technology’s use. I want to foster the notion that it is a given and not a separate “thing”. Afterall, I don’t explicitly mention books, or paper, or pencils. By not mentioning it I don’t want to water down its importance.

  3. Great post. I would also add something about teaching kids the importance of process and method, versus concentrating solely on outcome and results. It took me years as an adult to appreciate the intrinsic value of ‘practice’ (practice for practice sake), and enjoying the journey as much as the destination. I wish I had been taught to think about this more at a younger age.

  4. I like what you wrote about a safe classroom where risk taking is encouraged. For some kids, it’s a risk to ask or answer a question out loud in front of their peers (I remember those days…long ago). Technology, properly used, can be a real asset in allowing students to take that risk without fear of being embarrassed.

    Regards,
    Frank

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