We should teach the students in our schools about life. We should teach them the basics of math, English, social science, and science, but also about physical education and health. We need to strengthen our children’s talents as well as their weaknesses by allowing them courses and other opportunities to pursue those passions. I think that content should be analyzed for what will be necessary to use in the real world and how it will be applied beyond the walls of the classroom. Curriculum should be selected based on relevance to the teachers, students, and the school. Will it teach goals that are designed for students? Will it encourage and support the 21st century learner? Does it challenge students to think critically? Questions like these support progressivism and constructivism in that they emphasize real-life problem solving and critical thinking in the curriculum (Liepolt, 2004).
In the classroom, I value organization, planning, honesty, ambition, collaboration, and respect. For these reasons, my classroom will be neat and orderly with aligned seats; clean without clutter and with organized walls; structured with an agenda and always planned ahead of time for my students and myself; reflective of what will be taught and learned so that students know what is expected of them; representative of student accomplishments and progress; split into teams and groups for group work or pair work; and a safe place for students to share, answer, and propose questions without scrutiny from peers or the teacher. Collaboration and student questioning are both supportive of constructivism according to Liepolt (2004).
In terms of discipline, I think students should be respectful of a teacher, and a teacher should be respectful of students. Classroom rules should be simple and easy to follow with consequences that are easy to implement and simple for students to memorize. That way students and teacher know what is expected and know what the expectations look like.
The student is dependent on the teacher, classmates, and society. I think the student is dependent on these three because he/she works with each. The teacher is the student’s guide and the student looks to the teacher for advice and direction. Society is where the student will end up. The societal rules need to be passed on to the student so they can succeed in the real world. Classmates collaborate with the student on a daily basis both in and out of the classroom. The student depends on classmates for friendships, social needs, and academic needs. Above these dependencies though, I think the student is the most important person in his/her education, which is supported by constructivism according to Glasersfeld (1989) in Cognition, Construction of Knowledge, and Teaching.
The teacher is the guide for students and should be a safe person for students to talk to (Bauersfeld, 1995). The teacher holds the valuable information the student needs to become a successful and contributing member of society. The teacher’s responsibilities include educating to the best of his/her ability, ensuring the safety and well-being of the child, assisting students with growth both academically and emotionally, and communicating about each student’s education with the parent, student, and administration.
As a teacher, I value telling the truth, being on time, respecting others and yourself, and taking responsibility for your own actions. My hopes for my students include pride, ambition, and self-worth. I want my students to have pride in the work they complete for me, for other teachers, and for any employer they have in the future. I want to teach my students to turn in their best work and use their best efforts to complete their work. I want my students to be ambitious and go for the “A”. I want them to go to college, build goals and dreams, and follow through on them. I want my students to feel their self-worth. I want them to know they are important and can make a difference in the world. They are the future and we are putting it in their hands.
The goal of education for society involves creating contributing members of society. Education encourages students to become responsible adults with positive effects on the future of our country and our world. School teaches students to interact with one another in a variety of settings, and it has the role of teaching our students the ways of our society, the history and the present issues, as well as the roles they do and will play in society.
The goal of education for the individual is to create a life long learner that is knowledgeable about a variety of topics that are not only of interest but that will help the individual student survive and be successful in our society. School, like society, is a place for students to come together and to learn from each other. School is a social playground as well as an academic one.
My thought that education should teach social responsibility and citizenship is supportive of progressivism as Cohen mentions in 1999 in her paper on Philosophical Perspectives.
After completing a masters degree, I have developed a more thorough philosophy of education. It is my intention to share this philosophy piece by piece. Today will be more of an introduction to my philosophy. Feel free to chime in!
One of the major theories taught by credential programs today is the theory of multiple intelligences. Educators are trained to understand and identify learning styles in order to best adapt their curriculum to each child’s needs. Just as students have different learning styles, educators have different teaching styles. The way an educator views education, their students, themselves, the curriculum, and the classroom are due to the educator’s personal philosophy of education. As an educator, I think it is important to not only evaluate your personal experiences when developing your philosophy of education, but to research the philosophies associated with education.
After studying perrenialism, essentialism, progressivism, existentialism, constructivism, and the Socratic method, I found that I best identify with two related philosophies: progressivism and constructivism. Both progressivism and constructivism encourage a student-centered classroom where students are taught by real-life experiences and situations. The teacher is more of a facilitator of learning or a guide that encourages critical thinking and problem solving from his/her students by using questions and student curiosity (Liepolt, 2004). Both philosophies support collaborative projects and alternative assessments. Progressivism is very centered around experience and social responsibility, and constructivism is geared towards evolving ideas and building or changing prior knowledge (Loss, 2010). It is these characteristics that I believe in and strive for as an educator.
Liepolt, W. (2004). Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning [Workshop]. Retrieved from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html
Loss, C.G. % C.P. (2010). Progressive Education – Philosophical Foundations, Pedagogical Progressivism, Administrative Progressivism, Life-Adjustment Progressivism [Article]. Retrieved from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2336/Progressive-Education.html
Wordle.net is an amazing word cloud site. You can either take your own text or copy paste text into a box and magically a word cloud appears. You can adjust the colors and fonts. I think this is a great tool for educators. In an English class, students could describe the character in a book using adjectives and then make a word cloud from those adjectives. In science, when you are learning about a theory students can make a word cloud of all the words associated with that theory. In math, when learning a step-by-step procedure, say solving linear equations, the students could write out the steps and word cloud them. When teaching rules and expectations to students, students could list all the words associated with the rule or expectation and word cloud them. Word clouds are not only educational tools, but they make for a great display of student work in the classroom. It conveys student knowledge and is appealing at the same time. Have your students create a word cloud through wordle or on paper.
Here are some examples of word clouds from wordle: