Educational Goals and Philosophies
My life has been greatly influenced by family members who are educators: my mother is a third grade teacher, my father an elementary school principal, my sister a high school English teacher, and my brother who obtains a degree in agricultural education. This has instilled in me the desire to become, like them, a good educator but is defiantly not the only reason for my decision to peruse teaching as an occupation. There are several reasons why I have chose to teach, but three in particular: to make a difference in anyone’s life that I can, help a child who is struggling more than just academically, and simply because teaching remains all I have ever wanted to do since I was just a little girl.
The area of education that I wish to pursue is that of English education, while also possibly becoming certified in special education. After completing my four year bachelor degree I would like to eventually receive a masters degree in either administration or special education. In pursuing these goals, above all I hope to become an influencing factor in the lives of the children who are indeed the future. But how do I go about accomplishing this? What truly makes an influential and successful teacher? I have come to the realization that in order for me to truly become a good teacher, I must extend the desires that I possess and include a plethora of ideals and values. Thus, my philosophy of education came into existence, pulling from each of the five main philosophies; essentialism, progressivism, perennialism, existentialism, and behaviorism, forming an eclectic one.
To an extensive degree, I would say that I am a strong activist as an essentialist. I believe in a well rounded, core curriculum to the point that there are essential bits of information a human must possess in order to contribute to and thrive in today’s society. Herman Horne and William Bagley, two very prominent supporters of this philosophy express the importance of a core curriculum by stating that "The heart of the educational process is the assimilation of prescribed subject matter". I do believe, however, that the essential body of information will vary from person to person since our learning capacities and styles differ.
Not every student learns by partaking in the same activities: for example some learn better from lecturing and worksheets while others may absorb information more efficiently through experimentation and hands on activities. It is at this point in my philosophy that progressivism fits in. In some circumstances, student’s learning increases when they are engaged in movement and hands-on activities. I hope to utilize this aspect of progressivism within my classroom as much as I possibly can to not only accommodate those students who learn better kinesthetically but to also promote social skills and student interaction, while also incorporating other important curriculum.