My Philosophy of Education
A child’s education is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspects of his or her life. With this in mind, teachers are very influential characters. Therefore it is essential that teachers develop their educational philosophy and their educational goals before making the big step from being a student to being a teacher. I would now like to present my educational philosophy and goals. I will do this by combining the thoughts of Rousseau, Plato/Socrates, Sophistry/Foucault, Pragmatism/Progressivism and interpreting and creating it into my own.
First, I would like to share my thoughts on the nature of human beings. I agree with Plato and Socrates in the sense that most human beings (students) are not alike and are therefore sorted into groups. I do not believe, however, that it is my right or responsibility to sort students into my own defined groups. This proves to be unfair and provides no sense of autonomy to the students. In today’s society, mainly the students do the sorting process, themselves, into what we know as “peer groups”. This is why I also agree with the Pragmatists and Progressivists’ view in which they believe that human beings are social as well as experiencing, exploring, and thinking individuals. In addition, I feel that students are innocent with a capacity for good or evil and the environment determines their direction, as does Rousseau. Unfortunately, the environments surrounding children today are not always conductive for learning; therefore, I want to present my classroom as a safe, positive, and conductive atmosphere.
Next, I want to examine the nature of knowledge. I strongly agree with Rousseau’s view of knowledge. It is neither relative nor absolute. It is a unification of the two. I will be teaching a great variety of subjects and I feel that it is vital for children to gain knowledge from and understand the value of each subject; as well, it is necessary in order to obtain a complete and priceless education. A student needs mathematics, which is an example of absolute knowledge, where memorization and comprehension are the keys. Yet, I also feel that English and/or literature classes hold just as much significance, which can be considered relative knowledge. Both Rousseau and the Pragmatists/Progressivists, along with myself, agree that we come to know knowledge through experience. For example, as a future teacher, I do not expect students to sit in their seats the entire time, listening to me while I tell them how to do something; rather, I want them to participate in hands-on experiences and contribute to cooperative learning groups. To a certain extent, I like Foucault and the Sophists’ idea that knowledge determines power and power determines truth. It is true that knowledge creates a sense of power. Also, people are more likely to accept the views of those in power. In the past, as well as in the present, this has...