My Philosophy of Education
John Dewy once said that “education is a social preparation . . .education is growth . . . education is not a preparation for life, education is life itself.” Dewey’s statement represents the roots of my educational philosophy. I believe that school is a place where students develop social skills that will equip them for the rest of their lives. I believe that school is a place where students grow mentally, physically, and emotionally. I believe that school is not only a major tool in the real world battle against ignorance and poverty, but it is also place where dreams come true. I hope to instill creativity, imagination, and fundamental morals that will follow a child throughout his or her life. As a teacher I hope to promote social interaction, encourage, and motivate growth, and have a positive effect on the lives of my students.
In today’s society, there are those who take an essentialist point of view, those who prefer navigating our students back to the basic structured principles of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I feel this method creates a robot generation that would be perfectly capable of reciting the Gettysburg Address, but would be unable to discuss the reason it was given. I believe that educators should strive to use this fundamental and structured subject matter to introduce critical thinking and creativity, while incorporating cooperative learning and discussion. I feel the integration of social skills with fundamental knowledge molds a young mind into a confident and productive learner, one who is capable of engaging in critical thinking and intelligent communication. This should be the primary objective of public education.
Along with enhancing communication skills, another goal of public education should be to make learning a positive experience. I feel that if this is achieved the student will gain the ability to self-motivate for the sake of learning, and not because it is required. If the student is able to acquire a lifelong love of learning then, in my opinion, knowledge will not begin and end with the ringing of a school bell. Learning, rather, will be fueled by continuous curiosity and a desire to discover.
Upon entering my classroom students will encounter a place of discovery where they will be encouraged to think and be creative. Reading lessons will incorporate questions that check for understanding and discussions that encourage students to voice their opinions. Science will be guided, hands-on activities, promoting discovery. Students will be asked to hypothesize before learning the facts. In doing this, I hope that I can establish a positive learning environment, moving my students toward wanting to learn.
In order to create a positive learning environment, my classroom structure will be guided by the beliefs of progressivism. As I previously mentioned, I will use extensive hands on and...