My Philosophy of Education:
Teacher: Teacher as facilitator, guide on the side, comfortable with change
Teaching Methods: Problem solving, critical thinking, cooperative learning activities, decision making, problem detecting
Curriculum: Experienced based, integrated, reflective, environmental variables, moral development, human relations
"A teacher's personal philosophy of education is a critical element in his or her approach to guiding children along
the path of enlightenment." Barbara Wilt
As a current Para educator, I firmly feel it is crucial that one's own personal beliefs about teaching are explored.
The process of building a philosophy statement is a continuous work of art which will unfold in many directions with time.
Within my own educational beliefs, I feel the philosophies of progressivism and social reconstructivism suit my future as
Due to recent knowledge in my education which has revolved around student-centered activities and constructivism, I hold
tight to the beliefs that I one day will teach through the use of these instructional teaching styles. As an educator,
I hope to strive as a "guide on the side" verses a "mentor in the center", or "sage on the stage". My beliefs revolve
around giving complete attention to each child's needs as individuals. It is important to find ways to incorporate students
into the process of their own learning. Multicultural issues in our schools today cannot be ignored, instead they must
be seen as unique and beautiful individuals whose differences are important, respected, accepted and understood and even celebrated.
As I have noted in a small diagram above, many of my beliefs revolve around progressivism. My mind set is focused
on the idea that children will learn best through experiences which are real- life and close to them at heart. I know
I do not stand alone when I say how easy it has been in my past to memorize information and soon thereafter regurgitate the
information for tests or exams in order to obtain good grades. I have not however identified or related well to the
information being presented. This is why relating information to children through personal experiences will help them
remember and store information rather than trying to memorize.
My personal experiences have helped shape and build my philosophy of education today. I have found that learning
happens when children are enthused, motivated and interested in the materials being presented. My beliefs revolve around
children's voice in the learning process. As educators, we must find the ties which help connect children to parts of
their lives they find interesting and open about, and somehow tie it in with the curriculum. This can be accomplished
through the use of stories, experiences as well as ideas to the class. Not only does this approach help children learn
through connections but it allows for the students to express themselves through opportunities in groups as they share and
learn from one another. Showing respect for each other's differences is an important emphasis to mention during this
My philosophy of education also incorporates opportunities for children to relate what they have learned into social challenges
outside of the classroom. This revolves around social reconstructivism. Children have the opportunities to build,
grow and prosper within their society. Allowing children these opportunities will help build self-esteem as well as
problem solving skills.
In working one-on-one as a Para educator, as well, with children in groups, I have created a style which is similar to
constructivism. When teaching one-on-one and with groups of children, my approach is not as a "talking head", rather
it is to allow for opportunities for the children to participate, share experiences, ask questions, or to simply give opinions.
Even though I have an outline of information ready for the children feel I can connect this with the children’s knowledge
and experiences. This will help them to relate to the activities and allow the information to soak in. Within
these educational walls, children become more receptive, this in hand makes the information more meaningful.
My philosophy of education revolves mainly around the student centered approach, which in hand brings to light ideas and
theories of progressivism and constructivism. Through personal experiences, jobs, relationships and life in general,
my philosophy has taken shape. I do carry with time however the knowledge and understanding that this shape will change
its form more than once. I believe the ability of an educator to notice they can change and strengthen their philosophy
separates a good teacher from a great one. These foundations of my educational philosophy will continue to guide me
through interactions with my students as well as how I teach within my classroom.