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-
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,
As a current 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 m own educational beliefs I feel the philosophies of progressivism
and social reconstructivism suit my future as a teacher.
Due to recent learnings in my education which revolve 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" instead of 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 seen as unique and beautiful individuals who's 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 group work.
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 child(ren) to participate, share experiences,
ask questions, or to simply give opinions. Even though I have an outline of information ready for the child(ren), I
feel I can connect this with the child(rens) 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, which 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 it's 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