Philosophy of Education


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Philosophy of Education


On October 20, 2001 I had the greatest dream. From this dream, I came to the realization that I would become an educator. I’ve always felt that the hardest decision to make is what to do for the rest of your life. My life was heading on a different road in a completely different direction. After being down this road for nearly three years, I discovered that I was not satisfied with my initial career choice. The road led me to Concord College.

My educational plan is to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education. I have a six year old daughter and a four year old son, that gave me complete inspiration for deciding on this field of study. Once both of my children are in school I plan to work towards my Masters in Education with a concentration in Reading. While at Concord this semester, I have several courses, outside of education, in which I have incorporated my passion for education.

Upon graduation I will substitute teach for the Mercer County School System until I am offered a full-time position or until I begin my graduate studies. I hope to be placed in a preschool or kindergarten class because I feel that this is where it all begins and I want to be a part of their first formal learning experience. I have been placed in seven Mercer County Schools for field placements. I have had positive experiences at all the placements. I have seen how wonderfully a school has embraced an “open” school environment and overcame many obstacles that stem from this type of school. I have seen how standardized testing in the school system, puts a great deal of pressure on the teachers to make sure the students know their material well enough to move to the next level. These tests also put pressure on the students to do well. I have experienced how to modify your lessons to fit every student in the classroom.

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I have been the teacher that learns about each child and tries to teach them new and exciting things.

According to the great philosopher, John Dewey, education is the ‘creation of knowledge through inquiry rather than the transmission of extant information” and also that ‘genuine education is based on the experience of the learner”. I tend to agree with Dewey. As a student myself, I spent school years learning as a “foreigner”. I was not an academically excelling student during those times because I literally did not know how to learn, so I could not understand how to weed through what was the most important things to remember that the teachers would want us to know. I am a student who learns by doing and not by listening to lectures. Dewey wanted to make education an experimental learning process. He incorporated three focusing sets of activities in the school curriculum, which included; Making and doing—which referred to doing everyday challenges at school, that were similar to the challenges that students had at home. Dewey

states that “working collaboratively on these activities would breing children into touch with how life took place”; History and geography, not as subjects, but as “expanding children’s perspective in time and space”; and in science, as described by Dewey as being “the investigation of various subject matter disciplines”, why and what to do to solve problems.

I lean towards the philosophy of progressivism, because I feel that progressivism allows for students to learn at their own pace and the individual style that would allow the students better success. This philosophy is also impressive to me because it incorporates learning by social interaction and the curriculum involves your personal experiences and individual interests.

Another philosophy that I have interest in is the Existentialism philosophy. After researching this philosophy for speech, I have found this philosophy very intriguing. Sometimes the traditional approach to educating isn’t always the solution for every student. A little freedom of choice and opportunity could go a long way toward succeeding in education. Giving a student the opportunity to be creative may give the student more confidence in what they know. I also find that with my own educational experience, when I had an interest in a subject and was given the freedom to broaden my knowledge of the subject, my way, I learned quicker and more in depth.

In my research, I studied KIPP Academy, which is a charter school in Houston, Texas, that allows students more freedom to choose their curriculum. I found astonishing information on standardized state test scores. KIPP Academy had 98% of their students to pass all sections of the Texas Academic Assessment Skills Test with 100% passing in mathematics, 99% in reading and science, and 97% in social studies with no student being exempt from taking the exam. This information would have to draw anyone’s attention. It makes me feel that charter schools are doing something right. Offering children an opportunity to be equal, to have a say in what they are learning, and a chance to feel a part of their school may be the key to opening the door of learning.

I have grown stronger in my personal philosophy that if you read to a child, even before they are born, the child will gain a passion for reading and learning. My opinion is that when children enjoy reading, it gives them a wide perspective of knowledge that will allow the child many opportunities. I have a strong opinion that reading is the forefront of exceeding academically.

As a future educator, I will keep up on Existentialism and charter schools in the news and maybe one day I will be able to experience this style of education in West Virginia. No matter what philosophy you agree with, all educators should want to bring out the best in all students and want to go the extra mile to make sure that our students are getting every opportunity to succeed. If the student is not succeeding, we must intervene and make adjustments because we can make a difference.


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