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Why I want to teach:

Children are far more likely to smile and laugh than grown ups. Their giggles and humor tend to be contagious and so I love to be around them. They have a tremendous capacity to learn but still manage not to take things too seriously. I admire that and would like to spend my career helping them.

My education philosophy:

Each of the major philosophical approaches to education has merit. However, to strictly employ only one philosophy is limiting and hampers all possibility for improvement. Essentialism, progressivism, perennialism, and existentialism all contribute valid ideas to the teaching profession. I will choose to use aspects of each in varying degrees as is appropriate to different students and situations. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences must be considered when planning lessons for students with different aptitudes. In addition, it is important to keep an open mind about the many different methods available for teaching any given subject in a manner that is best suited to students with different intelligences.

The merit of essentialism is evident in its name. Essentialism aims to teach essential skills and subjects. There are unarguably certain subjects which are necessary as a core and foundation to all other learning. Reading, math, and natural science are subjects that will be built upon from day one of a students school career. I agree with essentialists that these subjects should be taught to every student in addition to history, literature, and other social sciences. Essentialism also holds that teachers should teach a respect for duty and authority as well as consideration for others. Personally, I agree with this idea and believe that a respect for author...

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...ifficult to apply the best parts of each of these philosophies. In fact, it may be impossible to apply them all simultaneously. My goal is to maintain an awareness of each of them so that I can employ the best philosophy for each situation. As an elementary school teacher essentialism and progressivism will be most appropriate in most situations. However, as part of my professional development, it will be important to maintain and add to my knowledge of all educational philosophies. My greatest challenge will be discovering the best method for effectively teaching students with so many varied interests, aptitudes, and cultural backgrounds. I feel confident that Concord College is giving me a strong foundation to build these skills upon. I consider my field experiences an invaluable opportunity to test and improve the educational philosophies I am learning in class.