My Philosophy of Education
When students understand the methods of learning they will be capable of learning useful and meaningful knowledge for the endurance of their lives.
Successfully educated students will have made the transition from having their learning experiences guided by a teacher to being able to guide themselves through the process of learning. Moreover, successfully educated students will not only have developed the competence to learn, but will also have developed the character necessary to learn. Because my philosophy of education is progressivism, I want to focus on the whole child rather the content or the teacher (myself).
In order to be ready for the real world these children need to be taught about the real world they are growing into. In accordance with progressivism philosophy, I believe that in order to meet the educational goals previously described. The curriculum has to be focused on the students rather than on the knowledge the students are attempting to acquire. The students’ needs- academic, social, and physical must be taken into consideration in order to make the learning useful and meaningful to the students. Thus, the students and the teacher must work together to determine the curriculum.
Moreover, the curriculum must focus on the methods of learning rather than the content so that the students will be able to develop the character and competency for learning how to learn. I believe that the teachers teaching style must embrace the natural curiosity and desire to solve problems the student possess. By engaging students in group activities that intrigue their interests, their students will naturally engage themselves in learning the knowledge necessary to find solutions to problems and satisfy their desire to understand the world around them.
An example of this type of teaching would be having students learn basic knowledge found typically in social studies, math, or language classes through a role playing activity. The students could develop a mock town in which each child would choose a job they found interesting. After days of interacting as a mock town, the students could discuss the problems that evolved in their mock town. The teacher would guide the discussion toward social, financial, and communication issues. The students then could be given the mission, with guidance from the teacher to find possible solutions for the problem they discussed.
As the students find solutions they will also be basic knowledge taught in social studies, math, and language classes. Finally the students could discuss the real world they live in and the types of problems and possible solutions that could make their world a better place. An activity such as this or other field trip types of activities would not only provide useful and meaningful knowledge to the students, but would also help the students comprehend the practical application of the knowledge learning, the process of learning, and method for how problems can be solved.
In accordance with progressivism philosophy, I believe that the role of the teacher is to facilitate the learning experience. The teacher is a resource person and a coin inquirer rather than a taskmaster or authority figure who feeds students facts to be recited when tested. A metaphor for a progressivism teacher would be a tour guide for tourists. The tour guide allows the tourists to embrace their experience by encouraging them to explore things that will be fun, memorable, and intriguing. The guide answers questions by directing the tourists to places where they can find answers.
The tour guide makes the experience so enjoyable for the tourists that the tourists are left with the desire to come back for more exploration in the future. I believe that the responsibility of the students is to develop naturally by working together as they attempt to solve problems they discover while participating in interesting activities guided by their teacher. As the teacher exposes the students to information in subjects such as science, technology, literature, and the arts, the students will understand that knowledge in these areas will remain current and useful in their lives.
Thus, the primary responsibility of the students is to participate in activities and develop the skills and character necessary to understand the process and methods of learning. In my opinion, the progressivism educational philosophy best fits me as a result of my learning style. I find that I comprehend and enjoy what I learn more when I am participating in learning activities. I also believe that I understand how to apply what I have learned more effectively if I am able to experience the practical application of the knowledge I am being taught.