What is your philosophy of education? Discuss your view, goals, and mindset of education and its importance to your future.
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Perhaps we should look at the process of education more than the product. If we look at education as a product, then a whole lot of students are going to be left behind. Those students who don't intend to continue on to college or trade school have no goal if we look at education as a product. Rather lets consider it a process, teach kids the process on how to educate themselves throughout their lives and then education is valuable and respectful of all.
To respond to this question, think about the basic, fundamental things that you believe about how students should be taught. You have been a student for at least 12 years, so you know a lot about how the education system works!
As a high school senior, the future and whether or not to enter into higher education is probably foremost in your mind. Think about the opportunities that going to college, technical school, or a university might bring. However, there are other ways to learn, including going to work and going into the military, if you look at education in a very broad way and not just in terms of "school."
My philosophy of education has evolved over 40 years, but much of it remains unchanged. The end product of education is to produce citizens who have the ability to collect, organize, and analyze information to make enlightened judgments, who have the knowledge they need to support themselves and their families, and who contribute to the overall well being of their local and national communities.
There are parts of education that require knowledge of a large (and perhaps difficult) body of material, but for most of a person's education, I would emphasize skill building rather than information "stuffing." I like to think of Socrates and his method as the ideal of good teaching. St. John's College (Annapolis/Santa Fe -- http://www.sjca.edu) offer a model of my idea of a university and the ideal way to learn. I know that testing and evaluation don't work all that well in this environment, but perhaps they are overrated, especially at the college level.
This is a big question, and one that many college students would have a hard time with. Maybe the word "philosophy" is scaring you a bit, too.
Let's think how to attack this question. What if you reframed this question to ask yourself what you think education should do for people? Is it supposed to make people smarter? Is it supposed to help people get better jobs? Why does education matter? This part of your response is the part in which you can make general statements about education in the lives of most people. As you make general statements, though, it would be good to use examples to support your statements.
Now, for the rest of your response, you should not have such a hard time because you will be talking about yourself. What do you expect from your education? How will your education affect your future? Will it make a difference to be a high school graduate? Will it make a difference if you go to college? These are the kinds of questions that will make you reflect about education and you!
Good luck to you.
One's philosophy on education can fluctuate as one gains more experience in the field. I am a lifelong educator who has experienced education as a student for over 58 years, and as a teacher for over 38 years. As a student I believe one owes it to himself to live life with a great purpose and reach the highest potential of productivity, by being educated and growing intellectually, spiritually, socially, and physically through out one's life. This can be tough at times when there is great expense and time in getting an education in the formal sense. But informally one can educate himself through life experiences and reading, as well as engaging in educational activities such as visiting museums, and using technologies. As a teacher I have seen the value to others in what I do, whether it is teaching basic information, or forming new relationships with students that I am teaching. As I age I will always be a life long learner and use what gifts I have to teach others!
My philosophy of education is very broad. I think your instructor wants you to think about how your philosophy of education will fit into the "political system's" view of public education. You might ask your instructor for clarification on this question as well.
I believe that a public education should prepare the students for participation in the free society's government by the people, for the people as laid out in the U.S. Constitution. I view the current public education system as weak in these areas. Thomas Jefferson had the idea of a literate agriarian society that was self-governing.
I do think it is a good idea to have benchmarks of accountability such as achievement tests, but I think that teaching only the content of those tests robs students of a broader educational experience. There is so much more to life than bubbling in answers.
I believe education should teach social interaction in such a way that persons learn to cooperate together for the greater good. I believe that the social experience of education prepares students for participation in the government practices used in our democratic society.
Finally, I believe that education should teach students how to learn or teach themselves. 12 years is short compared to our lifespan. If in that time, one has not learned how to solve problems, read books to learn more about a topic, or to do research for oneself; one simply does not have an education. The purpose of public education is to prepare students to be productive citizens, solve problems, and to participate in society.
There are many problems facing the human population today that an achievement test simply does not address. Students may be encouraged to know that they are the future problem solvers of the world. I believe that educators need to function as mentors and coaches to encourage students to dig deep to learn all they can so that they may come up with solutions in the future for pressing problems.
I am a firm believer in constructivism, so I will engage in teaching styles that reflect a "working with" classroom as opposed to a "doing to" classroom. I do not intend to be the type of teacher who lectures and then gives an assignment. As a facilitator of the language of literature, it is important to employ these approaches. I will strive to create my classroom as one that challenges the culture of silence and opens my student's mind to conscientization. Literature has the ability to open our eyes to cultural messages which transcend time. In an English classroom, the educator has the ability to not only teach students various ways to analyze literature, but also to find these themes in their daily life. Teaching a work of literature holds no more importance than the effect it has on society. A text containing controversial issues may pose a risk for teachers, but I intend to view these as opportunities to open my student's minds. I will keep an alternative text, film, or other work on hand which has the ability to teach an issue beyond it's political and societal influences. As a facilitator, I hope to engage in meaningful discussions that open my eyes to new concepts as well as teaching my students how to do this, also. In order to truly understand a piece of literature, it is important that student and teacher work together to find the message the author is attempting to convey. Every text contains countless topics to be explored.
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