Education is the process of giving instruction to enlighten a person’s knowledge and understanding of certain concepts. This process also involves cultivating certain dispositions such as beliefs, values, skills, and character that impact individuals’ thoughts and behavior in diverse aspects (Abiogu, 2014). The philosophy of education involves the study of the nature and purpose of education by focusing on the process of education or the discipline of education that entails the concepts and the aim of the discipline. Historically, philosophies of education have focused on the education process in the context of ethical theories (Abiogu, 2014). However, in the twentieth century, the focus has changed to the foundations of education that aim at linking it with other parts of the discipline of education rather that with other parts of philosophy. These include the history of education, anthropology, sociology, and psychology of education (Abiogu, 2014).
Major Historical Events and Political Issues That Have Influenced K‐12 Education over the Last 70 Years
Historically, education reforms have focused on changing inputs in the education process. However, this has changed to a system that focuses on changing the outputs. There are major historical events and political issues that have influenced the current K-24 education (Delgado, Stefancic, & Harris, 2017). One of the major events in education is the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954 where a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of black children in Topeka, Kansas after they were denied admission in desegregated schools. The U.S Supreme Court ruled that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal and violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Delgado, Stefancic, & Harris, 2017). This paved a way for the Civil Rights Movement in the efforts to end racial segregation that was deeply entrenched in public facilities.
On September 2, 1958, the United States signs the National Defense of Education Act (NDEA) into law that aimed at providing funding to educational institutions in the United States at all levels (Wilkerson & Wilson, 2017). President Dwight Eisenhower implemented this science initiative with the aim of increasing technological integration in the education system. This was also influenced by the launch of the Sputnik satellite on October 4, 1957 where the United States felt threatened by the education system of the Soviet Union (Wilkerson & Wilson, 2017). The NDEA led to the provision of finance and other resources to expand math, foreign language, and science programs in educational facilities. In 1964, the largest student led protest at the University of California Berkeley over the expulsion of students involved in a Free Speech Movement.
The students were protesting against the ban of political activities and the student’s right to free speech and academic freedom (Wilkerson & Wilson, 2017). This event is played a key role in shaping American political dialogue in educational facilities and in the broader community. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into law that aims at providing funding for poor students (Wilkerson & Wilson, 2017). This law is still active in the United States by making sure that public schools provide quality education for all students. In 1968, more protests continue in the fight for equal access to education services. San Francisco State University student groups, Black Student Union, and Third World Students go on strike for four months joined by parents and community members to defend the students (Wilkerson & Wilson, 2017).
This leads to the development of a Black Studies Department, Black student enrollment, Black studies professors, the development of a School of Ethnic Studies, and BA in Black studies (Pierce, 2018). In 1970s the courts continued to rule in favor of race, ability, and gender equality in education in various cases such as Diana v. California State Board, Lau v. Nichols, an Antonio Ind. school District v. Rodrguez, and Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. More court amendments continue in 1980s and 1990s to previous legislation regarding race, gender, abilities, and religion (Pierce, 2018). The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is reauthorized in 2015 that provides diverse guidelines to the federal government and educational facilities. This law is meant to ensure the accountability of learning facilities and that important information is provided to educators, students, and the community (Pierce, 2018).
Three Current Trends in Education and Their Effects on Current Leadership Strategies, Classroom Practices, and Student Outcomes
One current trend in education is digital literacy that has been achieved through the integration of technological advancements in the education process to enhance the learning process (Nepo, 2017). Digital literacy is created based on student’s’ developmental stage and learning opportunities. Most children born today encounter an education system fully immersed in technology where they can access the internet using personal computers and smart phones to enhance the learning outcome (Nepo, 2017). The digital era started in the late 1940s that aimed at encouraging cultural diversity and integrating different learning styles into the education process. In the 21st century, learners are using iPads and Smart Boards instead of textbooks. This has allowed teachers to become more flexible and pursue different learning approaches to instruction (Nepo, 2017). Technology also enhances student and teacher engagement during learning by fostering collaborative learning.
Due to the increasing demand for educational services and the demand to integrate different learning approaches during the learning process, educators have integrated technology into the learning process to address individual educational needs as well as reach out to all students through different learning preferences (Santos, Ramos, Escola, & Reis, 2019). Traditionally, educators have lectured students in a classroom as the students take down notes. However, this process has limitations that include distractions during lectures and some students are unable to understand certain concepts due to their different learning styles since educators may not use all the learning approaches to cater to the learning preferences of all learners (Santos et al., 2019). Technology provides various platforms that include audio or visual education materials that enhance learning and interaction among students. Digital literacy may be applied in the creation of classroom presentations where student use advanced tools to develop presentations and in collaborative class work where students are required to interact in carrying out various class assignments (Santos et al., 2019).
Leaders can use this trend to create real-world problems that students are required to solve enhancing their skills and learning outcomes. Another current trend in education is the adoption of alternative assessment to replace the traditional exams that evaluate and assess students on their understanding regarding certain topics (Information Resources Management Association, 2014). Alternative assessment provides student performance grading that use a more holistic approach in assessing students. Traditionally students have been assessed through a cumulative set of work over a period. However, alternative assessment allows students to provide their responses instead of selecting an answer from a list of options (Information Resources Management Association, 2014). Some of the types of alternative assessment include portfolios of complied work, essays, and demonstrations of certain concepts. This provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their understanding. The traditional compression of an entire semester’s work into a one-hour test may be a misrepresentation of students’ efforts (Information Resources Management Association, 2014).
Alternative assessment is beneficial to educators since they can determine what concepts students poorly understood and develop interventions that are more effective (Kallio, 2018). The third current trend in education is collaborative learning where students are encouraged to interact with one another in the effort to enhance their understanding of certain concepts. Educators can achieve collaborative learning by developing assignments that can only be achieved through teamwork to enhance collaboration among students (Kallio, 2018). Collaboration with the teacher is also encouraged to break up the monopoly of a lecture and enhance students’ team building skills as well as their performance. This is made possible with the adoption of applications that make it easy for teachers to be innovative and interactive with students. One of these applications is Kahoot that educators can use to develop collaborative assignments and activities to enhance collaborative learning in education (Kallio, 2018).
A Philosophy of Education That Enables an Educational Leader to Successfully Manage the Strategic Planning Process
A philosophy of education is the backbone of educators by providing important guidelines and principles that form the foundation and framework that teachers can use in their profession (Ugwuozor, 2019). This includes justifying their teaching agendas, curriculum preferences, examining what they do, understanding the meaning of the education profession, and guiding them in achieving greater learning outcomes. My philosophy of education is that all students are unique and the environment plays a key role in the learning process (Ugwuozor, 2019). The environment impacts students physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally and teachers need to create a good atmosphere to encourage learning where students are able to attain their full potential. In encouraging collaboration, it is important to create a safe environment where students are free to share their opinions without fear (Ugwuozor, 2019).
The teacher has also a role of providing guidance to students in diverse aspects. This can be achieved by developing activities that motivate students during learning as well as integrate technology to address the different learning preferences of all students. My personal education philosophy is based on self-determination theory that focuses on determining the motivation behind individual choices without external influence (Ugwuozor, 2019). This ensures that the education philosophy is student-centered and supports diverse student’s needs. One way of achieving this is by understanding how social factors influence an individual’s ability to thrive. It is important for educators to educate each student based on his/her needs through effective relationships (Ugwuozor, 2019). These relationships are helpful in developing intrinsic motivations and integrating some of the current trends in education such as technology, collaborative learning, and inclusivity to enhance productivity and the development of important life skills.
One of the principles of self-determination theory is the distinction of three innate psychological needs of students that include competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Fichtman & Yendol-Hoppey, 2014). I will use this theory to elaborate how students internalize regulation of behavior that was initially external in the aim of developing autonomous self-determined behavior. This is important as it influences the preparation and selection of curriculum structure, classroom assessments, and classroom teaching (Fichtman & Yendol-Hoppey, 2014). Acceptance and patience are key attributes for teachers that can be applied through respect and holding conversations with diverse students in the effort to understand their perspectives. This will inform decision-making in the school through collaboration where I do not view my teaching style as the most effective rather integrate evolving educational practices and allowing for growth (Fichtman & Yendol-Hoppey, 2014).
How This Philosophy of Education Will Allow an Educational Leader to Work with Other Stakeholders with Diverse Philosophies (e.g., Teachers, Administrators, and School Board Members)
One of the key considerations in the development of educational philosophies is the focus on students to enable them to expand and share their new skills with the community. The integration and benefits of technology cannot be overlooked as this encourages collaboration and addressing each student’s unique learning needs (Mucetti, 2017). These aspects form a common foundation in education philosophies by highlighting the importance of serving all students. Providing education services to all populations is one of the objectives of education stakeholders (Mucetti, 2017). The integration of technology will foster and facilitate the achievement of this objective since a teacher is able to reach out to all students through the application of different learning styles during the learning process. This philosophy also focuses on the learning environment that impact learning outcomes (Mucetti, 2017).
Creating a conducive environment is beneficial for the learner as well as educators and can play a role in enhancing teacher-student relationships. This is important in improving productivity and addressing the current stereotypes that may prevent equal distribution of educational services to all students (Dehmlow, 2017). Historically, there are many cases advocating for equal access of educational services with the court ruling in favor of equality in the provision and access of educational services. This has also encouraged students to speak out on any injustice in school where leaders have taken certain stands and implemented laws to ensure that there is no discrimination in school (Dehmlow, 2017). Leaders can collaborate with stakeholders ensure equity and create achievable strategic goals and learning opportunities. The current trends in education provide opportunities for teachers and administrators to build relationships that important in collaborating and developing intrinsic motivations to improve learning outcomes (Dehmlow, 2017).
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- Dehmlow, M. (2017). Editorial board thoughts: Developing relentless collaborations and powerful partnerships. Information Technology & Libraries, 36(2), 3.
- Delgado, R., Stefancic, J., & Harris, A. P. (2017). Critical race theory: An introduction. New York: New York University Press.
- Fichtman, D. N., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2014). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner’s inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
- Information Resources Management Association. (2014). K-12 education: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey PA Information Science Reference, an imprint of IGI Global.
- Kallio, J. M. (2018). Participatory Design of Classrooms: Infrastructuring Education Reform in K-12 Personalized Learning Programs. Journal of Learning Spaces, 7(2), 35-49.
- Mucetti, R. (2017). From forty-to-one to one-to-one: eliminating the digital divide and making equity actionable. Educational Leadership and Administration: Teaching and Program Development, 28, 28–36.
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- Santos, G., Ramos, E., Escola, J., & Reis, M. (2019). ICT Literacy and School Performance. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – TOJET, 18(2), 19–39.
- Ugwuozor, F. (2019). Developing a personal philosophy of education: a requisite guide to educational practices. Educational Research Quarterly, 42(3), 3-28.
- Wilkerson, R. D., & Wilson, C. M. (2017). “Beating against the Wind”: The politics of race and retention in supporting African American principal advocacy and growth. Journal of School Leadership, 27(6), 772–799. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/105268461702700601