What Is My Philosophy of Education Personal Essay

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What is education? It is defined as the process of receiving or giving instruction, facilitation of learning, the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits, especially in school or university.

What is philosophy? It is a science that by natural light of reason studies the principles and causes of all things. A discipline that encompasses all things, studying the reasons for its being.

What is philosophy of education? According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018), it is the branch of applied or practical philosophy concerned with the nature and aims of education and the philosophical problems arising from educational theory and practice.

For me, education begins at birth. As a person grows, he goes through a series of experiences that help him learn and grow, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Before a child goes to school for his formal education, he would have learned basic skills such as walking, listening, talking. Each child, each person is unique. Every student learns in different ways, and that they each bring their own set of skills, talents, and gifts to the classroom.

As a teacher, an educator, and a facilitator of learning, my philosophy of education is a mixture of different types.

Teacher – centered philosophy of education is classified into two types. Essentialism is about imparting to students knowledge, and skills, usually through lectures and hands-on projects or worksheets, and then followed with an assessment to see if the students did learn the objectives of the lessons. There is a curriculum, usually set by the Department of Education, to be followed by the teacher, but how the subject is taught, is the teacher’s discretion. Another type, perennialism, is where education is focused on the teaching of great works. It emphasizes certain works that transcends time. Works or theories that are still applicable in this modern society, as it was when it was conceived and written. The importance of mastery of the content and developing minds to think rationally and critically is the primary concern of perennialism.

Student – centered philosophy of education focuses on the needs of the students, training individual students. There is more emphasis placed on the student’s individuality and help them to realize their potential. In this type of philosophy, there is less concern in drilling the students with academics, and more training for developing skills to adapt in the changing world. The student – centered philosophy is categorized into three types.

Developing the student’s moral compass is the focus of progressivism. It is based on the problem – solving approach and positive changes that are provided to students. It is outcome based and educators don’t just impart knowledge and facts. In this type, the plan is to remove mandated curriculum, and for teachers to not just be disseminators of information but rather be facilitators of learning. It is about exploring different ideas and experience various outcomes. In this type, small groups debate and discussions, buzz sessions, are commonly seen activities in the classroom. Teachers would walk around and among the groups, guiding them by asking deep questions and giving suggestions.

Another type of student – centered philosophy is humanism. This type of philosophy is where the teacher helps each student to reach his fullest potential. The learner is in control of his destiny. It is the goal of the learner to become a fully autonomous person, so the focus is on personal choice, personal freedom and responsibility. The learner is self-motivated and motivation to learn is intrinsic. Education in this perspective emphasizes the student’s directing their own learning. Again, the teacher serves as a facilitator, guiding the students to look for theor own methods of study or materials.

Constructivism or congnitivism, the third type of student – centered philosophy, uses education to help shape the world view of students. This is done by letting the learner to construct his understanding of reality by interacting with their environment, the people, events, objects around them, and reflect on these experiences. The motivation to learn comes from the conflict that the learner experiences when his interactions with people, events and objects go against what he already knows. This triggers the learner to look for solutions to restore the balance between his experiences and knowledge.

Socially – centered philosophies of education include reconstructionism and behaviourism. Reconstructionism is where education is used as means to solve social problems. In this philosophy, it is believed that all leaders are a product of the school. The schools are expected to provide a curriculum that develop this kind of leaders. The aim of this philosophy is to create a generation of problem solvers. Teachers are called upon to educate students and prepare them for the changes that comes with development in social fields such as science and technology.

Discussions about moral dilemmas and understanding the implications of actions are part of the discussions in a resconstructionist classroom. Students identify the problems they would like to act upon, they would identify their objectives, and with the teacher’s guidance, a plan of action is created to make change happen.

Behaviorism is a philosophy that is focused on developing behaviors that are beneficial to society. Behavior is shaped deliberately by forces in the environment. It is determined by others, rather than by own free will. Morality and information is learned when desirable behavior is carefully shaped. Responses that lead to satisfying effects are acquired and remembered by the learners.

Just like Ivan Pavlov’s research by using reinforcement of ringing a bell with food presented to a dog, and soon the dog would salivate when it hears the bell ringing. Learning happens as a result of responses to stimuli in the environment that are reinforced by others. The teacher uses this to help students learn by conditioning them through identifying, observable and measurable behaviors. An example is giving praise when a student would raise his hand to get called on.


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What Is My Philosophy of Education Personal Essay. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-is-my-philosophy-of-education/

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