Personal Philosophy of Education
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“To instruct someone… is not a matter of getting him to commit results to mind. Rather, it is to teach him to participate in the process that makes possible the establishment of knowledge. We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on that subject, but rather to get a student to think mathematically for himself, to consider matters as an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledge-getting. Knowing is a process not a product”. (Philosophy of Education, n.d.)
Before going for a deep discussion about the personal philosophy of education, it is more important to know the philosophy of education. Every individual has its own philosophy of education, and it mostly develop during the academic life, although philosophy of education is something which is important for teachers during their teaching career it should evolve and should be taken various advancements and forms.
Each student is capable of doing something in life, to achieve something, to become something but that mainly rely on the academic life and the overall course which is taught during the school years. The way the teacher handles a student and the way the student get exactly what the teacher try to explain is something to be focused on and that is what creates the philosophy of the link which is created between the student and the course, books, notes without which no student can do better performance and no teacher is able to communicate with his/her pupil in order move the knowledge toward the student. The teacher’s philosophy of education to educate his/her pupil requires him/her to have higher hopes from the students, so as to get better response, more hard work, competitive goals’ achievement and full involvement in the course.
The educator’s philosophy can best be described by the theory of Jerome Bruner which highlights constructivism. In this system of constructivism the constructivist selects ideas, objects and hypothesis of the constructive approach of others and then draws conclusions accordingly. Constructivism allows student to create knowledge then to just read it. Whatever is being taught is not enough, in a constructive theory students are asked to go and search the principles related to any topic and then develop their own concepts. The teacher is a supervisor or leader, he/she can not go and ask anyone he has to know everything, he/she should be able to solve problems, draw conclusions, and explain theories and to built up such an environment for students where they feel comfortable, communicative, creative and highly motivated. (Philosophy of Education, n.d)
As an educator the personal philosophy of education should be so like, it should be centered and focused toward student and not toward a teacher only. The way some teachers teach which is full of perennialism, in which multicultural system and gender issues doesn’t exist in the curriculum. Students should be provided space to mix up with people of other cultures and to maintain their identities studying among others, knowing each others’ point of view and respect them as well. Although some students are only limited to their books and like to learn from it which is good practice from them but the actual gain according to any good teaching philosophy, is to learn through practical work and experience. The teacher is responsible to design the course in a way that it maximizes the student involvement in it and minimizes only the recitation of theories which are usually forgotten after examination. (Philosophy of Teaching, n.d)
Some common questions a teacher should ask him/herself before developing a personal philosophy of education are:
- What do you think how can be the goals of education made broad and what can be the best suitable ways to achieve them?
- What do you expect from your students in upcoming years?
- What kind of skills and knowledge should a student be provided? And what can be your contribution in providing these skills?
- What do you think about a learning process?
- In your classroom what sort of environment is created? Is that friendly and communicative or not?
- How do you give response to your students? How you reward them and how you punish them are you satisfied with the process?
The perfect teacher is one who inspires learners to learn as much as they can by making it easier for them and to relate the study by facts, experiences and real world rather than only theories, books and principles. A teacher needs some creativity, motivation and always learning procedure. A teacher must think that students are the future of any nation and maximum required efforts should be made for them. A classroom is a place where students not only learn basic designed course like mathematics, computers, statistics etc but also discipline, ethics and social intermingling as well. This way the educator if design the course to mainly involve students in will be very helpful and will be able to involve the learners in this process. It should always be the major focus that when a student leaves school he/she should gain the desired knowledge and skill as well as discipline and developed minds for future. This is where the philosophy of behaviorism starts. (A Personal Philosophy of Education, n.d)
The older theories of education consider the educating process as translation, the translation of literature, theories and concepts by a teacher for the students. In the philosophy of education we face two perspectives which explain translation. The first perspective is of relativism which shows that the human being is born without any knowledge and it is the culture and civilization which teaches him/her and mold his/her direction towards any particular expertise or field. The translation philosophy can also be taken through the second perspective that is rationalism. Translation is one of the ancient method adopted by human in the field of education, it was practiced in both oral form as well as in written form. (Anelo, n.d). The trend of the multicultural education rise since after the population growth started to rise in United States. The census of 1990 discovered the fact that among every four people in America one is of color, therefore till the present the ethnic situation of any classroom must have been changed a lot and must be composed of a number of different color, creed, religions and civilizations. Learning the personal philosophy of education from a student’s point of view we come to know that, the ethnic and cultural view of the classrooms in most US districts is changing rapidly.
Twenty-five big schools of California only contain the majority of people from different color, where the population is in millions almost half (46%) of the students going to school are from various cultures. A students’ personal philosophy of education requires many things to be considered and the first is to be comfortable with the multicultural concept. While in a classroom where there is a different people interacting and sharing ideas is of equal importance as any other thing. May it be mathematics or politics which is being taught in the classroom the best results produced is always from the most flexible and social students who understands and share knowledge with others. Gain ideas from them as well and at last create something which so unique and is a mixture of a number of fresh minds. (Banks, 1991,) The ideal philosophy of education for any student should be so developed that it should contain the following points:
- The curricula:
Students are no doubt the future of any Nation; the schools in any country are the basic tool to prepare them and to make them aware of the knowledge and challenges of upcoming time. The personal philosophy of education of any student should keep the curricula at the top most priority level. The curricula no matter so enhanced and detailed should be studied with great involvement and understanding that there can be no confusions left.
- Intermingling and Friendliness:
Each student should be liberal in terms of being friendly and interactive with the other mates in class. There should be no differences on cast, creed, culture or color; this is the biggest hurdle in getting the maximum knowledge which one can attain. Conservatism and extremism in any case push you back. As much flexible and co-operative a student is; especially in the growing trend of multicultural education the more help and support will be provided to him/her which will make the rest of the learning procedure easier.
- Relationship with teacher:
The personal philosophy in an ideal situation for any student requires the best relationship with teacher. This should be obedient, friendly and showing thirst of knowledge. As much one is thirsty of knowledge the teacher always feel great pleasure in providing all possible material and support. The on time completion of projects, punctuality, discipline, honesty and dedication towards the studies are key concepts in maintaining the best ever relationship with teachers.
- Be Well-organized:
Always organized the courses, from the most difficult to the easiest course, and then start to prepare for the examination. Organize the books, lectures and notes and separate each course along with its material to be studied. Never sleep without having an over view to the lecture and the topic you studied today in the classroom. A thorough review helps a lot in the next lecture.
- Don’t expect too much:
When you expect a lot, many a times it happens that disappointment is faced. Expect less and work hard is the best ever formula for successors and high achievers. Do your effort and leave the rest to the teachers.
- Keep yourself aware of the latest technologies:
Never have fear from learning new things. I.T revolution has brought a drastic change in every field. The latest information of I.T related subject and internet usage at a proper path is very much important. Research skills with vast knowledge create the best desired results.
- Do a thorough analysis:
Analyze yourself and your abilities. A student should analyze the abilities and lacking. If there is something which is lacking and should be brought into oneself and also the talents which need to be further polished.
- Always follow a time table:
Never study in a haphazard way. Always try to make a proper time table and then work accordingly. Divide the time for daily study and for projects keep some time for relaxing as well. Do not neglect social circle, relatives and friends it is of equal importance for a healthy mind to grow but put the priorities at the top.
- Develop book reading habit:
Those who read the most are the ones who write more frequently. A good reader is able to produce a better piece of research paper. If you can not express your ideas on paper there will be no recognition to your thoughts and work. Reading and writing go along each other. Vast reading of all general topics with a vision to explore ideas of others creates newer and the most fine piece of work.
These were some key points of an ideal philosophy of education which a student should go through before preparing a personal philosophy of education. One new philosophy of the teacher’ perspective known as the “school home” philosophy was developed by Jane Roland Martin, Martin proposes that:”Instead of focusing our gaze on abstract norms, standardized tests, and generalized rates of success and uniform outcomes, the idea of the schoolhome directs attention to actual educational practice. Of course, a schoolhome will teach the three R’s. But it will give equal emphasis to the three C’s of care, concern, and connection—not by designating formal courses in these fundamentals but by being a domestic environment characterized by safety, security, nurturance, and love. In a schoolhome, classroom climate, school routines and rituals, teachers’ modes of teaching, and children’s ways of learning are all guided by a spirit of family-like affection “(A Personal Philosophy of Education, n.d).
Knowledge management in higher education system is very important. Knowledge management means to introduce newer technology and ways of teaching in education. The introduction of Internet has brought a revolutionary change in the world and made it a global village. The personal philosophy of education not only consist of the history, logic, behaviorism, multicultural era but also the curriculum the design of course and the diversity in syllabus and ways of teaching. Besides that obedience is also a key element to be taught at school. Teacher has to be obedient to the administration and students have to be obedient to teacher’s any misbehave from either side just shaken up the school environment and all the pillars of goodness will be broken. Since where there is no obedience, there can be no discipline ever.
We took an overview of the personal philosophy of education from teacher’s perspective, from students’ perspective and now let’s take a look on pluralism, curriculum, and the functions of schooling in an ideal educational system.
Pluralism which means excess or majority is something which can be relates to multicultural system of education and an ideal educational system puts focus on this term, the classroom tactic to cultural pluralism will be victorious if and only if the teachers help out. Student has responsibility not only to learn but also to respect values of other religion and race, if the teacher help and create friendly environment the students will surely practice to ensure civil rights, dignity and good behavior to the males and females of different cultures. Curriculum for any ideal educational system is the base or backbone of educational procedure. Curriculum in an ideal educational system should be so designed that it neither contains too much load of books, theories or neither course nor it should be lack of concepts. There must be some balance, concepts and principles as well as practical learning system. Curriculum designing is not at all an easy task; however in personal philosophy of education students are top most priority.
Although the teacher have full independence to teach and put in to syllabus what ever they think is according to the understanding and ability of the child, but it would be great if the team of teachers work together to think and then take decision what should be taught in the class? The administrators, and educators design the course but the society, culture, parents and even politicians have influence on the curriculum designed. There is not a particular phrase, theory or exact words which can be limited for an ideal educational system. It can be described in millions of ways by different ideas and approaches but the most concise and appropriate thought is that no child should be left behind. “Every child has something special in him/her”. The perfect educational system highlights the concept that each individual in the society contributes in something. Postmodernism is also a contributor in an ideal educational system by explanation of social element. The objective steps taken by school administration in a right way and competent system of education provided by the supervisors can help in treating all student equally and efficiently in order to explore their creative and talented sides.
According to Gutek, “Theory without practice is insufficient; practice unguided by theory is aimless,” (A Personal Philosophy of Education by Jack Devine)
(National Center for Cultural Healing, n.d)
It is an additional quality of a teacher how he/she cope with the student. To know the student psyche and to design the curriculum accordingly is an art for teacher. Therefore it is a must to know the philosophy of education and to develop a personal view in that.
The educational system in a country like US where there is population flow which contains lots of different cultured people, the problem arising is not uncommon. It is observed that these changes or problems in educational institutes may have arrived either due to population explosion, immigration or changes in society. These problems can not be completely fixed by the change in curriculum, educating ways etc but somehow one can try. But the thing to keep in mind I that with a positive attitude and courage to make a better change the objectives of ideal educational system can be attained. Any educational system either follows some philosophy or not is a combination of disagreements, opposition, color and creed differences in the curriculum or in the over all environment of school. It is the responsibility of every individual in society going to school and every administrator to build understanding among them so as to avoid any conflict, groupings, opposition and disturbances in the educational institute so as the student will put the maximum focus on their course and not on irrelevant activities and rivalries. Since it is observed that at such a young age pupil are easily exploited and used for personal interest and wrong purposes also some students are taken to bad habits and bad company just for fun and adventure this is also the responsibility of school to eradicate such elements and keep a check on it.
Hence in ideal learning system teachers guides the student to learn at their own risk, to make mistakes to correct them and to get best possible knowledge from them. The ideal educational system can only be attained by people who believe in philosophy of education and try to implement these philosophies in the real world with an optimistic approach and regarding it as a challenge for them. (Devine, n.d.)
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