The field of teaching is one of undoubted complexity that has questioned the nature of students, knowledge, and education since the beginning of time. Due to the dynamic and controversial quality of this area, it is necessary for a prospective teacher to develop his or her personal philosophy of education, whether it is a hodge-podge of several standard examples or one clear viewpoint. My own philosophy derives from a little bit of each of the five basic philosophies with essentialism marginally coming on top and existentialism representing the least of my teaching attitudes. These aspects influence my personal views of the nature of students and knowledge, and the purpose of education, what I think will be my methodology of teaching, and how I feel about what should be included in curriculum and why.
In order to be an objective, encouraging teacher, I believe that the students should be viewed in the best light as possible. Rousseau’s theory of the "noble savage" exemplifies this point that people are basically good. Although religiously speaking, I have been taught the sinful nature of humans, I cannot hold this against my students as free will provides the stipulation that people do will do what they want to do. Therefore, guidance is important to steer students toward desirable qualities such as appreciation for learning and responsibility. This guidance should accompany the mindset of giving them the benefit of the doubt. If a teacher starts classes thinking the students are naturally difficult and reluctant to learn, the outcome of achievement does not bode well, according to the Pygmalion effect. Thus my view of student nature combines the notion of the presumed receptive student and the beha...
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...in preparation for the future and unforeseen circumstances. It is true that plans may change, but a guideline is helpful at this point to ensure the right steps are being taken toward my desired goals.
I do not mean for my educational philosophy to be so confusing or contradictory by including so many mixed elements. But, right now, I do not want to discredit any principles that I find remotely noteworthy that may end up being crucial components of my approach. In addition, I sincerely doubt my philosophy will be completely unchanging, even as I embark on my professional career. Nevertheless, I look forward to all the experiences and philosophical exposure that will continue to shape my way of thinking so that I truly can be the best teacher I can be.
Woolfolk, A. (2004). Educational Psychology: Ninth Edition. Boston: The Ohio State University.
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