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Personal Philosophy Essay

1271 words - 6 pages

Personal Educational Philosophy
One’s personal educational philosophy reflects one’s beliefs about instruction and curriculum. Those beliefs are the result of personal preference, level of training, and individual understandings about how children learn. Additionally, the teaching environment influences one’s philosophy; there are certain non-negotiable aspects of both curriculum and instruction that are under the control of district, state and federal administrations. My own philosophy is no different, my beliefs and understandings have grown and changed as I gained experience. Certain requirements of my school and public schools in general have affected my philosophy; I have adapted and ...view middle of the document...

In that sense, there exists perennialism and idealism in every school. While they are not two philosophies which closely match my “perfect world” beliefs, I have assimilated parts of them into my teaching approach and beliefs in order to be able to function within the school setting. For example, in my former school behavior management was uniform and all students were to have the exact same rules and consequences as a means of maintaining consistency school-wide. I have had to set aside some of my own beliefs in order to be compliant. The same is true of math basic fact drill and kill; although I do not agree with it, I am not in a position to disregard it either. Because pure existentialism is too unstructured for me, or most of society for that matter, pieces of it influence my teaching but it is not synonymous with my beliefs. I could say the exact same thing for realism. The fact is we must teach certain concrete skills, strategies and concepts as per state standards in accordance with standardized testing. There is a national push for achievement in math and science in a traditional, teacher-demonstrated manner. I feel that it is possible to have a predominately experimental philosophy while incorporating some district or teacher led aspects. My strength, experimentalism, garnered nearly double the points of perennialism which is the antithesis of what I believe teaching and learning should be. My strongest beliefs and understandings support experiential learning and the teacher’s role as facilitator as important to allowing students to do the thinking and to develop strategies to succeed.
My personal philosophy is a combination of my beliefs about how teaching and learning are best achieved and the reality of external requirements. I have had many opportunities to evaluate my philosophy and attempt to reconcile my understandings with district, state and federal expectations. Certain aspects of education, standards and essential facts will not change. No matter how my students arrive at the end result, two and two will always equal four. In that sense, realism influences my teaching. I understand and believe that mastery of certain skills and concepts will serve students well as they continue to learn. In such instances, I rely on a model of teaching from The Learning Network: modeling, guided practice, and independence. Although in an ideal world, students would construct their knowledge in their own time and way, we must fit our learning into a defined time frame. As per The Learning Network, I have also developed an understanding that it is the teacher’s responsibility to know what the students’ strengths and weaknesses are and to guide them to the next step. By applying more experimental strategies, I can provide guidance but in an inquiry format. Allowing students to think and develop problem-solving strategies keeps them engaged and interested. Through questioning, I can both assess what students know and prompt them to delve...

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