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Personal Philosophy of Education
Education is the process of establishing a solid, long-term foundation for the future of society through the development, training and teaching of the children by guiding them into professional young adults. Education is literally creating and forming this country. Many people look at the teaching profession as a low paying, non-thankful job.
The visibility of a teacher's success is not only watching the children cite the ABC's or seeing their faces light up when they discover that 2 + 2 = 4.
The success of a teacher is also obvious on graduation night, and those graduates entering into the work place, landing that first high paying job, and succeeding at it. The results of the teaching profession is also transparent when inventions are created, such as the Internet, computers, advanced communications etc... In this essay, I will discuss my philosophy on teaching and which teaching methods I would use to prepare aspiring teachers and the ones that I would use as a teacher myself.
Education is constantly being researched, revised and updated. I can only guess that in the very near future, the updates will happen more often and more rapidly. We are living in an ever-changing environment. At the present time, we are uncertain where to go. Many authorities whom plan educational curriculums are left wondering how and what do we teach the children to handle the pressures of society when we do not know what to do ourselves? I would let the children know that many adults are uncertain of the future, in a more subtle way of course, because they can sense this uncertainty anyway. I do not think the children would feel any less secure if this uncertainty was shared with them.
We as teachers do much more then impart information. We constantly evaluate, adjust, and tailor our resources, so they are best suited for each students needs. Effective students know their students well, and make learning meaningful for each one" (N.A. 1997). Any teacher can program stored knowledge into any student's mentality, just as a programmer can store knowledge into a computer. Too often, a student's knowledge is evaluated on their ability to learn material, memorize it and write the correct answers on tests. The student is hardly ever tested on the actual implementation of the knowledge.
I would work on helping children gain the confidence they needed to market and sale the skills they have worked so hard to gain. Without the knowledge of presentation, the confidence to convince the employer they are better then the competition, or the belief that they can be competitive, all of the technical skills they have or know are equivalent to information in a filing cabinet. The informative files just exist, but they are hidden and never serve a purpose.
I would focus on competitiveness. Many educators feel that competitiveness is detrimental to children's self-esteem. I feel that the younger the kids are when they learn about competition, the better they will be able to survive in the real world. Competition allows one to measure his or her abilities against others her or age, and the student can use that information as a tool to improve his or her performance. Even if the student does not surpass or equal the level they are striving for, the student will have made more progress because competition gives him or her a specific goal to aim for.
While building children's feelings of self-worth, it is important that they are accepted as an individual and for who they are. Much emphasis has been placed on distinguishing racial identities, but that is not the total picture of respecting the child's identity. Many educators and children have been programmed to believe that if the child cannot get competitive grades, that there is a problem that should be dealt with. Ever since the education system has been developed, there has been a never-ending struggle to get children to do well academically. The grading system has been changed, altered and revised for the child who cannot learn academically. Specialized learning programs have been developed to help children. Every child does need the basic academic education. However, these children who are unsuccessful academically usually have some other talent or ability they excel at. One of my objectives as a teacher would be to get the children to be their best version of themselves, based on their individual identity. No educator can determine what the child's individuality is. This is up to who the child is.
Another one of my objectives for teaching would be to get the students to think and make their own decisions. "Higher order thinking is also characteristic of the citizens in those societies that exhibit higher-quality democracy" (Lipman, 1998).
Individuals who make some of the most effective decisions do not automatically acquire this state of mind-set while in the process of living. Those who make effective decisions have had some foundation to learn how to be independent, and had great leaders as role models.
If children are to learn to think independently, they must experience the feelings and the responsibilities that come with making and sticking with decisions. Many adults avoid making decisions, and when they do they are easily influenced and often change their minds. When decisions are changed to often, goals are never achieved. Making decisions is a big responsibility; if children are taught to make small decisions, where the consequences are safe such as in the classroom, then they are learning the skills and developing the confidence to make and stick with decisions. This valuable life skill takes years to learn, and it is not really learned. It is a personality trait that the individual becomes.
I would develop this characteristic in the children by gradually getting them to make simple decisions. I would get to know each student and know his or her unique interests or feelings. It is just as important to make the students feel comfortable in making decisions, as it is to get them to think for themselves. I would first start by getting students to feel comfortable when he or she is the only who raises his or her hand in class in response to a (un) popular opinion. They would have to stick with that decision. It is important they not only learn to stand up for what they believe in, but also feel comfortable and secure about expressing individual opinions.
About the organization of the curriculum, in training teachers, I would focus more on personality assessments to make sure that one is choosing the profession for the right reasons. Many students are drawn to the teaching profession because they love children. It is not enough to love children or to be inspired by them, one must know how to be a leader. Gone are the days when unattractive teachers sat behind the desk, handed out textbook assignments and gave test. More and more teachers are being selected on the basis of setting an example of someone the students will want to be like.
In the curriculum, I would go more into depth about a perspective teacher's moral character. If they have been in trouble in the past, they may not be suitable for a profession as a teacher. Before having the students who are perspective educators invest four or five years into the training of the profession, I would make sure they are suitable for employment. I would look at their past roles as a leader. Were they on the board of high school clubs? Do they have the personality to take the initiative in situations? If the teacher does not have these qualities or the potential to develop these qualities, the students will control the teacher. Kids do talk about their teachers and if kids, even at a very early age, feel they can control the teacher, they will.
Covering the certification and licensing of becoming a teacher is not important at the beginning of the curriculum. This would probably be one of the last topics I would cover in the education curriculum. A teacher can spend many years obtaining his or her degree. It takes a fraction of the time to get certified as it does to get degreed. As mentioned earlier, it is important that the students learn how to use their skills and knowledge, not just comprehend knowledge to pass test. But in my opinion, there are some certified teachers who do not have the non-technical skills to carry out the requirements of a teacher.
School reform will not succeed unless more teachers have the knowledge and skills to help all their pupils meet high standards. Yet many teachers are not ready to meet this challenge" (Finn, Chester, Kanstoroom, 2000).
According to this article, Improving, Empowering Dismantling, statistics are proving a dramatically noticeable difference between students who are assigned to bad teachers and students who are assigned to good teachers. All of these teachers are certified to teach. Even the teachers who cannot…[continue]
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