As an educator, I believe my daily classroom interactions should always be centered on various philosophical principles and objective outcomes: which, I will detail and pass on as the essay progress. Teaching is a life long process, and one that is not instantly rewarded. As so, it discourages many people in academia from pursuing a profession in classroom teaching. The prominent author, (Brian Tracy 1990) said: “An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.” I share the same sentiment, in that, I believe: “one’s attitude; determines his/her altitude”.
I shall let it be known, that this thesis is strictly concerned with how our approach as a nation to education; can determine how successful we become. (Rose Nolen 2010) “Education is the cornerstone of society”.
Jamaican principals are normally adamant about getting the ‘cream of the crop’ classroom teachers. As a result; the school board utilizes many unique strategies to help them find the better applicants to put on their staff. One of the most successful methods is finding out what an applicant’s philosophy of education is; and whether it stood well with his/her school. Philosophy comes from two Greek words, Philos (love) and Sophos (wisdom). In its general sagacity, Philosophy means, a love or craving for knowledge.
As a young teacher I have come to experience many kinds of classroom segregation; stereotype and constructs within our society, and the education system. This hinders nation development and human resource capabilities; therefore, it has motivated me to formulate my own philosophy of education around the concept of creating nation builders. Through firsthand experience, I see where a child that lives in troubled communities usually follows its common lifestyle, some of which are usually not worthy of glorification and does nothing to boast nation growth and stability. In support of this view, (John Dewey 1944) states: “education is the continual circulation of social life”. By this Dewey meant that education is stipulated by individual societies or culture, and what they value, and how they transfer this set of knowledge and beliefs to their successive generations. Just like the Greek Philosopher (Plato 427-347 BC), Dewey believed that humans are born with unfilled minds which need to be nurtured and molded.
The Philosophies of Progressivism teach us that: “The school is a microcosm, of the larger society”. Therefore; taking into consideration this philosophical fact, then, it is clear we cannot yet determine what these children bring into schools, but we surely can control what they take with them from there.
My objective is to educate students about the importance of self mobility, and nation building, with reference to how participating in constructive activities will contribute to there well being, and that of their children to come. My aspiration is drawn from several philosophical theories and ideas, however, for this paper I will be mostly concentrating on a mixture of conventional and modern ideas such as; Pragmatism, Idealism, Realism, Humanism, and of course Futurism.
To facilitate a logical sequence and for clarity purposes: I will now look at each idea in details and then associate each with the education and learning process.
Pragmatism: What determines our actions? (A 20th Century philosophical idea)
This philosophical movement was started by the Americans, notably: Charles S. Peirce William James and John Dewey. They proposed the idea that people generally show signs of their thoughts through means of their physical action; therefore, for the Pragmatists, we think in the interest of our daily lives and the outcomes of our actions. The Pragmatists further stipulate that actions without thought behind it, is meaningless. In essence the term Pragmatism itself has roots in the word practical, suggesting the way thoughts manifest or work through action.