My Story

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My Personal Educational Philosophy Statement|
by Nellie Deutsch Abstract: 
My love of education and learning never ends. My after school activities also deal with education but on a deeper level as I collaborate with other educators worldwide. In this article, I would like to reflect and discuss my personal educational philosophy of learning and instruction as a way to enhance my personal and professional developments.| There are many educational philosophies that determine which teaching instruction you use. These include: perennialism, idealism, realism, experimentalism, existentialism (UOP, 2002), essentialism, progressivism, and behaviorism (Shaw, n.d). Effective teaching may be classified as transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing, and social reform (Pratt, & Collins, 2001). Many of these schools of thought reflect my own personal educational philosophy (see Appendix 1) and my instructional practices and choice of classroom curriculum. This paper is a reflection of my personal educational philosophy and teaching ideas.When I was in grade eight I took part in a public speaking essay contest at Humewood Public School in Toronto, Ontario. Each candidate had to go from class to class and speak. The students nominated and later voted for the best speech. I came in third. My topic was the value of education. I was petrified as I spoke in front of the whole school on parents' night but was determined to make my points heard. Two years later I started reading books by Jean Paul Sartre and other existentialist writers. I never intended to go into teaching but circumstances changed that. My move to Israel brought me into the classroom by chance. I volunteered to teach by substituting at a public school where I was needed. Once again my ideas of what education should be came back as I stood in front of my students. I have been teaching for over 30 years. My philosophy of education has remained existentialist with a combination of experimentalism and a great deal of nurturing.Although I scored slightly higher for experimentalism (see Appendix, 1) on "Philosophy Preference Assessment" found in Section One of Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction (UOP, 2002, p. 48), I consider myself both an existentialist and an experimentalist. I think they complement each other. Experimentalism views "the world as an ever-changing place [where] reality is what is actually experienced and change is openly accepted" (UOP, 2002, p. 48). The curriculum focuses on social change and values. Teachers guide learners to solve problems as they discover and experience the world in which they live (48). I believe that personal growth and individual development will lead to "new ways to expand and improve society" (48). This is an existentialist idea of subjectivity with an experimentalist view of society. "The existentialist sees the world in terms of personal subjectivity; goodness, truth, and reality are individually defined ... goodness [being] a matter of freedom" (48). The individual precedes society.I think we should concentrate both on personal growth and on society. I believe in learning about society and our place in it so that we can change what needs improvement for the sake of progress and the individual. The individual can help change society by first becoming good and learning about moral behavior. Respect and tolerance is the first step in that direction. A teacher's caring and nurturing attitude will aid students as they learn to respect and tolerate each other.I respect my students and try to model my beliefs. I value learning and still get excited from teaching. Every single day is new. Nothing is repeated as I observe my students. They do not remain the same. I have them in mind as I enter the classroom. I view them as I contemplate on the lesson planned and the "outcome desires" (Wiggins & McTighe2004). I interact with my students as I assist them "in their personal learning" (UOP, 2002, p. 48). My students...
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