Philosophy of Education

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Q 1: ‘In a fast changing world, if you can’t learn, unlearn and relearn, you’re lost.’ The importance of knowing ‘what you stand for as a teacher and what you value in education’ is becoming even more critical in the fast changing world. Discuss how having a defensible philosophy of education is central to the work of a teacher at all stages of their professional career.

Without a doubt the world is a fast changing environment.
The impact of changing world politics, globalisation new and increasing information and communications technology, altered social forces and structures are very important factors that call for a new for a new approach to teaching, learning and schooling. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the pace of change in education, resulting in teachers becoming more stressed while the core business of education ‘learning and teaching’ is neglected, with the focus instead being achieving the highest possible grades. Teachers have to be strong enough in their philosophy that the main purpose of education is the learning, as in the students learning to create, solve problems, think critically, unlearn and relearn and to care about others and the environment. (Stoll, fink and earl 2003) This approach will yield much more rounded students than the route of preparing students for exams they face in future years.

Starting out in our career as teachers and throughout I feel it is of the utmost importance that we establish our own philosophy on education which will act as a guide for us through out our career. In the first lecture in September, definitions of what is meant by philosophy of education were given to us, ‘The way you conceptualise your teaching role, the type of student you hope to develop, and the environment you create to achieve your goals intersect to create your personal belief system’, in other words it is everything which guides you and which you stand for as a teacher. In my opinion without having your on opinion on what education means to you, you will be simply going through the motions as a teacher. You will fall into the trap of teaching things for the sake of it, reverting back to way in which you were thought, as the statement at the top states, “if you cant learn, unlearn and relearn, you’re lost”. From this we can see that as an educator in this fast changing world we will have to be open to change, open to continuously improving and learning as a teacher and educator.

In that first lecture there was also a slide which gave the ‘Aim of Education’, it said that ‘The general aim of education is to contribute towards the development of all aspects of the individual including aesthetic, creative, critical, emotional, intellectual, moral, physical, political, social and spiritual development, for personal and family life, for working life, for living in the community and for leisure”. If we as teachers achieve all this I am unsure but my hope as a teacher would be to create an environment in which the children want to be in, feel comfortable in and are facilitated in to develop all off the above aspects if they so wish or only some of the aspects or only the aspects which are important to them. For me, creating in the right environment for learning to flourish is the key and would be the main objective of my philosophy on education.

It is important to recognise the impact of self-esteem and emotions on learning. Learners with positive self-esteem are open to learning experiences, which in turn can increase their self-esteem. Teachers and school leaders 'need to learn how to read the emotional responses of those around them' as well as being aware of their own emotional needs and responses 'and how they influence teaching and learning' School leaders have the power to promote a positive, creative teaching environment for themselves, teachers, students and their families. School leaders have the capacity to create a climate that supports an...
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