My personal philosophy of education is based around four fundamental ideas: that teaching and learning should be student centred: that true learning occurs best when it is most meaningful to the student: that every student has the right to a safe, caring and supportive learning environment and, finally, that learning is a lifelong process.
In discussing my personal philosophy of education, I will elaborate on the aim of education, address the role of the teacher and the learner and explain the method of classroom practices. Justification of my personal philosophy will be provided with references to four theorists - Nel Noddings, Maria Montessori, John Dewey and Friedrich Froebel. It will also be demonstrated that my personal philosophy is in contrast to B.F Skinner and John Locke.
Subsection 1. Aim of Education:
Each individual teacher has an opinion about what the aim of education should be, not only in their own classroom, but in every school. I believe that real education is not about the teaching, it is about the learning how to learn. My philosophy of education supports the views of Constructivism. In the Constructivist theory, we are the active creators of our own knowledge. Unlike Locke’s theory, the learner is not just a blank slate (tabula rasa) (Schouls, 1992) who only learns from their experiences , rather an individual who builds knowledge through past and present experiences and that individually and socially construct meaning as they learn (Hein, 1991). This theory has been clearly voiced by John Dewey among others , with the terminology of the ‘active learner’ where the learner has to do something; that learning is not just listening but reading, writing, discussing and being engaged in problem solving (Dewey, 1916),(Bonwell & Eison 1991).
As a student educator, I believe that education is for life. Our aim as educators is not just to prepare students for adulthood and vocation, but for continued learning and growing throughout life (Dewey 1897). Noddings claims that the key aim of education should be to guide students into competent, caring, loving and lovable people’ by learning the knowledge and skills required to navigate the world around them (Noddings, 1992). My personal educational philosophy is in agreement with Dewey’s “My Pedagogic Creed”. He famously states that ‘education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living (Johnson & Reed, 2008). Locke advocated for an at-home education as a superior way of learning than school, as the student is only influenced by their parents and tutor, not by ‘rowdy games and bold attitudes of peer pressure’ (Locke, 1690). I disagree. I believe a student learns a great deal from their peers and am in agreement with Dewey’s thoughts that education is a social process (Johnson & Reed, 2008). Dialogue between students and teachers, connects and bonds one another and assists in making caring relationships (Johnson & Reed, 2008).
Subsection 2. Role of the Teacher and the Learner:
Many people have different motivations for becoming a teacher. Nevertheless, every future teacher must bear a passion and a love for children. It wasn’t until I became a mother myself, that I realized how imperative education was and how much I enjoyed seeing my children learn something new and me being a part of that process. Being a caring teacher is of utmost importance as it can shape the way a child responds. Noddings refers to this as being part of ‘environing forces’, whereby how you treat someone will result in how good or bad they act towards you (Noddings, 2005). This theory was also in support by Dewey that caring teachers are considerate of student’s needs, supportive, fair, trustworthy, friendly, compassionate and respectful (Delaney et al, 2010). Noddings also claims that if students pursue educational activities that they are passionate about, this in turn will help create adults that are capable of...
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