Philosophy of Education Paper
Every person will encounter some form of education in his lifetime. What people learn from their parents at home is just as much of an education as is going to school in a building with other people. Education defines a person from their home, their schooling, and their experiences or encounters in life. Education is knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge when it is taught to a person or group of people. Because education occurs in so many places and at so many levels, a successful education results from students, parents, teachers, and the government fulfilling their particular role.
First, a student has many responsibilities toward his own education because he is the one actually receiving it. It is the student’s job not only to listen to what he is being taught, but to take those facts and turn them into reality—apply the lessons learned. It is also a student’s responsibility to care for his own work. I have nothing against a teacher, regardless of grade level, reminding the class about an assignment or even sending a weekly email with homework. The only thing I do disagree with is when students today blame missed assignments from their absences on the teachers. In college, a weekly email becomes a handout with all assignments and the due dates for the whole semester. There is no way a teacher or professor is going to be held accountable for not informing the student of his work. Another area where a student is responsible for his education is time management. While being on a sports team is a commitment and demands a lot, the student cannot blame sports for unfinished work; it is the student’s job to manage his time wisely throughout the week around his sports schedules in order to not only finish the assignments but to perform them effectively and thoroughly.
Second, a parent’s role in his child’s education is a very unique and special role. Parents can be the first and last means of education for their child in some cases. The old saying, “Education starts at home,” is correct because how the child is reared will determine his basis on how he views the world firsthand—his worldview. However, childhood teachings in the home while at a young age do not determine the person’s identity. Many times the child will formulate a different view, whether slightly different or completely different, based on the extended education he receives from schooling. This is why extended education is important; it can change a person’s outlook on life because it is at school where (most children now-a-days) history, science, literature, and philosophy all challenge the previous opinions held by the student. It is also a parent’s responsibility to encourage their children. A student’s desire to become a doctor is honorable and the parents should do everything in their power to assist their child’s goal towards medical school; however, if the student wants to be a librarian because he loves books, people, and organization, the parents should encourage that as well. Many parents today crush their children’s dreams because they do not match the parent’s dreams for their children. In the parents’ defense though, the parent’s reasoning is that they merely want the best for their child! The solution to this is simple: keep all doors open and offer other areas to them, but encourage the ones they love; do not push them to do what they do not feel like pursuing.
Third, a teacher’s responsibility to education is crucial! The teachers are the ones responsible for informing the student of the knowledge and lessons he needs to learn and apply. Without a teacher at school, it is extremely difficult to learn on one’s own. The teacher is there as a guide to instruct. The teacher also has the privilege of helping a person discover where he excels and what career he will most likely pursue! A teacher should definitely be strict and challenging, but also helpful and encouraging. I think that when I am a teacher I am going to think outside the box for ways to intrigue my students and get them more involved in English. Today, very few students enjoy English and literature. I want to find ways to bring the enjoyment and appreciation, as well as understanding, back into today’s culture.
Next, the school has a critical responsibility to each student’s education. The environment should be pleasant because it is a proven fact that exterior or physical impressions are the ones that can either grab or push people away. If the classrooms are comfortable in temperature, the teachers are not dictators, and the food is palatable, then students will be more apt to learn! A school must also keep variety and diversity among the teachers, students, curriculums used, and classes offered. If year after year, only two sports are offered and only one or two extra-curricular classes are available, then students will leave to attend a school that offers more. The point of offering more electives, AP classes, or sports is not to just waste money to appease the students and their parents; the point is to present enough variety that a student who does not know what he wants to do with his life has enough resources available to explore different options to discover which one he feels is for him! A person cannot do that with limited resources.
Finally, the state and federal government should not have a huge impact in the school systems, even if it is a public school, in my opinion. I feel like the state should be responsible for the school systems more than the federal government because the state government leaders are more personal and close to home than the federal government; besides, school systems do not affect the entire nation. I do feel, however, that the state leaders should check up on the school systems at random that they are funding to see where their funding is going and how effective it is rather than just sending money. Sending money and failing to keep the school accountable leads the superintendents and principals to spend the money unwisely or even misappropriate some of it. This system would allow the state leaders to see the stronger and weaker sides of the different schools and apply aid where necessary rather than in a broad sense.
Education as a whole can be summarized as influences and information that a person will receive in life and what he will do with it. Education is not just facts; it is a way of life which involves responsibility from all points of view—the students, parents, the school, and the government. In Proverbs 4, Solomon is writing to his son telling him what an education is and why he should obtain this education which essentially is wisdom and understanding. It states: “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake you not the law…..Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth…..Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding……Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” (Proverbs 4:1-2, 4b-5, 7, 13) I think education is simply the knowledge and wisdom obtained in this life and then being taught how to apply it to daily life. My education is a wonderful asset and I thank God for having been able to experience it, even if I do not understand at this time how I will use all of the resources I am gaining.