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Philosophy of education is synonymous to the philosophies of teaching, instructing, and learning. It is a doctrine that deals with the manner in which students ought to be educated, the content of their curriculum, and the utility of their education to the society. Before considering the philosophers’ views, my philosophy of education was that as a teacher I should facilitate an environment where students could learn through repetitions. I regarded students, just like Paulo Freire puts it, to be like blank pages which would be of no utility until the teacher had filled them up. In its essence my philosophy was purely meant to facilitate good performances in examinations irrespective of the impact of the education strategy on the students’ lives. My philosophy of education was, therefore, inclined towards the critical theory.
Since I read the views of John Dewey, Plato, Aristotle, and Immanuel Kant, I have considered restructuring my curriculum so as to facilitate students’ flexibility. I now appreciate the need to facilitate a caring, equitable, and safe environment where students can grow and advance their knowledge as part of their capacity. This is because, in addition to academic excellence, there is need to harness the students’ potential in a manner that would advance the society as a whole. As I review my philosophy of education, I have found it necessary to adopt a style that best suits the students being taught as well as the school environment.
I have come to appreciate the need of considering the social background and the grade of the students. This is because the effectiveness of a teaching method cannot be across the board. As such, I support the view that teachers should have the capacity to adapt to the styles that suit the needs of their students as well as the teaching environment. Flexibility is an important element of any successful philosophy of education. Studies have indicated that with flexibility, teachers’ output is enhanced (Goodlad, 1998). It is for this reason that teachers are prompted into incorporating integrated units, themes, group works, projects, and individual work in the learning process so that they can instill active participation.
As a school teacher, an individual should present his/her life as a role model to the students. One should value the privilege of raising children in a manner that shape their future as well as that of the entire society. Understanding of the students’ needs facilitates the adoption of approaches that best serve their interests as well as those of their parents. The urge of becoming an educator should be geared towards encouraging the parents and guardians into supporting their children as they complete various academic-related tasks (Dewey, 2004). In my view, this could set the basis for a classroom community that enables the students to participate actively in debates and other class meetings. Studies have shown that debating is one of the best methods of boosting the morale of the students, an achievement which, consequently, enables them to become self-reliant during their learning as well as their further life (Ediger, 1995).
After contemplating on my current philosophy, I have established that I am oriented towards pragmatism. Nevertheless, my educational views share with other philosophies, though to a limited extent, such as idealism and realism. In my view, education should be based upon the principles that identify humans as social beings who, therefore, cannot learn in exclusion. In fact, my philosophy of education bears close resemblance to the learning model presented by John Dewey. I am of the opinion that a successful learning process is the one which takes children education as a scientific exploration. For instance, a learning process should commence with creating awareness of the situation/problem. Next, learners and tutors should endeavor towards defining the question to be resolved. They should propose the hypotheses so as to facilitate the evaluation of the consequences in line with their past experiences. Finally, the students should be taught how to test the most probable solution for the situation. Adapting such a teaching strategy prepares the student for real challenges in their later life.
As stated by Dewey, education should be considered as a means of social continuity provided that we consider the limits of one’s life to be birth and death. Such a view enables stakeholders to regard education as a necessity in life, and the best way to facilitate advancement in the society. I concur with Dewey that authoritarianism and pre-ordaining knowledge denies teachers the opportunity to discover the talents that their students possess. The aim of education, just like Immanuel Kant puts it, should be to prepare the students for the future. As such, they should be taught the world’s history, good morals, their rights as human, healthy eating habits, and other kinds of life skills. This would, in a way, agree with Plato’s idea of philosophy of education. This is because according to Plato, an individual is best served when he/she subordinates to a just society (Glascott & Crew, 1998). Such a society would only be possible if students are taught subjects such as world history and good morals.
I have come to realize that the main goal of educating is to enable the students to grow up into law abiding and dynamic members of the society. They should be given an opportunity to learn and do as they desire, as long as it is within the law. Giving students an opportunity to experience life as they learn makes them appreciate the essence of living. This agrees with the views of Plato. Plato was advocating for a holistic form of education, a form that would include art and music, physical discipline, and skills (Ozmon & Craver, 1999). In this regard, the goal of educating should be the creation of a better future for an individual as well as the wider society.
As a philosophy, I believe that a teacher should be his/her students’ role model as well as a life coach. Teachers should nature their students in a manner that would mould them into all round members of the society. In order to facilitate the acquisition of skills, teachers ought to be adaptive as they have to play a variety of roles. A teacher should have a progressive view of his students, a view that provides room for expression. This means that as a teacher, one should structure his/her curriculum in a manner that facilitates development of individual students into responsible members of the society.