I am an Associate Faculty at a Private School in Canada. I hope to create a list of resources that I am able to reflect on during and in the future of my career.
My Philosophy of Education
Education in today’s society is made up of many different opinions, it is seen as a growing process that one develops over time. There are many different philosophers that have developed different views on how society should be educated in order to function. Each school and teacher all have different philosophies of education, but I feel that each one is a process that changes over time. One educator that I agree with the most is Vygotsky, with the notion that learning is a social and cultural process. I feel that my philosophy will continue to grow and change in the way that hands on experiences help create the views and ideas that we have on the world. I believe that learning comes in the form of experiences, which are created through interactions with the environment and people on a regular basis. Taking a constructivism view on education, as learning should be an inquiry based journey with little form of traditional education.
I believe that the purpose of education is to create and develop new understandings of the world, which help guide someone to be an informed and developing student of society. As an educator, taking on the role of inquiry is essential. I feel that students should be guided towards understanding, based on earlier knowledge of what makes up society and cultures. In the classroom I will create an open environment where students are able to explore different ideas of society and culture. Creating connections between what students already know and what they should know. Inquiry is essential as it helps create bases for the learning to happen on. Activating prior knowledge through facilitating questions that help connect student’s ideas, to what is being talked about. Designing creative lessons where student are able to explore topics, and reflect through peer and group discussions is essential. Having hands on classroom settings will allow students to create new experiences where they will be able to connect the lesson to a concrete idea. One theory on constructivism is that, “individuals create or construct their own understanding and/or knowledge through the interaction of what they already know and through the ideas, events, and activities or experiences they encounter”(Pg, 230. Progressivism and Constructivism). I agree with this statement as I hope that students will be able to encounter these experiences in my classroom through connecting their own understanding with the process of inquiry. With the creation of an inquiry based classroom comes the curriculum that must be followed. I believe that the curriculum should be used as a guide where students as a whole group pick a topic of interest where they would like to develop a greater understanding. This pick of a topic in a unit is essentially chosen by the teacher but is based on student’s interests. Having a broad subject choice with focused topics could help students have a greater understanding for things in the world that connect to their understanding.
Student-centered teaching should be critical aspect in the classroom. With the teacher being the guide to the learning, helping students make sense of the connection of inquiry that is being established on information about prior experiences on the world. Without knowledge about the world and connecting ideas about prior understandings then society would be seen as different in a political and social aspect. Teaching students and having laws about what age a child should be in school till helps create opportunities for them to strive in the world. I think that one part of education that should be developed is that of thinking critically about information in the world. “We become equipped to critically evaluate the sources and roles of education in our own lives, both as students and as teachers” (Pg 14, Why Philosophize about Education?). Teachers should create critical understanding in students through research and inquiry developed lessons. Without the development of inquiry and critical evaluation of the world then simple actions in everyday life as an adult such as understanding how the government runs would be difficult. Through creating our own understanding of social expectations of educated people, inquiry helps develop critical thinking of the world.
Dewey suggests that ‘reflective activity’ is a process of connecting prior experiences with new one. Connecting to my philosophy of education as, “new understandings occur because of the interaction of the individual with the environment and the individual’s reflections on those interactions. As a result, the individual is able to ‘construct’ meaning” (Pg 230, Progressivism and Constructivism). Since learning is an active process, creating an open-minded philosophy that is able to change as I progress through my career, as an educator is necessary in creating a philosophy. Creating a philosophy that is able to change with different classes over the years is part of the teaching experience. Since philosophies in education have changed from a conservative view to progressive so too must my philosophy. I do believe in the traditional method of teaching to an extent. I find that students still need to be able to put their thinking down from the inquiry into a form of writing. If students are not able to read and write what they are thinking, then inquiry can be lost in understanding. Paulo Freire is a philosophical thinker that states that there is a blatant routine in education called the “banking concept”. Freire states, “teachers impart information they believe to be impart and the students ‘bank’ this information in order to withdraw it from their memories and give it back on some formal occasion, such as on tests and examinations” (Pg 231, Progressivism and Constructivism). Since I have adopted a constructivist view on education I do agree in part that teaching in the past was created through a teacher-centered education philosophy. Now that there is a shift in philosophy in education towards a more student-centered approach, I agree that there must be a happy medium between both. Having some approaches to creating meaning in information that is imparted to the student, with an inquiry approach.
Overall, my philosophy to teaching is to create a developing theory that is guided through constructivism. Focusing on the inquiry process, as this is where the most learning comes from. Developing lessons that are based on hands on experiences as well as interests that the students have in the world is essential. Though there should be a balance between the two types of learning in a classroom, either student-centered or teacher, there should be a balance that leans towards to student-centered. This will help create an atmosphere where students are able to explore concepts that they already know about but want to create a better understanding. I feel that this understanding is created through inquiry and constructivism. One quote that I have found that I find relates well to my philosophy is, “Education is not an affair of ‘telling’ and being told, but an active and constructive process” (John Dewey). Education should be an exploration of society, the environment and all that it encompasses.
Constructivism [Abstract]. (n.d.). Progressivism and Constructivism, 229-233.
John Dewey Quote. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from
Why Philosophize about Education? (n.d.). Foundations of Education, 14-16.