A Personal View of Education from the Author

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The philosophy of education is one that has always raised concern in educators. What should education be based on? What should be your qualifications to teach? What curriculum will be taught? There are many different views of children and the societies in which they come from that may have influence on their education. At stake are rival understandings of what makes human lives and the societies in which they unfold both good and just, and derivatively, competing conceptions of the education needed for individual and social betterment. (Callan and White, 2003, 95-96) I would love to teach K-5, right now I really don't have a preference, but I feel like this age and grade are very impressionable and I feel that there needs to be good educators in place to be able to guide them in the right direction. The most impressionable teacher I had was in elementary school.

I believe education should always be about the child and growth. Education should be structure in a way that will equip children with the tools and information they need to excel at their studies. Education should prepare students for the next level of schooling that they may attempt to conquer. When a student enters the elementary grades (grades 1 - 6), the function of education is to prepare them for middle school. A lot of times, students struggle in their studies because the students did not learn the proper material in the previous grade and therefore start their next year behind where they should be. Education should also provide students with the life skills it will take to survive in the "real world". Some students do not proceed all the way to college. For those students, education is still very important. I believe that, whether you go to college or not, the education received in elementary, middle and high school should be sufficient enough so that students would still be capable of functioning in society without having to go to college. Now how successful one is sometimes depends on how much school one has had. But overall, the education you receive before going to secondary school (college, vocational, technical schools) should provide students with some basic skills and knowledge that will allow them to function within a given society.

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I also personally believe that religion should be incorporated into a student's education. Now I do not believe that it should be forced upon anyone and that we all should be given free will to take part in classes that deal with religion, but I do feel that religion should be something offered not only in college / universities, but also in high schools and elementary schools. A lot of the issues that are discussed in religion are not covered at all in the school systems educational curriculums. When dealing with religion, one will learn about morals. Religion teaches how one should treat another. Of course, religion deals with worshiping God, but it also deals with the issues of morality. Morals are lacking in many schools across the country. Every day one can turn on the news and hear about bullying, fighting or disrespect amongst students and students, or students and teachers. There is a lot of education involving the basics, i.e English, science, math, etc..but there is nothing on how a person should act. In saying that, there is a lot that should be done at home, but there should be some kind of reinforcement in the schools also. I believe that religion is a basis of all life and feel like it should be part of the curriculum at any school. I think that the government and special interest groups have too much control on our society as it is and they don't really know what's best for our children because they're not in school with them every day or at home taking care of them. Everyone is too busy being "politically correct" while the education in America is going down the drain. In other countries, education is looked at as a privilege and respect in schools is not even an issue. And in some cases, international schools have religion in place. It may be the religion that focuses on their ideals, but some type of religion is in place none the less. Religion stresses discipline and discipline and education go hand in hand. I feel that discipline should be a key factor in education, it aids in a safer environment as well as more structure which some children may not get at home. Education needs to be based around the surrounding communities and what the needs are of the children in that community. When it comes to education I feel that the atmosphere should be a positive and inviting one for all children regardless of race or personal beliefs. Being able to extend education off of the home and what is already in place in the school shows consistency from the home and school, this way there is no confusion when it comes to academics or discipline on anyone's part.

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Without teachers, success my very well have taken on a different meaning. From the millionaires on wall-street all the way down to the average person living a normal life, everyone has had encounters with teachers. Teachers not only help you learn material, but they also help direct your future. Teachers are in place to help you learn the basic knowledge that can propel some into some of the most successful endeavors. Donald Trump, Bill Gates, United States Presidents, NASA pilots, at some point in life everyone of these individuals sat in front of a teacher at which point their futures were uncertain. Whether it was just high school, or high school and then college, teachers played an important roll regarding the current positions of some of the most successful individuals today. Without teachers there would be no education, and without education there would not be as many successful people. Teachers have a profound influence on the entire educational process. Teachers' perceptions and behaviors are shaped by their individual beliefs and the things that they have personally experienced throughout their lives. Effective teachers come in many shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Teachers' personal beliefs and values provide the unconscious foundation for their behavior. Their effectiveness arises from their individual personalities and their way of thinking, the beliefs they have about teaching and learning and the ways in which they interact with students is key. Because teachers' are so different in so many ways, no two classrooms are the same, thus the educational experience may differ from classroom to classroom or school to school. To me, this is a good thing because no two children learn the same. So being able to teach differently, you learn differently, and being able to learn differently you are able to learn and grow from others.

I believe that schools were put in place for a purpose. In life, the path to success can be followed by anyone. Many successful people have certain strengths that haveheped propel them to where they are now. People who work on wall street are very good with statistics, numbers and probability. Astronauts who work for NASA are strong in science. Novel writers have strengths in the area of English and comprehension. In saying this, schools are always attempting to replicate what other successful people have done and impart that knowledge/skill set in others. Thus, schools are also in place in order to give students the necessary tools that will enable them to succeed in their future endeavors. More so now then in the past, more schools specialize in specific areas of study. You can now go to school and study a specific area such as engineering, in order to get the most insight about that subject as possible. I doing some further research, I found that schools are more important now than before. Years ago, jobs were very easy to find and you did not have to complete school to find a job. In fact, some kids would forgo attending school just to earn money for their family. Now the tables have turned. You cannot find a job unless you at least have a high school diploma, then if you want to make something of yourself and be able to support a family; you really need a college degree. So as you can see, the importance of school, and the length of time in school has increased dramatically.

There are many definitions of the word education. Education consists of acquiring knowledge, learning skills, developing wisdom, and imparting culture through socialization. Maurice Holt (2004), who is a Professor at the University of Colorado, believes that education is, "essentially about equipping our children with the ability to act responsibly in a complex society", and further states that it is an "institution" where students have time to discuss, argue, and reflect on knowledge and ideas, and therefore come to understand themselves and the culture "they will inherit" (Holt, p. 1). A philosopher of education, Dewey (1897) argued that education begins at birth, first unconsciously, to the point that the individual is a participant in society (Holt p. 1). But what is most frequent in the various descriptions of education is the emphasis on socialization and the acquired knowledge through experience. Another supporter of this view is Minister Louis Farrakhan. In his book A Torchlight for America, Farrakhan (1993) describes the purpose of education as a being a means for "self-cultivation" where "the gifts and talents of the individual" are cultivated through the acquisition of knowledge, followed by teaching how to give proper service to self, family, community, nation, and then to the world (p. 47). It is his opinion that the purpose of education is to create productive and balanced members of society so that they are able to make a difference in the world.

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I am a strong believer that education should be the same for everyone. I don't think that just because of your race, gender, or upbringing that that should be a determining factor on what type of education you receive. There has always been this great debate between people on whether or not education provides social inequality, if you don't have an education you are looked down upon. And at this point I would have to agree. I do feel like people will judge you if you don't have enough education under your belt. I think that's one of the reasons I went back to school. I was a dental assistant that only required two years of training which was equivalent to an Associate's degree, but it's never been good enough. So I decided to go back to school for something that I always wanted to do which was teach and of course it's a four year degree. Most jobs now want people to have at least a four year degree, that's what our society has evolved to. Everything revolves around education.

John Dewey (1859-1952) believed that learning was active and schooling unnecessarily long and restrictive.  Dewey's idea was that children came to school to do things and live in a community which gave them real, guided experiences which fostered their capacity to contribute to society. Dewey also believed that students should be involved in real-life tasks and challenges, such as learning math with measurements in the kitchen, or paying for something at a grocery store with real money. These teachings are real life lessons that stick with a child through adulthood.

My role as a teacher is to do just that teach, in whatever capacity I am needed in is what I am supposed to do. Whether it is straight academics, a counselor, or just a shoulder to cry on, kids have so many needs now a days and it just isn't about education, it's about making a connection with the kids so that they are able to learn to the best of their ability. I feel my role in the classroom is to maintain structure but at the same time provide an environment for the kids that is inviting and screams fun with learning. I want the kids to feel free in the classroom as if they were at home. I don't want the classroom to be a stressful environment for any kids. So many kids go through more stress now then a normal adult has been through in a lifetime. There is so much that kids worry about, I don't want the classroom to be one of those worries. I feel the most important role of a teacher is communication. Being able to communicate in an effective manner with the kids and the parents warrants a less stressful environment in the classroom and at home. I think being able to talk to the kids on a one on one level as well as with parents shows empathy. Being able to relate to kids and parents and their situations is always key, every child is different and is raised differently and all those factors need to be taken into consideration. Not only should prospective teachers have the education to back up what they are teaching but they should also have some type of training on life skills so that they can better understand where these kids are coming from on a daily basis.

The ideal curriculum consists of the basics which are already established and have been used for some time such as English, Math, Science, and Social Studies, all other classes are usually considered electives such as Art or Music. The curriculum needs to be age appropriate so that the kids are able to grasp the concept being taught to them. I also feel that the curriculum needs to have exploratory lessons as well as things that are hands on. I think kids learn best when they actually feel like they are a part of the lesson.

Are there certain universal truths that should be taught? Of course, if the universal truth is that there is a God and He is the Creator of all things, then you can teach that in church and at home as well as in private school because we all know public school won't allow it. I will include character education in my curriculum by having the kids work with other kids in and outside of the classroom. I will also build on their social skills as well. A lot of kids only talk to the kids that are in their grade, but I want the kids to expand and reach out to kids that are younger and older than them, it calls for a sense of understanding and being able to communicate well with others.