Outline and Rationale of Educational Philosophy

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My philosophy of teaching will follow the constructivist approach. I feel that my teaching methods and beliefs will be in line to what the premise of constructivism is based; learning is the result of mental construction. With this philosophy, knowledge is not received on the outside, but through reflection on our experiences and allowing new information to fit in place with what we already know. By doing this, we construct the knowledge together within our mind. Students can best learn when they actively construct through their own understanding.

With the constructivist philosophy, the emphasis is on the learner instead of the instructor. It is the learner, who is interacting with events and objects, therefore gaining an understanding of the events and objects (Jones, Araje, 2002). Students individually transform and discover critical information by constructing their own conceptualizations and solutions to presented problems. With this philosophy, how the individual learns is also affected by the beliefs and attitudes of the learner as well. For this assignment, I will describe my personal educational philosophy, my personal mission statement, and expand to support the components of metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic that aided in its development.

My Personal Philosophy Outline

Responsibility of the Educator

All students have the ability to learn;

Maintain individual paces of children's learning;

Implement stimulating methodology for a broad spectrum of students;

Implement an engaging learning atmosphere;

Value student individuality;

Implement social learning through collaboration;

Show by example that learning is a matter of trust;

The classroom environment must be conducive to learning;

Strive to have all children reach the top skill level in their given grade;

Provide alternative methods/tools for students who are struggling;

Enhance critical thinking skills within the classroom;

Lead by example;

Student and Family Responsibility

Student Responsibility;

Respect peers, staff, teacher and educational tools;

Be attentive and ready for class;

Active participation;

Participate through cooperative learning;

Family Responsibility;

Provide stable learning environment within the home;

Attend parent/teacher conferences;

Open communication with teacher and administrative staff;

Faculty and Staff Responsibility

Be proactive in creating a positive learning environment;

Curriculum development to increase standardized testing scores;

Staff cohesiveness;

Establish a school wide reward system;

Open communication with students and family

Mission Statement:

It is my mission in adapting the constructivist ideals within my classroom to allow for the highest amount of student achievement possible. My classroom will be a secure place for students to explore without prejudice. I will strive to have my students become effective communicators orally and through written expression. My goal is for my students to develop into lifelong learners. I want each student to be able to gain confidence as individuals, and their learning is specific to them. My classroom will be a place where students will be able to celebrate success and find help throughout the trials. My desire is to have my students learn how to be motivated, to challenge themselves, want to explore and continue on the path of lifelong learning. Finally, I promise that my classroom is a place where poor learning behaviors will be replaced with exciting strategies for growth and development.

Philosophies not Chosen

Realism - Realism holds that the real world exists independently of any experience. Realists are focused on all that is true and factual such as laws and principles (Gutek, 2009). Realism is focused on the physical world and that makes up the reality in which their philosophy is built around (Gutek, 2009).

Perennialism - Perennialism's aim of education is to ensure that all students acquire the understanding about liberal topics (Gutek, 2009). Perennialists teach ideas that are long living and principles, not facts. They seek constant truth and believe that facts change constantly therefore they cannot be important to the world (Gutek, 2009). Cultivation of the intellectual mind is the highest priority in education. Curriculum focuses on attaining literacy, and student growth in disciplines rather than vocational.

Essentialism - Essentialism focuses on intellectual and moral standards; it focuses on fact and objective reality (Gutek, 2009). Teachers are the center of the classroom. The curriculum core focuses on the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic along with respect for authority, and discipline (Gutek, 2009). Essentialists believe that the common core of knowledge is transmitted to students systematically. Learning should be practical, and prepare students to become valuable members of society.

Pragmatism - Pragmatists believe that in practical assumptions of the world of experience. Ideas are judged by their consequences (Gutek, 2009). Truth is warranted assertion. Pragmatism has values that are experienced within the context of ethical problems and issues and the consequences that follow (Gutek, 2009). Pragmatist's curriculum focuses in scientific problem solving and experiential learning.

Naturalism - Naturalism attempts to explain phenomena and account for natural values. Naturalism is considered the opposite of idealism. Naturalists search for causes and rarely account for reasons (Gutek, 2009). Naturalists believe that existence encompasses everything and there is not anything that is supernatural. Naturalism is all about nature and the truths of nature (Gutek, 2009). The laws of nature govern life and individual goals are more important than society's goals. Naturalists believe that students will learn and develop in and through nature (Gutek, 2009). Physical well being enhances a readiness to learn mental, moral, and social skills.

Implementation

Within my classroom, I will be a guide for my students. I will encourage the student to develop cognitive skills. I motivate the student to learn, discover, and build. I will see and value student's point of view. This will help me formulate classroom lessons and differentiate instruction based on their needs and interests. My lessons will be structured to challenge the students. It is important for them to come to the classroom with life experiences that shape their views about how their world works. My lesson plans will be focused on big ideas, rather than small bits of information. Finally, I will assess student learning through daily classroom observations, and investigations. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge every day in a variety of ways outside of being measured by standardized assessments.

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