My teaching philosophy: 22nd February 2006 - that was my first day as an educator at school. Having the utmost confidence, I have plunged myself in the ocean of Education- the process of teaching and learning. My aims of education follow that of Gandhi and Aristotle. They are based on the character that is the relationship between knowledge and ethics, on self fulfilment and happiness and finally the developmental aim intellectually, socially, morally and so on. My values take the path of socialisation with students, caring for their development and followed by the transmission of knowledge. Moreover I have a 'student centred approach' in my practice.
MY PERCEPTION OF EDUCATION
Education is not only a nine letters word, but it encloses a huge world. It consists of all the factors leading to an educated and successful being. What I mean is that a person is in possession of unlimited knowledge and experiences gained in life which always increase, change and develop from time to time. This reflects Peters' conception of Education which is polymorphous. My concept of education does not only mean schooling but it also includes various activities and learning of not only academically but lifelong learning of worthy things. Peters also refers to this. For instance, given an essay on 'A rainy day' will be done in an effective way when the students experience it first. Constant lifelong learning equates to constant improvement. This also brings about change in a gradual, evolutionary manner rather than a rapid, revolutionary manner.
Long ago, Education was perceived in a different way. With the democratisation and development brought by globalisation in the 21st century, education that is teaching and learning have taken a great turn. With the vast technology and communication systems in the world, the delivery of education has become easier, interesting and innovative. Moreover people are freer to share their views without giving importance to class, race and national territory (Democracy and Education, John Dewey, 1917).
Mauritius is a clear example of the economical aspect of education. Free education in Mauritius enables all citizens to be educated. This is why other countries' economists think how our island has survived the economical crisis by which the world has suffered. Hence Education is the key of problems. I agree completely when Eric Hoffer says,
"The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents and children are students together."
I feel that one continues on learning from all actions and experiences they get in life. This is called self education. We make mistakes and learn from them. There is a deep reservoir of potentials locked down within us. Whatever is going on around us are trivial matters compared to what is happening in our inner self. We must always search and harvest our ideas to achieve success. As everyone follows the same educational process that is schooling, it is the responsibility of schools to provide additional educative experiences such as putting in practice what the students are learning in class, bringing them in nature, making them get some experiences through working, experiments, and real actions and so on. There should be the cooperation of the policy makers, the consents of parents and the help of everyone concerned to provide these educational experiences to the learners. For example, I believe if there is a lesson on a festival or prayer, it will appear more interesting for the students when they get involved that is by bringing things for the arrangements of the prayer, students will be more active and will eventually understand the lesson well.
AIMS OF EDUCATION AS EDUCATOR
The educational goals are set in such a way so as to give learners a preview of the prevailing world. As educators, it is also our aim to preserve the human nature, develop creative intelligence which eases adaptability to any system.
The purpose of education as a teacher is to change for a better education. Through social and economical development, educational qualifications consist of not only knowledge and requirements, but training and skills also. In my point of view, learners should possess multiple intelligences such as visual, linguistic, inter personal and emotional intelligence.
In class, through lessons, character aim can be dealt. Many comprehensions are focussed upon the behaviours of students. Through reading and understanding, students are learning about ethics also. Moreover, I believe that through knowledge there is a transformation within the students. As Plato mentioned, students reason more in the 21st century. This is the result of the care and commitment of teachers.
Globalisation and technology have great impacts on the aims of education. They have modernised the content and ways of teaching. Technology is both a blessing and a curse to the evolving generations. It helps them to do research work on the topics done in class; to devise programs for slow learners; it even gives particular solutions to certain problems. But on the other hand, it changes the reaction of students on social sites. It also challenges the teachers'democracy. Technology brings about three types of reforms; financial, strategic and equity. This is because the world of market is technologically driven. Teachers should conditioned students to accept this reality. This can be done by giving a broader aspect of the world awaiting them after schooling.
As far as teaching methods are concerned, use of new instructional materials satisfies Peters' aim of education which is that of an evolving education. By working in the service of a completed human being, I am able to exercise in freedom a self disciplined will and virtuous judgement upon my students. Moreover there is no political or social creed.
Finally, I can say that fostering the inner freedom of my students, is one among the aims of education which I forward. As Paolo Freire said they should not be like routine people. I make them realise that they must be responsible for their own actions, intelligent and critical in decision making and have the acquisition of knowledge for resolution of problems. These can be done through interesting topics in class and through challenging situations which arise in front of them. The aim of holistic education is also achieved through this process.
MY GUIDING VALUES AND BELIEFS
Educating is a noble task. We are prone to character building and moulding of the new generation, maybe the future Prime minister is in our hands only. As an oriental educator, values and beliefs are of great concern for me. In whichever topic I deal with, my values and beliefs are guided by Thirukkural, the book of Ethics. I fully agree with Tiruvalluvar, the author of this divine task, that Education is a wealth which cannot be destroyed.
"Learning is wealth none could destroy
Nothing else gives genuine joy"
My teaching philosophy evolves my teaching beliefs. I believe that knowledge has to be constructed by the students and not by someone else. This can be done through reasoning and democratic skills in class. For instance, given a letter to write to the Ministry of Environment about the water problems will teach the students that they can change things in a democratic society. Thus, the values that are democratic in this teaching correspond to those of Dewey which are cognitive, socio emotional, democratic and learning outcomes. All these result into problem solving scientifically.
Paolo Freire rightly says that one should stop behaving like routine people. That is why in our educational system, we are now called educators. Educator means that we should possess dialogue, trust and communication so as to educate our clients. As reference to my professional journal, a student of another religion wanted to learn Tamil. Through our dialogues, I was able to make her feel comfortable and finally she had a trust on me and started communicating very well. Moreover, while dealing with human being there should be knowledge of psychology which will help to understand the minds of our students.
I believe that allowing my students to express themselves freely results to critically examine topics given to them. They are even given the chance to do outdoor trips in connection with their topics. These evoke interest and captives the mind of students. Sharing the same opinions, values and background of the students, make them feel more at ease. At the same time, the positive and caring approach of the educator give a good opinion of the student on the latter.
For the 21st century students, moralising aspects are totally outdated. We should recognise them as potential beings. At the same time, inculcating disciple and gratitude in them through their own style will be beneficial. Thus results also will be a standard one.
Under the guidance of different philosophers, teaching with a philosophical approach has given a positive change of the approach in class. Educators are more students centred as well as result concerned. Ways and means to fulfil the aims of education are satisfied. Moreover, the values and beliefs which educators possess are reflected upon the students through their behaviours and results.