Thought Into What my Philosophy on Teaching

Before, I began this course I didn’t put much thought into what my philosophy on teaching was. I have come to see the importance of learning about philosophical theories and the men and women who implemented them. Philosophy in general studies questions about the nature of learning, especially children. Questions might include: What is the purpose of education? What is the nature of education and its related concepts? Is the chief goal of educators imparting knowledge, developing intellectual independence or instilling moral or political values? Different views may influence these answers. In this course, thus far we have covered many major philosophy figures such as; Noddings, Freire, Dewey, Giroux, Greene, and Montessori to name a few. Some of them believed in constraint and discipline. Others were more concerned with civil rights like protection from discrimination and unequal treatments.

Throughout my educational journey, I’ve read and heard many John Dewey references. His beliefs about “learning in context” and “collaborative education where we learn from people who are not like us.” John Dewey resonates with me, and I can see myself developing and modeling my philosophy based on his. He was an author of nearly forty books and hundreds of articles. Dewey’s writing was pragmatic as his philosophy. Practically, every sentence was carefully thought out to convey his thoughts as precisely an unambiguously as possible. John Dewey is considered one of the world’s most influential philosophers who helped found the only uniquely American contribution to philosophy: pragmatism, a practical approach to problems and affairs. A philosophy that has revolutionized everything we do today. He was also an activist, a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and he helped establish the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Dewey’s ideas revolutionized how we teach, how we understand the role between teacher and student. He gave a lot of thought of purpose, of education and the relevant role of the future, present, and past. One of the most referenced quotes by Dewey “If we teach today’s students, as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” This quote cannot be corroborated as Dewey’s but, nonetheless, it sums up my belief and ideas on teaching and the curriculum. I think what Dewey was trying to say, was that if we keep teaching the new generation the same as we taught children to say fifty years ago, our knowledge will never expand or grow. I believe Dewey’s continuity and interactions of experience noted in his book Experience and Education (1938) most articulate his vision for education.

In short, the mature teacher should consider the interests/needs of students, and the needs of society in making wise curricular decisions. I believe that experiences are meaningful if connected to the past and opening the door to the future, and if connected to internal knowledge/desires/abilities with external factors. Children today have such a different experience in the classroom from when I was in elementary school. Today technology is incorporated in each classroom; you see laptops, smart interactive whiteboards, and mobile devices. In 1915, Dewey wrote a book entitled Schools of Tomorrow in which he criticized the conventional public school “school is arranged to make things easy for the teacher who wishes quick and tangible results.” Dewey made the case that education needed to adopt new instructional approaches based on future societal needs. I agree, I strongly believe that schools should reorganize their curricula, emphasize freedom and individuality, and respond to the changing employment requirements.

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