My philosophy of education is that each child reserves the right to a positive and safe learning environment

My philosophy of education is that each child reserves the right to a positive and safe learning environment. My humanistic philosophy of teaching is based around the student. I believe that to be prepared one needs to remain flexible. I will transition between many roles to effectively contribute to student learning. I will be a mentor, guide, teacher, coach, and counselor. The purpose of education is to be a helper in life situations, provider of information, believer in one’s own discovery process, and jobholder of guidance both academically and personally.
Both idealism and realism share moral conviction. I believe both philosophies solidify my thoughts and feelings on education by assuming the role of preparing students for real-life situations, strategically placing emphasis on project-based learning, and building relationships that will increase student and teacher respect levels. Some key points that a realist like Aristotle believed align with my philosophy of education because a teacher should be well-educated in current events and mark clear and concise rules from the beginning. I do not lean as much toward an idealist such as Plato or a perennialist such as Robert Maynard Hutchings, Mortimer Adler, or Jacques Maritain who believe in students sharing ideas and great works that are universal such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Calvin and Hobbes books, or novels and poems by Herman Melville. Existentialism believes in students discussing their lives and decisions they make by teachers asking questions and discovering one’s purpose in life. I believe this gets to know and build repertoire with a student, but too many questions can lead to prying which I feel there is a fragile line between the two.
A pragmatist focuses attention on change. John Dewey and my beliefs parallel with one another. A student-centered atmosphere is important because they will apply their knowledge using hands-on experiments and projects by socially interacting with one another. Role play and real-life scenarios which include exploration in and outside of school are going to be deemed most effective in terms of comprehension. A pragmatic approach to learning is where I most strongly feel connected. Solving problems using student investigations, technology and other resources, as well as encouraging the collaboration among peers is an important feature to this philosophy. Pragmatism is a sign of truth, highlighting careful problem-solving skills and diminishing large amount of information at one time.
The role of the educator is to be authentic. Modeling trust can help establish a successful learning environment. The teacher should always remain calm by being kind and patient. Active participation is required of a student. The student needs to focus on fully learning about the subject (not just memorizing) and find ways to apply that learning for the benefit of their success in the future. Encouraging parents and the community to be involved in the important decisions made to benefit the student can be beneficial. Parent-school partnerships can improve schools, strengthen families, build community support, and increase student academic achievement and success.
Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) benefits the student and classroom overall. I believe strongly in fostering independent thinking skills. Students respond to positive expectations from the teacher and with that comes motivation through grades and rewards which signifies and demonstrates the understanding of concepts. B.F. Skinner also believes that rewards can be in the form of positive reinforcement and praise. The student will be enthusiastic about learning if they feel their work is being recognized and valued.
Jean Piaget and the constructivist method aligns with my belief on activating background knowledge which can develop or change schema. Pair-sharing and small groups are prime examples of student-centered instruction. Equally important is being able to modify curriculum to meet individual needs. If a student isn’t capable of understanding curriculum with a traditional delivery, being able to adjust a lesson is prudent. A straight lecture method may be considered effective for some but using a heterogeneous pairing approach could benefit others more productively. I also want to ensure that learners are being taught with proper standards that are relevant to life. A culturally relevant pedagogy should produce a positive outcome. Climate is also a tremendous tool in the learning success of each student. If a student feels safe in school and has a positive, emotionally invested interest in the overall learning environment, then that may improve achievement level. For myself, I find that designing the curriculum to be relevant and detailed is an important first step for a high-quality learning environment.
Being able to keep the material challenging, yet adaptive to focus on some student’s interests helps them meet learning standards. Being a compassionate and disciplined educator who expects nothing less than superior results from a student is what is required to produce exceptional adults in society today.