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Running Head: PHILOSOPHY OF EDCUCATION

My Philosophy of Education
Ensign
2014

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Table of Contents

Introduction ………………………………………………………… 3

Role of the Teacher and Instructional Methods ………………….. 4

Student Rights and Responsibilities ………………………………. 5

Methods of Assessment ……………………………………………. 6

Classroom Organization …………………………………………… 7

Conclusion …………………………………………………………... 7

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My Philosophy of Education
Introduction
The purpose of education is to present fundamental knowledge to students, assist them in
developing specialized skills and interests, promote socialization and tolerance, and provide a
safe environment where they feel free to explore content areas and seek assistance when issues
arise. Fundamental knowledge leads to the development of skills as students are required to
process information using various strategies during the learning experience. Students attend
school to gain basic knowledge across a wide array of subject matters, such as math, science,
history, etc. When learning new material in schools, students are given the opportunity to reflect
critically on current and previous knowledge, make hypotheses to predict outcomes given
different circumstances, and perform experiments to find resolutions. Through this step-by-step
learning of core content, students learn problem solving skills. Exploratory subjects (electives)
let students explore areas of interest, allowing them to develop their interests in specialized areas
of knowledge and skills.
While the knowledge gained during the learning experience is essential, we must also
consider the other benefits school environments provides for their attending audiences. For
example, schools provide a wonderful platform for social development. Students experience the
opportunity to meet new people their age, mingle with friends, and work collaboratively toward a
particular objective or goal. The later scenario does more than provide social growth; it also
encourages teamwork and the further development of problems solving skills that are essential
later in the workplace. In addition, I have the same view as the great philosopher John Dewey in
that students must feel safe within their learning environment and have positive experiences
upon which to reflect in the future. I believe students that learn in a positive environment will

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more likely to retain information and be more successful not only within the classroom, but in
their daily lives outside of the educational arena and in the work place.
Role of the Teacher and Instructional Methods
As an educator, it is my responsibility to present fundamental biology knowledge to students
for reflection, processing, and retention. Not only does this task require a profound
understanding of subject matter, I must also know how each student individually learns; thus, I
realize the importance of training in my core content areas and will ensure allocation of time to
obtain information about my students’ backgrounds and learning styles. The goal of the later
requirement is founded on the notion that not all students learn the same way. I have heard this
concept echoed in nearly every reading sample, textbook, lesson, and even from my peers since
beginning on my path in the educational arena.
I believe students should be introduced to a wide variety of methods for learning, such as
those suggested by Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory. He proposed that students learn
optimally when they are given the option to learn and demonstrate their understanding of content
material through different venues such as projects presented musically, verbally, visually, etc.
For example, I plan on using computers to enhance lessons presented the classroom, if such tools
are available. This method serves two functions: to reinforce content in an innovative and
interesting way and to utilize technological devices with which the students of today are familiar
and will most likely be expected to utilize later in the work environment. Students, who are able
to relate to content on a personal level, will retain that information and recall it with ease in the
future.
Not only will I present information in a wide variety of ways, such as visually, orally, and
with a graphic representation, my biology content will be delivered with differentiated

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instruction in mind. In this case, the curriculum focuses on understanding and processing of
information rather than memorization of facts or assumption of results. Similar to using
technology in the classroom, this method of teaching is extremely beneficial for helping students
relate their lessons to life outside the school realm. I agree with Dewey on this topic as well;
students that are able to relate lessons to their lives are better able to learn material and gain more
meaning from their education beyond the simple subject knowledge. Students are faced with the
necessity to reflect on the knowledge gained and continually ask themselves why the information
they are learning is important. This process can help them to later recall the information given
different circumstances. Cooperative learning works well with differentiated instruction; students
join in groups to discuss and reflect on knowledge gained, which lowers individual competition
among students and fosters socialization and development of individual opinions.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
When students attend school they are expressing their right to obtain an education from
qualified teachers. A safe learning environment also falls within their rights as they learn in the
school. I believe that in order to learn effectively, students must be relaxed and feel secure.
Students must also know they have the right to ask questions and pursue knowledge beyond what
the teacher presents to them. To me, there is no “stupid question.” All students have the right to
be heard in my classroom.
While it is the role of the teacher to present information to the students in the classroom, I
believe it is the responsibility of the students to asses, process, and make efforts to retain that
material. Students are responsible for keeping up with homework and projects. They also are
responsible for respecting each other and exercising tolerance. Students should maintain orderly

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conduct within the classroom, including raising hands, allowing peers to express themselves
without judgment, and respecting the instructor.
Methods of Assessment
In my subject area of biology, I have several options as far as assessing my future
students on their understanding and retention of information. I intend to include exams that will
test on basic content understanding, and that can be used as evaluations of my teaching plans. If
students are missing the same questions, I will be able to go back and re-teach material using a
different method. Like my material delivery methods, these exams will cater to the multiple
learning styles by including multiple choices, true/false and short answer questions. The periodic
content exams will be necessary to assess whether or not students are retaining key information
which will be important on the standardized tests set forth from the No Child Left Behind Act. I
will have the option to share the results from the content exams with parents in order help foster
responsibility for educational progress and interest within the home instead of solely leaving it
up to the student in the classroom.
My other assessments will focus on the critical thinking skills. I expect the students to
have obtained these skills by the secondary level of education. Biology provides a perfect
platform for utilizing critical thinking to solve problems experimentally. Students will be
required to recall previous and apply current knowledge for theses assessments; they will form
hypotheses based on their knowledge of the particular subject matter and experiment to find
solutions to the problem presented. When students have the opportunity to find their own
conclusions through application of their predictions, they gain so much more educationally and
experientially than having been given the answer with the presentation of the content.

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Classroom Organization
Organization within a classroom is essential to providing an effective learning
environment. It is my belief that students learn not only content from the teacher, but are also
observant of the instructor’s mannerisms. In order to achieve the goal of helping students feel
comfortable in my classroom, I will encourage group work and projects. I intend to have “open”
seating, referring to the literal organization of the desks. Allowing the students to see each other
facilitates them getting to know one another. If the seats are organized in a “U” shape, all
students can see each other, and have a clear view of me as the teacher. I certainly want them to
be able to see me for the same reasons as each other, to keep interest. This pattern of seating
should cater to a feeling of community and inclusion within the classroom, allowing students to
be comfortable with one another and feeling free to ask questions without ridicule. Working in
groups on occasion will also help with this sense of inclusion regardless of individual differences
such as culture, religion, socio-economic level, and disability. If necessary these differences can
be discussed and shared at the beginning of the year to diminish any tensions that might
otherwise occur during group work. I can change the students in each group throughout the year
as well, so that they are again able to feel comfortable with everyone in the class. Once they are
comfortable, I hope that the students are able to converse openly together in critically thinking on
concepts and helping to relate those topics to themselves through group discussions.
Conclusion
Most students consider learning biology a subject in which they can learn on part, dump
it after the test, and move on. Everything in biology builds upon itself, teaching learners how
even the smallest parts have their own roles in helping us survive as living organisms. As stated,
I want students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to their immediate lives and

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develop their skills to review situations from an experimental vantage point, using knowledge to
draw conclusions based upon educated predictions. Doing so helps students understand more
about themselves and how they function from a biological standpoint. What I think is even more
important to consider, is students’ futures. We spend roughly a quarter of our lives in school in
the United States. It is important to not just teach students more about themselves as living
beings, but to impart upon them the skills that they will use later, for example in the workplace.
For example, many world leaders learned the skills they need to work with their associates and
peers in school. They learned to find their voice in school. They learned to approach difficult
situations, consider options, and make educated decisions on how to resolve them in school.
Those same policy makers and leaders represent their country members to the rest of the world
and influence changes on a global scale. As a teacher, I intend to inspire and motivate my
students with positive learning experiences, allowing them to gain life skills, critical thinking and
self-confidence. These are all skills students need in the classroom, but can apply outside the
classroom in whatever situations they face in the future, whether it be changing the world or
even just making a difference for the better in their own lives.