Although you may not think so, you have a philosophy of education. It’s there just under the surface, unseen, but affecting every decision you make as a teacher or life-long learner. Do you see learners as: blank slates on which to write; empty cups to fill; or, flames to be ignited?
Your philosophy of education is a statement about the beliefs and ideals that underpin your thinking about the purpose, process, nature, and ideals of education. Consider notions about learners and the role of the teacher and the educational environment:
- The true purpose of school;
- The role of the teacher in learning;
- How students best learn; and
- What should be taught in school.
In your one or two page philosophy of education, describe the main elements of your philosophy of education. Imagine trying to sell others on your philosophy of education. Make it memorable to the reader. In the interest of clarity, avoid excessive jargon.
Your philosophy of education:
- Does not change every time you have a different audience;
- Evolves over time to correspond to your developing beliefs, values, views, and approach to teaching and learning;
- Is a convincing critical reflection;
- Is well written and organized (so proofread for grammar, spelling); and
- Must be accurate, concise and clear so edit ruthlessly; ensure that every word contributes something meaningful.
Have a critical friend¹ read your philosophy of education; edit some more.
Now, the final challenge…
Distill your one or two page philosophy of education down to 100 words.
Remember to have your critical friend read this too. Revise, revise, finalize.
¹ A critical friend is someone who is encouraging and supportive, but who also provides honest and often candid feedback that may be uncomfortable or difficult to hear. In short, a critical friend is someone who agrees to speak truthfully, but constructively, about weaknesses, problems, and emotionally charged issues. (Glossary of Educational Reform, 2013)