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Progressivism: The Philosophy of Education That Best Suits Me as Teacher

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Before beginning any paper on a philosophy of education, it is important to define the terms used so that both the author and the reader are “on the same page.” Webster’s New World Dictionary, in the third definition, defines philosophy as “the general principles or laws of a field of knowledge” (p. 1015). Education is likewise defined in the first definition as “the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind, character, etc., esp. by formal schooling” (p. 432). Hence, a philosophy of education would be elaboration and discussion of the general principles of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of a person or people.
With the term philosophy of education defined, I can state that the philosophy of education that most closely aligns with my own would be the general educational philosophy called progressivism, sometimes also called constructivism. I find a close affinity to this philosophy, with some differences and variations that tend not to fundamentally alter the overall philosophical approach, but rather enriches and broadens its scope.
Progressivism is defined by specific features that are child/student centered at it’s core. Progressivism is identified as a philosophy where;
1) learners are active and self-motivated,
2) each student is recognized as having unique needs and interests that can be used in the educational process,
3) the teacher serves as a facilitator, using the interests and needs of the students to nurture their desire to learn,
4) create an active and interesting environment, allowing for the child’s natural interest and activeness to take root,
5) such an environment allows students to construct knowledge as they interact with the environment,
6) an...


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...inciples, and expands the principles beyond just the student to help form the classroom into community, where students are allowed to function as human beings, and where the environment fosters learning.


References

Combined Elementary Task Forces of the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC), Omaha, NE: University of Nebraska at Omaha. (1999). Principles of Brain-Based Learning. Retrieved November 28, 2004, from http://www.unocoe.unomaha.edu/brainbased.htm.

Funderstanding.com, Inc. (2001). Brain based Learning. Retrieved on November 26, 2004, from http://www.funderstanding.com/brain_based_learning.cfm

Jenson Learning Corporation. (n.d.). Brain-Based Learning: Where's the Proof? Retrieved November 28, 2004, from http://www.jlcbrain.com/truth.html

Kohn. Alfie. (2001) Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.


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