Educational Goals and Philosophy


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Educational Goals and Philosophy


Deciding on a career is a very difficult decision for anyone to make, especially for someone just coming out of high school. I always knew that I wanted to work with children, but I didn’t know what field I wanted to be in. After thinking about what field I could be in that I could work with children the most, I decided to become a teacher. I have always had a great deal of respect for most of the teachers I’ve had and hopefully I will be able to gain that respect from my students.

I believe that if you are going to teach, you have to have some degree of love for children. Once any teacher has lost that, I think it is time for them to stop teaching. The two most important things that have inspired me to become a teacher are being able to work with young children all the time and the personal rewards that come with teaching.

My biggest goal as a teacher is to make a child want to learn. I believe children in general do want to learn and it is our job as teachers to give them a chance to do that. I think in order for a child to want to learn, we have to make learning fun and interesting. I believe that by relating the students every day lives to the material they are learning will help accomplish this. Knowing that I have taught a child something, have made a child want to learn or have made a difference in a child’s life would be the most rewarding feeling in the world.

As a teacher one of the main strategies that I want to incorporate into my classroom is cooperative learning. Cooperative learning gives the students a chance to get to know each other better, to work together on things, and to depend on one another to get things done. Another reason I prefer this type of learning is that instead of one individual person failing or succeeding, it is the group as a whole (sink or swim together).

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Finally the main reason that I prefer cooperative learning is that it gives the students a chance to work on their social development. It gives the students a chance to develop better both mentally and socially, which is very important in moving on to each grade level. Cooperative learning also gives the students a chance to see other people’s point of views, which leads me to a philosophy that I have taken into serious consideration for myself.

While cooperative learning is a part of progressivism, I agree with the progressive idea that we should teach students how to think, not what to think. Yes, maybe our views should be shared, but it should be taught that other views are acceptable as well. I want my students to leave my classroom with an open mind to all different point of views. This is why I will incorporate multiculturalism in to my classroom. I remember when I was in fourth grade and my teacher taught us all about different cultures and we celebrated the holidays for every culture, race and ethnic background, not just our own. I believe to this day that I owe a big thank you to my fourth grade teacher for teaching me to be so opened minded to all point of views in this world.

I also believe that students learn by doing, for example taking a field trip and interacting with nature and science or by doing hands on activities like working with their peers in groups and learning from each other. I think this gives the students an opportunity to help others as well.

Although I support Progressivism a great deal, I also have to lean toward some aspects of essentialism. I do believe that the launching of Sputnik happened for a reason and I do think that we still need to incorporate the basic skills into the minds of our students, but only to a certain extent. I do not think, however that just because one student may know math better than another, that they re in any way more intelligent than any other child. I believe that intelligence is measured by all of your capabilities, not just knowing English or math or doing well on a test.

As I am reflecting on my own philosophy of education, I know that my class will be mostly centered around the students, and I will simply be their director of learning or their guide through their educational experience. I want my students to leave my classroom not only mentally stronger, but more opened minded and more willing to accept others as well.


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