Personal Philosophy in Education Introduction My personal philosophy of education is that the educational professional acts as a conduit wherein students do not simply learn facts and figures, but gain the critical thinking skills that will guide them along their life journey…
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Justification of my personal philosophy will be provided with references to four theorists – Maria Montessori, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Paulo Freire, and John Dewey. It will also be demonstrated that my personal philosophy is in contrast to Plato and Confucius. Aim of Education The aim of education is a broad encompassing subject that extends beyond the simple confines of the classroom. My personal philosophy on education is that students must gain critical thinking skills and a development of a personal philosophy that can guide them throughout their lives. This theory runs counter to perspectives on education as a process where the teacher imbues students with content material that they can then implement as career preparation, as it’s believed that this approach to educational instruction doesn’t fully prepare the student for the variety of challenges and shifting life circumstances they will encounter. This theory of education is also counter to perspectives on existence as posed by theorists and philosophers such as Plato. Plato argued that the reality consisted of a number of pre-set forms that the teacher must instruct the student to discover (Honderich 2005). Contrary to this perspective, my philosophy of education views knowledge in more abstract and shifting terms that cannot simply be ‘discovered’ but must be continually re-imagined through strong critical thinking skills. A major educational theorist that influenced this perspective on education is Mari Montessori. While today Montessori’s methods have most prominently been adopted in private education, her ideas have had a tremendous impact on educational theory, influencing both private and public teachers (Mondale 2002). The reforms that Montessori implemented considered the fundamental nature of education. While it had previously been believed that there were outward and rigid standards of educational curriculum, Montessori believed the process to be more of a subjective task. In Montessori’s understanding the teacher asks less as a sage pushing the students through a set curriculum and more as an individual responsible for cultivating the student’s intellectual and academic interests (Mondale 2002). The underlining belief was that in allowing the students to pursue their own interests they would develop the critical thinking skills necessary for a proper education (Mondale 2002). These theories would be collected into what would be deemed the Montessori method of education and have varying degrees of influence on educational institutes in forthcoming years. Ultimately, Montessori’s theories influence my perspective through demonstrating the seminal importance of allowing students the chance to develop their own intellectual interests. Another prominent educational reformer that has influenced my educational philosophy is Paulo Freire. Freire was a prominent 20th century educational reformer that lived the majority of his life in Brazil. Freire’s understanding of education as embodied in his writings would come to be recognized as Critical Pedagogy. Critical Pedagogy is a form of instruction that is influenced by both anti-colonial and Marxist theory that considers the nature of education as necessarily influenced by a political perspective (Gutek). Freire argued that in considering the nature of education as possessing this political dimension, educators should work to implement instruction as a means of empowering
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