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Philosophy of Education - Essay Example

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My philosophy of education belongs to the progressive school or progressivism. I believe that education's purpose should benefit as many as people as possible and that its fruits should go for the betterment of society. In terms of knowledge, everything that currently exists as belonging to the dominant paradigm could be overturned once more convincing evidence or evidences of new knowledge arrive…
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Philosophy of Education My philosophy of education belongs to the progressive school or progressivism. I believe that education's purpose should benefit as many as people as possible and that its fruits should go for the betterment of society. In terms of knowledge, everything that currently exists as belonging to the dominant paradigm could be overturned once more convincing evidence or evidences of new knowledge arrive. However, my educational philosophy also incorporate some aspects of perennialism, essentialism and existentialism.
John Dewey who rightly saw the inextricable bond between education and democracy, believed that education would be the key to the flowering of democracy in America (John Dewey and Education n.d., para 2). In effect, education as he saw it has a purpose and I believe this is the strength of this educational philosophy as it is focused on something, other than merely valuing education, for education's sake, which could prove very well for those who have always the luxury of getting an education whenever or wherever. But in view of the greater role that education plays in society, being progressive in mindset, keeps an educator as well as students focused and motivated. For students, this philosophy sends the message that learning or education is not just meant to be acquired so that one could be a bonafide member of society, but rather so that society could be enriched because another person has became educated. Moreover, students are taught that they do not live in a vacuum, as education is best learned in the context of learning with other people. Another one of progressivism's strengths is that in it no knowledge is ever the correct, complete or true knowledge - instead knowledge is there to be continuously rediscovered, deepened and broadened, and revolutionized if the need arises. For example, if some students who belong to the minority groups in American society feel that their learning would better proceed if some curriculum subjects would be taught in their native tongues, then a progressive educational philosophy would give space for such feedback or at least consider it. Similarly, courses which give minorities a chance to be cognizant of their cultural backgrounds, would be given space by progressive educators.
Yet, other philosophies in education are also incorporated in what I consider enrichments to my progressive educational philosophy. I also believe that there are certain knowledge or works of literature that belong to all the ages and that will stand the test of time because they have served as foundations to the current knowledge viewed as the true or relevant knowledge today. In the Great Books Program, students could benefit from a curriculum that broadly discusses the progression of scientific thinking, Western philosophy, poetry and literature (Wikipedia, Great Books n.d.). This curriculum could still be followed by students even if they are no longer part of the formal education system - since a lot of these require deep and broad reading that would probably not fit within the time frame of those who are pursuing general education then would have to proceed to take a major in a specified degree program. As a form of essentialism, I also believe that the system of education will not be in operation without the forceful commitment or leadership of authorities. Public education especially would not have benefited the most number of people if not for leadership in education. Last but not the least, I also believe that in the end - education rests with the individual as existentialism presupposes, in that an person's education could only be furthered by the system, but critical faculties are greatly developed when an individual exercises independence of mind and of judgment on the meaning of life and its purpose.
References:
John Dewey and Progressive Education (no date). Retrieved October 8, 2007, from
http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/acs/1890s/dewey/educ.html.
Wikipedia. Great Books (last updated October 2, 2007). Retrieved October 8, 2007 from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Books Read More
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