Friday, June 8, 2012

An Educational Philosophy

 Education is necessary for every human being to function correctly in the modern world. In order to function at all in society, one must know how to read, solve problems, and know how to utilize as many resources available as possible in order to accomplish tasks. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that one should know what one believes about how that education is obtained, especially when going into a teaching field.
The whole purpose of an education is for a person to be able to interact in society in a real and meaningful way through communication, the exchange of ideas, invention, language, and culture. Without education, one might find themselves mute, unable to take care of themselves, unable to interact with others, and perhaps, for all intents and purposes, be a vegetable. Because humans are constantly learning new things and experimenting and forming new ideas throughout all cultures, in order to interact in any sort of meaningful way, one must have someone teach you the things that you might not be able to find out alone. So, the purpose of education is to inform students about all basic subjects (math, language, history, social studies, science, etc.) along with teaching social norms, moral behavior, and character building as well.

I believe students should be well-rounded with a holistic education. With the proper motivation, every student will be excited about learning and actively interested in learning more, even past the classroom. Students should be given the opportunity to discover new ideas on their own through well facilitated activities and be able to apply what they learn to real life situations. Students should be able to think abstractly, or at least begin to, and use that kind of higher thinking to develop problem solving abilities. In teaching students history, they should be able to look at how things were done in the past and try and develop opinions concerning improvements for the future. They should be able to work independently as well as cooperatively with peers to develop creative and original ideas that can question the way things are done today with good reason and new ideas of how things can be done better.

Students should be given the opportunity to learn all these things by a teacher who is excited about and interested in the subject matter. Teachers should seek to expand the minds of students and give them every opportunity to succeed. They should provide stability and consistency in the lives of students who may or may not have these characteristics in other facets of their lives. They should be life-long learners themselves and seek to grow and learn with their students. A good teacher is also a good student. Teachers should seek to teach students how to apply what they learn to real life and they should inspire students to be life long learners too. They should be sensitive to different learning styles and provide a variety of ways for students to interact with the content of a lesson. One thing that marks a good teacher is a classroom with few if any discipline problems. The key to discipline is a great teacher. If a teacher has a lesson well planned and students are actively participating in the lesson as soon as they enter the room, there is much less room for a discipline problem to occur.

In teaching art, one is given a special ability because art not only encourages higher cognitive thinking but it also incorporates every other subject. In this way, art is like a learning lab. It spans more than just defining color, spaces, lines, and shapes. It blends current events, science, math, the newest technologies, social studies, history, everything else. I think that if one is given the ability to make art and do so by incorporating everything one has learned, not only will he have made something worth keeping or selling but he will have created a lasting impression on his mind of the things he's learned and applied into an art piece. I think art is a way to bring real life and abstract ideas into a cohesive whole.

What is the most rewarding thing at the end of the day for a teacher, I believe, is that the lessons taught in the classroom have sparked a flame in students' minds which will keep them questioning, seeking, and learning for their whole lives. The art of educating is one which goes far beyond just words in a book. It has to do with the educating itself. How a lesson is taught is almost, if not equally, important as the information given in it. It takes a very special person to be a teacher and I only hope that someday I can become half as good at inspiration as my teachers were. 

Wordle: Teaching

Having an educational philosophy written down helps me to constantly strive for my best as a teacher and can be helpful for my students to know what I expect from them and what they can expect from me. In a way, it is like a mental contract that I maintain with my students, whether they know it or not.

This blog, I hope, will help students, parents, and community members to see the progress of their students, what we are learning together as a class, and see the importance of art in society. This kind of documentation of student work and innovation could also be a visual way for people outside of the district to see what we are doing and respond too.

I hope that this class will help me to be more knowledgeable in how to integrate technology into a classroom setting.

In the article we read by Alan November, the point that stood out the most to me was point #6: Collegiality is What's Needed. I thought that it was a good point because in a school, I believe that students learn better when subjects are integrated. This cannot happen unless teachers work together. In my limited experience, schools with a team-based attitude among teachers have a much higher retention rating than those schools where teachers work on their own with little interaction amongst themselves.


Dr. W said...

First let me say, I love your philosophy! Very insightful. And second, I LOVE the template you selected for your blog!

Chris said...

"I think art is a way to bring real life and abstract ideas into a cohesive whole." ~Brilliant!

If life is the input, expression is the output. Art is one big sonata form! Of course Mozart was a computational genius!

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