Tuesday, September 04, 2001

An individual's philosophy of education begins as a child and should continue throughout their entire adult life. Although the child's level of understanding is still unrefined, students begin to develop beliefs and personal views concerning the practical aspects of their educational experiences. They will begin to recognize the individual methods and teaching styles that provide the confidence and ability to succeed within the classroom. At some point in this experience, somone has inspired them to enter the field of education. They begin to develop a passion for teaching and guiding children as they progress and mature in the educational environment. The responsibility of guiding their future students through these developmental stages is eventually realized and their educational philosophy begins to evolve.
The evolution of my teaching platform has been influenced by family, personal education and experiences. I believe the ultimate purpose of education is to provide students with the academic knowledge and moral development necessary to succeed in their professional endeavors, as well as family and other social relationships. My philosophy is best described and supported by Pestalozzianism. Johann Pestalozzi, a swiss educator, believed that creating a permissive and emotionally healthy "homelike" learning environment was the precursor to more advanced and specific instruction. Teachers in this environment should gain their students' trust and affection through nurturing relationships and positive interactions. In today's society, this environment would supplement and possibly fulfill the students' lack of home and family relationships.
I believe the learning environment should provide classroom structure without restricting student-teacher communication. Johann Herbart, a German philosopher, used Pestalozzi's ideas to develop his methods of systematic instruction and curriculum correlation. Herbart created the 5 Step Instructional Method, providing a five stage lesson plan for teaching a variety of subjects. This method provides a structured lesson plan without restricting the students' communication and creativity within the classroom.
Teachers are the key to a successful "homelike" learning environment. Educators should have the passion to teach their subject area and be dedicated to the success of their students. I believe that teachers should accept the responsibility of being a positive example, inside as well as outside the classroom. The teaching profession is a "public office" and educators should understand their influence and responsibility to that position. Although my knowledge and experience will continue to evolve my teaching platform, I believe my passion and dedication to my students will create a successful and emotionally secure learning environment.