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Thursday, January 22, 2009

What's your philosophy on education?

What's your philosophy on education?
Recently as I continue to work on my Master's at CCU, I took a survey to find out where my educational philosophy lies. I took a similar survey in college a few years back, but this one seemed better done.
The schools of thought were:

* Liberal/Plato/Aristotle
* Behaviorist/Skinner
* Progressive/Dewey/Lindeman
* Humanist/Carl Rogers/Malcolm Knowles
* Radical/Mezirow/Freire

I believe that as teachers each of us reaches a blend or ability to adapt and change with the students class by class or year by year. My quote at the bottom of every email reads... "Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” Plato… then some hippie dippy comment about “please consider the environment before printing this email.” :)
After taking this particular survey though, I found myself radically "liberal," yikes! My poor children have a liberal teacher for a Dad. J Seriously though, in the days since, I find myself more and more looking at the writings of Plato or Aristotle and finding myself applying those philosophies into the classroom. An emphasis on mathematical and moral knowledge I would think would create generations of creative problem solvers and we are lagging a bit as American students in that. Am I wrong to get excited when I read Aristotle and come away with ideals based on Free and deliberate choice, or the ideal that we should all strive for greater intellect? There is some great stuff out there for all of these philosophers and each one when applied could yield success for a teacher, I am sure.
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