Philosophy Essay on Education Self-Inventory
Education is the most powerful weapon that one can use to change the world. The primary function of education is to teach learners to think critically and intensively so as to formulate stellar solutions to the current problems facing the world. The ability of a student to think critically and intensively, however, solely depends on the teaching techniques and methodology used by the teacher. As an American History teacher, I have found it extremely daunting to teach my students about the importance of critical-thinking. I thereby seek to ensure that my students get to utilize their gained knowledge in positively creating an impact on the society. It is with this profound reason that I write this paper to elucidate my philosophy of education self-inventory.
“Teach them well and let them lead the way” is what I aim to achieve as an American History teacher. The essence of teaching students is to direct them to serve as leaders of tomorrow. I strongly believe that each student has the unique capability to formulate suitable solutions to a wide range of world’s problems that we are currently facing. The philosophy of progressivism is the only way by which students can develop remarkable problem-solving skills.
Today, I believe that my teaching style has been greatly influenced by the philosophy of progressivism. Progressivism is one of the latest philosophies of education that came to prominence in the early 1920s (Fairfield, 2012, p.13). Progressivism regards nature as ever-changing due to its flux status (Ryan et al., 2016, p. 291). Therefore, to keep up with the ever-changing state of nature, continuous redefinition and rediscovery of knowledge is a necessity. The philosophy of progressivism allows students to develop stellar problem-solving skills that are vital as solutions to some of the current issues that are negatively affecting nature and the society (Fairfield, 2012, p.13). As a teacher, my role is to facilitate the students’ learning process by providing them with resources that would help in promoting the student’s problem-solving abilities (Ryan et al., 2016, p. 290).
Evidence or actual learning strategy to support the Philosophy of progressivism
As an American History teacher, one of the dubious challenges that I have faced over the past years is with regards to my students’ passive behavior during class lectures. In fact, many of my students still loathe the idea of being actively involved in any of my classes. Instead, their only focus is on listening to the lectures with the primary intent of memorizing as opposed to fully understanding the topic. In a bid to make sure that my students get fully involved in class, I introduced a teaching technique that entirely focused on each student. I developed an array of engaging in-class activities where each student would actively get involved in class. During my teaching sessions, I chose to integrate technology as part of my teaching mechanism. I used the oral way of conveying knowledge to the students with the help of digital PowerPoint slides. My lectures were interspersed with short interactions where I would ask the students to respond to a question displayed on the slide. After asking the question, I would wait for 15 seconds for any response. In case a response had not been made, I would randomly select any student to give a response. I would later randomly call on any other student to give his/her opinion or answer to the same question. If any of the two responses were not accurate, I would invite other students to give their opinions and suggestions with regards to either of the two answers. This was eminently essential in triggering the students’ thoughts whilst also allowing them to freely participate in class.
I also noticed that my students had developed the habit of enquiring all information for the purposes of tackling and completing their given History assignments. It is with this profound reason that I decided to replace assignments with group work activities. Thus, I placed the students in groups of 4s after which I would give them a different History research projects where they would research and give a summary of their findings. In certain scenarios, I would provide my students with a link to the resources that they would use to extract vital information about their project. Later on, each group would present their results to the class through PowerPoint presentations after which any student in the class would ask queries or seek further clarifications on the presented topic. As a facilitator, my role is to guide my students using thought-provoking questions and suggestions. This teaching technique has proved to be very effective in ensuring that all of my students think critically and intensively to every issue pertaining to their studies. Furthermore, every student in my History class has been able to hone both their research and public speaking skills.
In order to ensure that my students shun away from the habit of memorizing information, I decided to involve my students in the evaluation process. Since the philosophy of progressivism is entirely student-centered, I chose to involve my students in the evaluation process by giving them a direct feedback on their performance (Ryan et al., 2016, p. 289). Through this technique, the student is acknowledged of his or her mistakes besides being given a chance to critic his/her own work. In addition, this process of evaluation gives me an insight on some of the problems faced by an individual student and how I could actually help to alleviate such problems from student. This process also encourages students to focus on understanding a given topic rather than mastering the entire information from a given topic. In addition, through face to face evaluation process, the virtue of trust between me and my students has also been enhanced.
It is certain that the students are a great asset to the nation and the world at large. However, they can only be able to attain their full potential if the students develop an interest in using their knowledge to amicably seek solutions to real world problems. My goal is to utilize the philosophy of progressivism as part of my teaching style by formulating learning activities that are designed to stress the students’ acquisition of problem-solving skills whilst also fostering the development of interpersonal skills (Fairfield, 2012, p.21). In addition, I aim to promote the aspect of self-evaluation and constructive feedback between me and my students so as to promote the act of self-concept among them.
Fairfield, P. (2012). Education after Dewey. New York: Continuum.
Ryan, K., Cooper, J. M., & Bolick, C. M. (2016). Those who can, teach.