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State and justify your teaching philosophy

My interest to join the teaching profession comes from my own experiences as a


student and from the quest of making a positive impact on the life of a child, which
have aroused this passion for this noble profession. I always have an ideal image of
this job due to some exceptional teachers and I really wished to follow the steps of my
role models, my instructors. As a student of education, my views and approach
towards the concepts of teaching and education have been critically influenced as I
reflect on the philosophies I have learnt. Freire states that true education begins when
a person starts a reflection on their own experiences. I then begin to think critically
about my experiences as a learner for almost 20 years now and question myself about
the type of teacher I wanted to be.
One saint claims that If one student is bad, only that student is affectedbut if one
teacher is bad, hundreds of students get spoiled. I believe that an educator plays a
fundamental role in the education of a child at an early age apart from the role of
imparting academic knowledge. His/her experiences as a learner will definitely have
an impact of his/her teaching philosophy. Teaching is not only an academic process; it
involves the harmonious development of an individual as a whole. Furthermore,
teaching is far beyond books, textbooks. As I do a retrospective of my student life, I
realise that I were a victim of the frivolous competition of our education system.
Though I was always a role model student, books, textbooks, sequential learning
was the only reality in my life. I was an empty vessel which was filled by the dead
book knowledge. Today, as I reflect on my teaching philosophy, I realise that I
missed out many things in my life. As a trainee teacher, I consider that its the duty of
the educator to help students to love learning and let them discover different aspects
of education. Education is not only meant for employability. For Tagore, education is
for complete living and it involves knowledge, enjoyment of life, creative work and
service to one another. However, in our education system, we put much emphasis on
the academic transmission in order to train capable and efficient human beings for the
work force. That is why for so many children, basically those Ive observed during
my immersion, school is seen as a jail and they are forced to receive knowledge
through books. In the attempt to create successful people in the society, the childs
individuality is suppressed. Education has created discord in the child life instead

of bringing harmony. In one of the speech of Tony Blair, he states that student
should be able to learn the joy of life, exhilaration of music, excitement of sport,
beauty of art at school. But, there is no enjoyment in learning at school. The childs
nature and personality is not developed. As a future educator, I consider that a child
should be given opportunity to learn by himself/herself in order to develop his/her
creativity in education through discovery and self-experience. Many great
philosophers such as Dewey, Freire, Gandhi, Locke, Tagore and Rousseau have
stressed the importance of the discovery method and to cater for the childs needs and
interest. I would consider the child-centered method to be a key aspect in my teaching
philosophy. According to a Tagorian view of education, school should be open, free
and spontaneous so that young people can grow to experience and express their
creativity. He also shares the views that a childs natural instincts and interest should
be used in education as children are active by nature. In my role as a trainee teacher, I
also think that its the duty of the instructor to create an environment conducive to
learning. Teaching and learning must be made enjoyable. Teacher must be creative
and its their responsibility to create a rich and appropriate environment where
learning can take place so as to motivate the child. Moreover, learner should not be
confined within four walls and should be given the opportunity by the teacher and the
schools to acquire experiences. Both Tagore and Dewey supported extra-curricular
activities such as fields trips, excursions. I consider that these curricular activities are
essential for a childs development and the curriculum must not only include
traditional subjects but should also be concerned with childs needs as well. Aristotle
also encourages a balanced curriculum to develop the whole person. Dewey also
shares the same perspective as Tagore, the self-experience method in the childs
education. He thinks that learning should be beyond books. He also stresses the
importance of experience that is central to a childs education.
to learning from texts and textbooks, learning from experience
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi also considers the importance of child-centered method in
education. He thinks that children should learn through activity and be free to pursue
their own interest instead of dealing with words. From a Rousseauesque view,
education should be carried in harmony with the development of the child by
autonomous discovery and learning through self-experience.

Unfortunately in our education system, the environment and the curriculum do not
build up the childs personality. From my own experience, as the child grow, learning
is being done mechanically according to a set of pre-determined curriculum. I
believe that, as a teacher, we should not train people to become robots in our society,
every one is different and this individuality is essential in the development as a human
being. My philosophy of teaching would also include an environment where students
are encouraged to express their ideas, think critically and participate actively in
classes. Teaching and learning is not a passive process. It involves a reciprocal
relationship between the learner and the instructor. At a very young age, children are
encouraged to become a passive receptacle. Critical thinking is not encouraged.
School does not equip the child with problem solving skills and does not develop their
capacity of reflection and thinking which is of utmost importance in the process of
becoming an autonomous individual. The exchange of information is one way since
students have no active participation in class. The tutor is often perceived as the
figure of authority. He deposits the knowledge and the children have to receive,
memorize and repeat. From a Deweyian perspective, passiveness is seen as a
hindrance to the educative process. Moreover, the teaching and learning methods in
the schools in Mauritius stifled the educational development of the child. Dewey
perceives education as interactive. In Freires view of education, he believes that
education should raise the awareness of the learners so that they become subjects
rather than objects. Freire also shares the opinion that teachers and students should be
equal. School should prepare the child for active participation in the community. He
believes as well that educators must help pupils to come to a critical reflection.
Gandhi also outlines the importance of the mind, body and spirit in education. For the
Romanticism, teachers must act as facilitators. I also consider the philosophy of
Plato to be useful. According to him, the teachers role is to draw out the knowledge of
principles that learners already posses and help them in the organizations of their
ideas. The Socrates suggests methods such as dialogue, discussion, questioning to
develop reflection and critical thinking of the child. I believe that learner should be
exposed to real life situations, confrontation with meaningful and relevant problems
so as to develop their thinking skills. Teachers must not isolate children from life
experiences. Isolation or insulation will prove to be detrimental to the learner. The
teacher must allow their pupils to take responsibility of their own learning and to
discuss and reflect on ideas and engage in critical analysis of views and opinions.
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Kants claims that the purpose of education is to enable humanity, to develop and to
improve: Man can only become man by education.
Education is therefore a social reform. Education has a shaping effect, it can transform
people. My teaching goal would be not only to instill academic knowledge but also to
enable individual learner to acquire moral values and to make good choice that can be
based on rational thinking. The student must be able to adhere to norms, laws and
principle of the community. The aim of education must enable individual learner to
pursue positive values for example respect, humility, compassion, care, fight against
poverty, and love for each other. Education should be able to help the learner to act
more responsibly by pursuing ethnical actions and positive values to become a good
citizen. Unfortunately, this is one drawback of our education system. Such values are
not learnt at school. Moreover, social activities such as cleaning the environment,
helping poor people will enable the learner to be more responsible and conscious.
Dewey talks about the importance of social activities such as gardening, cooking that
brought civilisation into being in the education of a child. For him, school is a form
of community living and the individual must be habituated to work for the interest
of the community. Dewey highlights the importance of growth of the individual
within the society. My experience as a learner makes me reflect on Rousseau concept
about amour proper which is linked to a major source of wickedness. Obviously,
being in a rat race competition, I always wanted to dominate others and to be the best.
School has encouraged us to become competitive instead of developing a team spirit.
In addition, Gandhi also mentioned about the true meaning of education that lies in
the development of the mental and spiritual power of the child. I consider that a child
should be exposed to moral education for the development of his/her character and
personality in order to become virtuous. Religious education should also be
incorporated in the curriculum as well. In Gandhi views of education, true education
does not consist in reading and writing but also in the character development. Plato
believes that to be morally good is to possess true knowledge and the highest goal of
education is the knowledge of the good.

As a trainee educator, I am asking if I should really unlearn my experiences as a


learner. After all, my teaching philosophy so far is based mainly on how I wish
teaching could be done when I was a student. It is a sort of compensation. Being a
newcomer in this profession, I wonder if theses idealistic philosophies could be
applied in the harsh reality at school. Though being inspired by them, I believe its
difficult to change the teaching and learning process because we have been much
embedded.

References

BAGGIONI, D et CHAUDENSON, R et al, 1992. Multilinguisme et dveloppement


dans lespace francophone. Collection langues et dveloppement. Didier rudition.
Paris
Christopher Winch John Gingell

CHRISTOPHER WINCH, JOHN GINGELL, 1999. Key concepts in the philosophy


of education. Routledge.
CHAKRAMANTI MOHIT, 1995. Pioneers in Philosophy of Education. Concept
publishing Company.
FRANCIS A.SAMUEL, 2010. Educational Philosophy and Theory. Blackwell
Publishing.
CHRISTPHE