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Joshua Acampado

Philosophy of Teaching
Teaching is a service for the community that empowers students to make something
incredible out of their lives and out of their potential. As educators, it is our job to help students
realize their full potential and develop agency. Through our work, our students become more
wholesome individuals who are not only intelligent with regards to their academics, but become
more empathetic, more driven, and are more likely to create a positive impact in todays society.
Paulo Freire stated, [A progressive teacher is one] whose dreams are dreams of
changing the reality to create a less ugly society (Wink, 2011, p. 86). While I do agree that the
end goal is to create a less ugly society, I do not believe a teachers dream is to directly impact
the world. Teaching is a dialogue which inspires students to then go out and create a less ugly
society. David Elliott and Marissa Silverman also reiterates this idea in their book, Music
Matters, by stating Education, educational institutions, teachers should empower learners to
achieve life goals in school and beyond school (Elliott, 2014, p. 143). To bring what is done
in the classroom into the home and the community is critical for the development of an
individual and the improvement of the world. Teaching is more than just a banking system in
which students learn material to then pursue a line of work. Teaching is a form of empowerment
that allows students to maximize what they are able to achieve, both academically, and socially.
I emphasize on the social aspect of teaching because it is the foundation of a good
experience for students. Teaching serves as a medium to allow students to grow with one another
through shared experiences. Through these shared experiences, students begin to learn from each
other. During a lecture I attended, Marissa Silverman, Professor of Music Education at
Montclair State University, stated, As a teacher, nothing is greater than to get to the point where
youre no longer needed (Silverman). To empower students to the point where the role of
teacher, loses the position of external boss or dictator but takes on that of leader of group
activities (Dewey, 1938, p. 59), is an amazing feat. To achieve this, development of empathy
between students must be promoted through teaching. Through empathy, students are able to
break down social, economic, and academic barriers that would otherwise inhibit their ability to
interact. Breaking Peter McLarens ideas of the dominant culture, and subdominant culture,
empathy allows students to remove the aspect of power and control, promoting a safer, more
productive environment. Through the lens of Henry Tafjels Social Identity Theory, empathy also
deters the need for social competition and social comparison. At the heart of Social Identity
Theory, is the idea that an individuals self-concept which derives from his knowledge of his
membership of a social group (or groups) together with the emotional significance attached to
that membership (Lange p. 381). When an individual identifies with a certain group, that
individual then begins to compare and contrast with other groups, soon promoting unhealthy
competition and a desire for dominance. To develop outside of this social pressure allows
students to maximize their capabilities.
To teach means to serve the community; to allow students to take ownership of life.