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Profession

There are a number of reasons as to why I want to become a teacher and those reasons

stem from my high school experience at Southwest Career and Technical Academy. I was

inspired by two different teachers for two different reasons. One teacher is one I consider one of

the worst teachers I had to deal with. He had very little knowledge and experience in his field

and seemed to outright refuse to teach his students. Despite his class being one I really looked

forward to doing, as it was the sole reason for going to Southwest, it was the class I struggled

with the most my four years at Southwest. The other teacher is one I consider the total opposite.

He was one of the best teachers I had ever had and is someone who I could consider a mentor.

He constantly challenged our skills in order to build them and was a huge inspiration to the

whole class. I believe it is important to mention both the best and worst teacher I had because

they act as a Yin and Yang. If I did not have one without the other I do not believe I would have

been as inspired as I was. If I just experienced a bad teacher without a great one, I would have

brushed off teaching as a profession. If I had just a great teacher without a bad one, I would have

great appreciation for the good teacher but not as a career idea. Because I was able to see both, I

could see how much of an impact a really good and really bad teacher had.

The best skill set that will help me in teaching is my ability to work with people of

varying personalities. My high school is a project-based learning environment. Projects,

especially group ones, were a weekly activity. Over time of doing many group projects I learned

to adjust myself with certain types of people. I learned that sometimes I had to pick up the slack

of one partner. Other times I had to forcibly let one partner give others work. Because of my
experiences with partners of different types, I know it is inevitable I will had students like the

before mentioned partners.

Unfortunately I have not been able to do my classroom observation yet. I have been

working out times with Mr. Read, who is the teacher I will observe, because my job has been

interfering when I can observe. Hopefully it is something I can do the week of the 23rd since I

get off 8 in the morning and now have Wednesday and Thursday off.

Teaching

The educational philosophy that dictates my thinking about how teaching should be is the

philosophy of Social Reconstructionism. The main goal of a teacher should not to just give

knowledge to their students but also to improve them as people. Students should have their ideas

challenged and questioned so they can improve and possibly reconstruct their ideals. Students

should be made into better people so they can benefit society.

My knowledge of historical events will benefit how I will interact with the school

environment. As history progresses, school has evolved from something only the upper class

experiences to something everyone is required to go through at some point in their life. Because

of this I will have students of many different backgrounds. I will have rich, poor, jus soli,

immigrants, students who see school as an opportunity and those who see school as something

they are forced to go through. With my understanding of each different type of student I will be

able to have my teaching accommodate every type of student.

Instruction

Many of my teaching strategies will involve activities that actively engage the students

when I can. I wish to stress that I want my students to not be an observer of a lesson but rather a
part of that lesson.

As discussed earlier, student diversity and variability will be a challenge when it comes

to my instruction. In being able to understand how and why each student functions and acts the

way they do I will be able to better develop my teaching lessons.

Future

One of the qualities I need to obtain as I continue down my career as a teacher is to

practice time management. As it is I tend to do a lot of my assignments last minute rather than

adjusting my schedule to do them earlier in the week. Right now I have my work schedule

changing me to a graveyard shift which will help in better teaching me time management. Now I

have to adjust my sleep schedule, times I have to do schoolwork, when I can do work around the

house, and how much free time I can give myself. If bettering my skill at time management will I

be able to translate that skill to my students and stress the importance of it. I know when I was a

high school student I did a large portion of my work last minute which lead to a lot of

unnecessary stress.

I do not have specific steps to achieve my goal. Right now I am attempting to go with the

flow. My current job right now has me as a dispatcher for alarms so I have to call and interact

with people of different personalities. In the event I lose my current job, my main aim for a job is

one where I get to work and interact with people constantly. I want to continue my education

down the line and work towards a Master’s Degree. In terms of volunteer experience I want to

volunteer in areas where I work directly with children so I can better prepare myself for that kind

of environment down the line.


Running Head: PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION 1

The Five Educational Philosophies

Giovanni Morabito

College of Southern Nevada


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When it comes to something as small as planning out your day or discussing ideas for a

battle, the main idea to discuss is the strategy. Education is the same way and has many different

types of strategies when it comes to teaching. The understanding of the five philosophies of

education: Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, and

Existentialism, are key in successful teaching and opens the door for many different types of

lessons for students.

One of the most basic philosophy strategies is Essentialism. Essentialism is a strategy of

teaching the essentials as its name suggests. It is an approach that teaches core abilities while

students observe and note. On top of that it enforces and instills discipline in students. While this

strategy may be one that seems to just expect students to listen and observe it works best with

immature students. According to William Bagley (1941), many students are young and still

developing their maturity while they go through grade school and Essentialism helps develop

their maturity by allowing the classroom setting to be order based. This strategy, despite being

the most basic, is important in disciplining students as they grow up and develop.

Another teaching philosophy that is considered by-the-books is Perennialism.

Perennialism is an emphasis on historical books, ideas, and concepts. Lessons are taught through

books written by big names like Plato or Homer whose ideas are widely discussed in the

classroom. According to Dr. Theodore, this strategy allows the teacher to make their students

think deeply, analytically, flexibly, and imaginatively. Using these books, the teacher shows

how a student can translate and apply these old, everlasting ideas to today’s environment. This

strategy shows how information, no matter how old, can be relevant to the future.
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One teaching philosophy that really focuses on engaging a student is Progressivism.

Progressivism is concerned with stimulating a student’s curiosity. This strategy employs lessons

that actively let a student engage in the lesson rather than being a mere observer. From Wiles’s

article, John Dewey places and declares the individual as the most important feature in

understanding a lesson. Through Pragmatism, a subject can be “tested out” on a student and

whether if it does or does not interest a student they had a chance to at least experience the

lesson. Field trips are a great example of this as it places the students in the environment of a

lesson. Allowing students be a part of a lesson allows them to be more easily engaged in the

subject.

A certain teaching philosophy that focuses on bettering students for society is Social

Reconstructionism. As the same suggests, it helps reconstruct a student and it focuses on

developing students into an individual to provide for society. It is a strategy and challenges the

ideals of students and tends to flip ideas on their heads. According to Teachers, Schools, and

Society (p. 170), Paulo Freire believed that, because schools shied away from negative,

controversial ideas, it allowed those ideas to perpetuate. For example, discussing politics is

almost seen as taboo in American society as it can lead to heated debates but a teacher

challenging his or her students to civilly discuss politics lets that negative stipulation dissipate.

Challenging the ideals of a student allows them to forge a new way of thinking or better

construct their values.


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The last teaching philosophy is Existentialism. Existentialism places sole emphasis on the

student. Existentialism allows students to explore and understand themselves as well as their

future. Students are presented with various paths in their lives and teachers help them choose

their path to follow. According to Shu-Li Wang, Soren Kierkegaard, the father of Existentialism,

suggests “The concern of education should be how to connect and make relevant to the learners

every subject matter”. Many students find their career paths through school as they grow up. For

example, a student who grows to be a Physicist may have found his purpose during his Physics

classes. When students develop, they constantly wonder where life is going to take them and,

through Existentialism, school guides them on where they will go in life.

Creating and developing the lessons for prosperously teaching students comes from

knowing and understanding the five philosophies of education. Using each element of these

philosophies leads to opportunities and strategies for a teacher to teach different and diverse

students as well as to enrich the classroom environment.


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References

Bagley, W. (1941, October). ​The Case for Essentialism in Education. ​Retrieved from

http://spu.edu/online/essentialism_in_ed.htm​.

Shu-Li, W. (1988). ​THE INFLUENCE OF EXISTENTIALISM ON AMERICAN EDUCATION.

Retrieved from ​http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/54343​.

Sadker, D. & Zittleman, K. (2016). ​Teachers, Schools, and Society.​ New York, NY: McGraw

Hill

Education.

Theodore, P. (n.d.). ​Perennialism.​ Retrieved from

http://www.siue.edu/~ptheodo/foundations/perennialism.html

​ etrieved from
Wiles, D. (n.d.). ​John Dewey and Progressive Education. R

http://www.albany.edu/~dkw42/s2_dewey_progr.html