The philosophy of education is individual to each person and their particular insights. The philosophy of education generally addresses: the role of the teacher, the role of the students, and the role of learning in general. Each of these areas is very important for a soon to be teacher. Upcoming teacher should have a pretty firm idea of what their beliefs are about each of the above listed three areas. Therefore, as an upcoming teacher I will be sharing my views and beliefs on each of the three areas.
The role of the teacher is a very important one that goes past what many people may think. I firstly think the main role of the teacher is to be at a school as an educator of whatever subject they are teaching and to have adequate knowledge in that content area. The teacher must be able to effectively communicate the information on the subject matter to their students in a way that the students will be able to comprehend and recall or perform that subject knowledge in the future. Past just teaching content in a subject area, teachers are also “life teachers”. Teachers may not always realize it initially, but they are huge role models in their students’ lives. Students are around their teachers for about 8 hours of the day. Sometimes that is more time than the students may see their parents/guardians. So whether or not teachers want or choose to be a role model in their students’ lives, they are. This means while at school teachers should exhibit professional, mature, attributable characteristics that will set a model for how the students should act now and in their future. In addition but very similar to just being a role model, is the role of a teacher being a life coach. Teachers are also unexpectedly thrown into this role. Throughout the career of teaching you will come into experience with many students that have really had someone to help guide them in their life. This often makes you as a teacher become their life coach since you are someone that they spend many hours with each day. Therefore teachers need to provide care, trust, security, love, and respect to their students without prejudice. You never know what each student is going through, so even if a student’s life may seem perfect, it could actually being crashing down without you knowing. This is why you cannot jump too quickly to stereotypes or conclusions when you are “judging” your students. I believe the main roles of the teacher are: to communicate subject knowledge effectively to their students, to be role models to their students, and to also be life coaches to their students.
Another important part of the philosophy of education is the role of the student. The role of the student in the philosophy of education is a huge one. Each student will play a different role in the educational process, but the role of students in general is crucial for you to have a firm belief on to be able to effectively be able to teach individual student who will have their own separate beliefs about their role in the educational system. I believe the main role of the student is their willingness and desire to learn. Many students in school may not admit it, but they are there because they want and have a desire to learn in order for them to grow as an individual. Students also must want to learn in order to be able to learn. What I mean by this is that if a student is resistant to learning and does not care about learning then they most likely will not learn. They will be the student who rebels and does not pay attention in class and is usually causing trouble because they do not have a desire to be in the classroom. Another very important role or characteristic of the student is respect for their teacher. A student must be respectful of their teacher and also their fellow classmates in order to be able to learn. If there is no respect then the student will not want to pay attention to you as a teacher and will be disruptive to other students who are trying to learn therefore you must give them respect and you must gain their respect. Yet another role of the student is the role of socialization. Students are in an educational system to learn not only content knowledge but also to gain real world skills such as socialization. Each day students go through many different interactions between friends, teachers, administrators, and sometimes other school officials such as the nurse or guidance counselor. Each time a student has one of these interactions, it teaches them further socialization skills. The way people react to that person socializing with them will mold the future actions of the interactions with others. Such as, if a student comes up to another student and compliments them on the shirt they are wearing and they receive a response such as: “thank you!” then that originally student is encouraged by the positive response to continue to compliment others in the future. Let’s say the student receiving the compliment though responded this way instead: “Ewww I hate this shirt, I can’t believe you think it’s cute, you must have no fashion taste!”, then the original student will be discouraged from giving people compliments in the future and they will feel down about themselves because they will then think they have no fashion sense. This demonstrates how every interaction influence how we will act in the future. The last important role I believe that students have is the role of students as fellow “teachers” to their classmates. It is amazing how much students can sometimes get something across to another student that a teacher may not have been able to. Most of the time students in a classroom are at different levels of learning, some higher than others. In this case, the higher level students will also be able to be teachers to their fellow classmates. Even students at the same level can be teachers to their classmates as well. Programs at schools are being implemented to improve and encourage this role of the student. At Springfield School District 186 in Springfield, IL there is a program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) that specifically targets this skill. On Tuesdays and Thursdays college mentors come into the classroom to assist in a program where students come into groups with questions while their fellow classmates in their groups guide a student through their original question to help them to achieve the answer without just giving it to them. This is a great example of the students’ role as being “teachers” to their fellow classmates. I believe the four main roles of a student are: the role of the student to have a desire to learn, the role of being a respectful student towards teachers and fellow classmates, the role of socialization within the school, and the role of students as fellow teachers.
The last major part of the philosophy of education is the role of learning. Many people ask why we should learn. My answer would be: for each of us to grow as individuals and therefore be a better, well informed, functioning member of society. Learning is a vital part of each person’s life. The formal educational system aids greatly in this area. Through formal education, many different things are learned in many different content areas, but also as I discussed earlier, sometimes in school you will also learn other important “life lessons”. Learning throughout your life never stops. Usually every day, whether or not we are in a formal school setting, we learn something new that we did not know previously. I also believe we learn as a survival instinct. When we are first born, there are things we must learn how to do in order to be able to survive. This could also be true to formal schooling in a way. In order to survive in the corporate world, you must continually be one step ahead of your competition, so you must constantly be striving to learn more about your career and your industry. Another reason I think we learn is to keep our brains occupied. Our brains are constantly striving for information. If we never learned anything new, we would get very bored and would be driven to learn more or to learn something new. There are many different reasons people could come up with for why we should learn, but mine is very basic. I believe we should learn in order to continuously grow as individuals and to be a better, well informed, functioning member of society.
Each person’s beliefs and views about the philosophy of education will be very individualized. The philosophy of education generally addresses: the role of the teacher, the role of the student, and the role of learning in general. Each of these areas encompasses many different functions. For anyone who is an up and coming teacher, it is very important for you to be confident in and aware of your beliefs about each of the three areas in the philosophy of education. I as an up and coming teacher believe I have clearly demonstrated my confidence and awareness of my beliefs about each of the areas. Knowing my beliefs and being confident in them will surely help me once I do enter a school system as a teacher. Being confident in my beliefs will help me in order to be able to be an effective teacher, know my students role while at school, and to be able to communicate why the role of learning is so important.