My philosophy of Education

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This is my personal philosophy and view on Education, in comparison to other philosophical ideas such as pragmatism, naturalism and idealism. Enjoy!

Submitted: January 02, 2015

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Submitted: January 02, 2015

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Liesel Fortuin 25 October 2012 What are the aims of education in society? “The aim of education is not knowledge, but action”, according to British social philosopher, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903). With “action” Spencer means “learning” because learning is knowledge in ACTION. I fully agree with Spencer but I would like to add to his statement that I believe education is not preparation for life, education is life! Thus I believe education should be part of every individual if they want to live life. Education is also the key to eradicating poverty in communities and society as a whole. If everyone had education life would be as easy as pie. Aims for education in society is to make school conducive for learners and learning to take place. Making sure learners reach their full potential is fundamental to education. To deliver quality education to make sure learners have open access to higher education. Another aim is to give them knowledge support which will have an effect on the growth of the country and economy when learners will take up careers in the future that would be an asset to society. What should schools do to serve all learners well? I believe in equality, all learners should be treated equally. To ensure equality in a classroom, make sure there is fairness amongst learners, fair distribution of resources and treat all learners with the necessary respect and vice versa with no regards to age, race, gender, abilities, religion, culture or traditions. Allowing learners freedom of speech to voice their concerns and respects each others’ opinion.

Usage of methods such as Question&Answer and discussion to ensure active learner participation and as a result they would learn and communicate better. Set a climate of innovation and curiosity to develop creative- and critical thinking skills. Teachers literally and metaphorically have the future in their hands and can shape it as irresolute clay. How do I view the role of the teacher in the education of the child? Teachers has many important roles, some people feel they are so important they are the learners’ parents at school. I feel teachers are periodically mediators of learning. As a mediator, the teacher mediates between the learners’ personal knowledge or current way of thinking and doing and the new content from the body of public knowledge they need to engage in and learn (Gravett, 2005:79). I feel teachers should respect prior knowledge and background of learners as a resource. Responsibilities of teachers in diverse classrooms Treat all learners first and foremost as an individual. Get to know each learner individually. Be open and friendly outside of the classroom. Be accessible and encourage learners. Be sensitive towards learners’ backgrounds, cultures, ethnic group, race etc. Teachers should also understand that all learners are on different levels. Pay attention to how learners experience the learning process. Have the ability to respond to learners and their challenges. Teachers should plan lessons and activities, with the diverse and multicultural class in mind, by considering syllabi, assignments, examples and potential classroom dynamics. Make resources and material accessible to all learners, and last but not least learn to intervene tactfully in racially charged classroom scenarios.

What should learners be taught and how? We are currently engaging in a world of super-complexity, where individuals, in this case learners; need to be equipped with many skills. It is becoming quite visible that future generation will look to teachers for academic, career and moral guidance. Thus, I believe learners should be taught purely academia and everything it entails. Reading, writing, speaking, reasoning, creative- and critical thinking should be stimulated. The world of learning, studying and research should be awakening in them and this is all forming part of knowledge. Learners should also be taught, also part of academia- the world of work. They should be made aware of careers and career paths, how to pursue it and how it links to knowledge, academia and education as a whole. Rote learning and exercises and revision activities should be applied regularly- learners learn through repetition. My beliefs on how learners should be disciplined in the classroom First of all the teacher should be well disciplined as he/she is the centre of the classroom. I think a classroom shouldn’t be overly rigid on discipline because then you will have a rigid classroom but a chaotic learning environment. I think focus in schools should be mainly on learning and shift the focus from discipline. Discipline can be dealt with in a relaxed, subtle manner and when there is good communication between teacher and learner there won’t be any severe ill disciplinary cases anyway. If ill discipline does on the other hand occur there should be some sort of punishment put into practice, such as: detention, cleaning the school grounds, sweeping classes as a matter of fact just serve as janitors for a day or two, which should scare them and be punishing enough. Corporal punishment also seems to work, but as it is against the law it is not acceptable, but if I were to be the one making the rules and regulations lawfully it would’ve been a big YES to corporal punishment. There is an Afrikaans saying which says “as jy nie wil hoor nie moet jy voel” (if you refuse to adhere you must be punished by feeling it literally). That saying carries power, because learners don’t like to be disciplined physically. My views in comparison to idealism, naturalism and pragmatism I agree with idealism on the aspect of the fact that learners have to be provided with an environment within which they can achieve their highest potential. I also agree with idealism’s views on discipline that there should be no rigid discipline. With the rest of what idealism entails I disagree. I agree with naturalism on the rote learning and revision aspect and differ on all the other views. I think discipline should be put into practice even if it’s not rigid. Rousseau and Fitche (naturalists) feels teachers should not intervene in the child’s life and that makes me disagree all their other views. How can a teacher sit back and see how learners head into the wrong direction? (Even if it is natural, it shouldn’t be that way). Teachers are there to intervene accordingly. I disagree with all the views of pragmatism. The fact that it has no aims for education is already a sign that it doesn’t connect to my views. Pragmatism claims, aims for education is not fixed and ever changing. How should learning then take place if there is nothing to aim for? Pragmatism is contradictory to me; imagine how confusing it will be to learners. I conclude all my views and statements of others, whom I agreed and disagreed with, by the wise words of B.B King, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you”.


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