Example #1 – Personal Philosophy
To begin a personal philosophy is a way of life, a frame of mind that sets your perspective on all things in life (Answers). Everyone needs to have a personal philosophy because that is what makes them who they are. Having a personal philosophy of education makes you the teacher that you want to be and not what the rest of the world is. Becoming a teacher is not an easy task it is something that you have to have passion, energy, enthusiasm, and patience for.
I have always wanted to become a teacher because it is something that I have felt a passion for. My philosophy of education defines who I am going to be as a teacher. I have always known that I wanted to become a teacher because many of my family members were teachers and ever since I can remember I was always the teacher when my siblings and I played school at the kitchen table. I have always had a passion to teach children and watch them gain knowledge and grow even when I was young. I went to a one-room schoolhouse when I was in elementary and I was always willing to help the teacher with whatever she needed. Ever since then that is how I have always been.
I love getting up in front of students and seeing their bright young faces and teaching them a lesson and answering their questions. It is a passion that I have always had. Each individual out there who wants to become a teacher or who is already a teacher has a different mindset on how their classroom should be set up and how they are going to teach lessons effectively. If all the teachers were the same school it would get boring knowing what to expect from each teacher. There are those teachers who we all remember as one of the greatest teachers we have ever had and then there are those who we did not care for but that is how we learn to develop our philosophies of education.
Over the years of attending school and knowing that I want to become a teacher, I have been able to observe different classrooms and gain knowledge of what my philosophy of education has come to be. I want to become a teacher because I love children and watching them grows. It amazes me how fast they can gain knowledge and become young adults. I want to be highly knowledgeable in all areas of teaching so that I can teach what I know to the students. I want my classroom to be structured, organized, and fun. I want students to push themselves and each other to be the best they can be. I want students to have a voice in the classroom by creating their own rules and consequences. I do not want them to feel like it is a strict classroom and they cannot communicate.
I want them to be able to be open and discuss what they are feeling. I want to have goals and rewards for the students to reach weekly, monthly, and yearly so that they will push themselves to meet those goals. My classroom will be a blend of a traditional and facilitated classroom. I want the seating to benefit the students and if that means moving them around sometimes then so be it. I want the students to feel like they are a part of the classroom by giving them tasks that they will have throughout the week or month.
I want my classroom to behave in certain areas designated to different activities that the students participate in and have a lesson plan that is always in sight for the students to see. I feel that it is important for the students to know what the plan is for the week. I want my classroom to be the best that it can be and I know that I still have a lot to learn about being a teacher and managing a classroom.
Overall I think that it is important to know what kind of teacher you want to be and how you want to teach. There is so much to teaching than meets the eye and it can be challenging but that is all part of the fun. Having a personal philosophy is going to make you the teacher you want to be and set you aside from all other teachers. I will learn and grow over the years and maybe my philosophy will change as I learn more and as the world changes but I will always remember why I wanted to become a teacher.
Example #2 – Guidelines For The Personal Philosophy Of Education Statement
A statement of personal philosophy of education is a reflective piece, generally 1-2 pages long that summarizes your core educational beliefs (your core beliefs about the purpose, process, nature, and ideals of education). Since the statement of philosophy also serves as a writing sample, it must demonstrate mastery of spelling, grammar and other rules of written English. (For this course, your statement will be 2-3 pages long.)
Philosophy is not a curriculum statement or a description of your teaching style. It is a statement about the beliefs and ideals that underlie your thinking. It is a set of beliefs that regulate your actions. Your philosophy of education statement should outline your set of beliefs about the purpose, process, nature, and ideals of public education.
However, the concept of “education” is extremely complex. To begin with, education entails a process as well as an achievement. It encompasses various notions about the learner and the role of the teacher. And for different people, it entails different ideas about the content to teach (knowledge, skills, and dispositions) and the meanings of teaching and learning. Therefore, at a minimum, your statement should clearly state your beliefs about
- The true purpose of school.
- The role of the teacher in learning.
- How students best to learn.
- What should be taught in school?
In writing your statement, use your knowledge from other educational experiences (e.g., methods classes, educational psychology, etc.) to support your beliefs with theory and sound argument. You are encouraged to use quotes by educational leaders, curriculum theorists, and philosophers, who share your approaches and views toward education, teaching, and/or learning (but avoid any unnecessary jargon!). In the introduction, “hook” the reader.
Begin with a strong thesis statement & a brief preview of what you will be saying. Early in the statement state your area of expertise (e.g., math teacher, elementary teacher, physical education teacher, special education teacher, etc.). In conclusion, revisit your thesis statement or story. Reiterate and summarize the main points of your philosophy. A good concluding statement or quote is necessary if you want to “sell” your philosophy and made it memorable to the reader.
Although you may not think, you have a philosophy of education, it’s there just under the surface; unseen but affecting every decision you will make as a teacher. Do you see children as blank slates on which to write, empty cups to fill, or flames to be ignited? These tacit beliefs determine how you look at the amorphous thing we call “education.”
(NOTE: The topic is PUBLIC EDUCATION, not teaching, so make education the focus of your paper. Picture yourself talking to your future principal. Help her/him get to know you by sharing your ideas about the purpose, process, nature, and ideals of education.)
Using examples or metaphors may help your reader understand your philosophy of education. Be cautious, however, when using examples and metaphors.
- Use terminology that the reader will understand.
- Think about what the reader will want to discover about you, such as a sample lesson or class activity that demonstrates your teaching style.
- Develop examples and responses that are consistent with your philosophy.
Keep in mind that your personal philosophy does not change every time you have a different audience. Rather, you want to be able to provide your audience (e.g., a prospective employer) with various examples to explain how your philosophy applies to the needs of an institution or position. Of course, your personal philosophy will evolve to correspond to your developing beliefs, values, views, and approach to education and teaching.
In sum, the statement is a critical reflection that should be well written, organized, clear, and convincing. Your beliefs should relate to the quotes and philosophers that you select. When quoting, follow APA style: cite the author, date of publication and page number, etc. Connect your beliefs to the WI Standards and/or the COEHS Conceptual Framework (Caring Intellectual) when appropriate in your text. Proofread for grammar, spelling, and accuracy. Your philosophy of education statement should be concise.
Collecting ideas for your philosophy of education statement
The following questions will help you pull together your core educational beliefs about
- The true purpose of school.
- The role of the teacher in learning.
- How students best to learn.
- What should be taught in school (knowledge, skills, and dispositions)?
Try to answer all of them before you start writing your philosophy of education statement.
Cultural, political, and economic purposes
1.1. Explain what culture means to you. Are all aspects of culture worth maintaining? What is the dominant culture?
1.2. Explain what democracy means to you. Present alternative views of democracy. 1.3. Explain what economic success means to you. How do you prepare for it? Goals for students and the role of the teacher
2.1. What are your goals for your students? Think of these goals in terms of knowledge, skills, and dispositions – educational goals.
2.2. How will you achieve those goals (which methods/pedagogies to use)?
2.3. How do you justify educational goals and methods/pedagogies? Give reasons with a reference to what is good for an individual’s happiness and fulfillment as well as for the society to which you contribute as a teacher. The social function of the school
3.1. How does a teacher today help induct young people into full participation in the dominant culture while respecting the diverse origins, languages, and values of students from the wide variety of cultures and language groups who populate the schools of today?
3.2. If we assume that, by cultural and economic background, kids can and do start in very different places, then different strategies are necessary to support the success of different types of students. How does thinking about different types of learners in this way impact your thinking about your philosophy of education?
It is important that before you start writing a final draft, (a) you have a good understanding of the differences that exist between knowledge, skills, and dispositions;
(b) you are clear about pedagogies and methods of student assessment, which you have learned/discussed in other classes;
(c) you can conceptualize “human happiness” and “social justice” in ways that you and others can understand and use in a conversation.
Evaluation criteria (rubric) for the educational autobiography statement
I. CONTENT & STRUCTURE
a. Introduction (a strong thesis statement & a brief preview of what you will be saying). b. Explanation of your core beliefs about
1. The true purpose of school.
2. The role of the teacher in learning.
3. How students best to learn.
4. What should be taught in school (knowledge, skills, and dispositions)? c. Conclusion (revisit your thesis statement, summarize the main points of your philosophy). d. Rules of written English, accuracy, length, and style.
II. MAKING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CORE EDUCATIONAL BELIEFS AND TEACHING STYLE & ESSENTIAL PROFESSIONAL GOALS
e. Connection of core beliefs to theory, the WI Standards and/or the COEHS Conceptual Framework.
f. Your strategies/methods for teaching diverse student learners.
g. Your reasons, plans, and methods for student assessment. h. Your strategies for creating a positive classroom environment.
i. Your strategies for helping students develop as individuals.
I think a personal philosophy of success should be a hope or dream to both people who want to achieve a dream in the future and to people who haven’t achieved their dream in life. For instance, someone has many degrees of higher education; but has the need to want a higher degree, so his/her philosophy of success would be to get a senior degree. Another example would be someone who doesn’t have anything in life, but want to achieve a dream to make his/her life worthy, so his/her philosophy would be to earn a dream that he/she has been yearning.
I would be one of those people who have a diploma, but want to achieve a superior degree.
As I quote from Albert Einstein
“The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, they have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavor — property, outward success, luxury — have always seemed to me contemptible.”
This quote makes me think of my background, where I came from, how far I’ve come and looking back at all the people who have supported me in life. My philosophy of success would be to achieve my dream as a doctor. I have had the dream of one day becoming a doctor since the death of my grandparents and the people around me that are sick, dying, and in need of medical care. I always wanted to be the person who saves another life. I want to be an example for my peers, my children, and my children peers.
I want to be someone that both my generation and the generation that follows to respects, honor and follow not only in my footsteps; but in other honorable wonderful successful individuals who make something of themselves. I am strongly willing to bring forth my dream by preventing and stopping anything that comes in the direction of my path to success. For example drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure.
I think those three things will not prevent me from not achieving my goals if I wasn’t as strong as I am today. My most personal philosophy that I will keep with me until the day I die and I rest in the piece is a quote from my mother “success is something anyone can do especially if a person loves something he/she does such as a career, something he/she wants to achieve such as degrees, that person should make something of his/her self and/or life, that person should go for it and take a shot towards that dream or goal because if that person doesn’t go for it now that person will regret some decision made towards life. If a person does go for that dream the person will be successful and he/she won’t regret anything in life. He/she will be a happy person.” Retaining that information in my mind has certainly made me a better person and has helped me overcome all of my obstacles.