Teachers have different ways of teaching and enhancing learning to achieve their educational objectives. The variations occur due to applying different educational philosophies that are appropriate depending on learning objectives and positive contribution to student outcomes. The philosophies are fundamental guiding principles towards professionalism, enhancing students’ achievement, and positive teacher-student relationships. Educational philosophies explain a teacher and students’ roles in education, which promotes accomplishing desired goals. Hence, educational philosophies determine the lesson plan, content, and approach of teaching students according to the teacher’s belief in the most practical philosophy. Philosophies of education include existentialism, perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and reconstructionism. This essay provides a personal statement of the educational philosophies and their benefits in practical application to teachers and students.
The Purpose of Education
My view on the purpose of education is that education is a tool for influencing one’s mind through gaining knowledge and interacting with others who have the same interests leading to the growth of a vibrant learning community. I believe that schools are centers for developing social skills and shaping students’ beliefs and attitudes towards different societies and their cultures. Schools provide knowledge of diverse cultures worldwide, which is essential in developing social awareness and building a society that is determined to overlook cultural differences to create a better world (Hook, 2020). Functioning in the real world requires basic social skills and academic knowledge, which enhances the individual’s ability to connect with others in areas of interest. Thus, I believe educating a child needs comprehensive support from the teachers, students, parents, and the community to produce an academically and socially productive individual. At the same time, teachers should apply more than one philosophy in education to enhance teaching and learning for academic and social achievement (Hansen, 2019). Applying different teaching methods creates an engaging learning environment that builds enthusiasm and students’ ability to develop individual skills.
The Perennialism Philosophy
The concept of education dates back to the traditional methods of learning which include learning through observation and storytelling. Each group of people had a different approach to teaching that emphasized knowing one’s culture, traditions, and historical aspects that shape the people’s way of living (Hook, 2020). Nowadays, children still learn through stories that define the world’s history, art, culture, and scientific discoveries. Students understand today’s phenomena by reading about the historic aspects leading to the societal changes and the existence of certain aspects of human life (Hansen, 2019). I believe in encompassing books involving world history in the syllabus. I would recommend the study of Western civilization, Asian culture, and studies about Africa, which have collective knowledge about human civilization.
Additionally, I believe that today’s student needs to learn more about their primary cultures and traditions since they affect their lives directly. Students must know their immediate social environments, such as the region’s laws and culture, religious ideologies, and societal attitudes, which shape their interactions and social connections. With the diverse cultures in modern schools, I believe the perennialism philosophy is the best principle to apply in ensuring integration and global views in schools. Consequently, the framework can help students acquire knowledge that shapes their individual opinions about significant social issues such as equality, social justice, and poverty.
Alternatively, exploring world cultures encourages cultural diversity by adapting and combining various lifestyles. Cultural fusion encourages innovation and understanding of other people’s perspectives, which helps solve societal problems and create unity. Through perennialism, students can take an interest in foreign languages, which enhances education and communication skills (Hook, 2020). Today’s employment market demands linguistic diversity, such as knowledge and understanding of more than two languages. Since education is the fundamental factor in better career opportunities, it is essential to encourage students to master foreign languages and new vocabulary, which increases their chances of employment.
The Constructivism Philosophy
Another philosophy I believe is efficient in teaching and learning is the constructivism framework. Constructivism is an instructional approach involving student participation in acquiring knowledge academically and socially (Hansen, 2019). Although students attend school to gain essential knowledge and skills from teachers, it does not mean they are ignorant and waiting for teachers’ instructions to learn everything. The framework encourages learning through active participation and discovering new ideas instead of waiting to absorb the teacher’s information according to the class syllabus (Kwok, 2020). Students possess individual minds that can significantly contribute to learning and classroom activities. Through sharing and classroom interactions, students gain essential knowledge and skills and build social relationships, which are important in life skills and academic achievement.
I believe that constructivism is vital in enabling the students to think freely and create logical arguments, enhancing decision-making in the real world. Constructivists believe in adapting to one’s environment, which helps acquire knowledge through experience (Hook, 2020). The learners blend present information with past experiences to create new ideas and solve problems which enhances critical thinking and creativity, according to Hansen (2019). Constructivism involves much interaction, which encourages teamwork and student motivation. Students engage in a group to solve problems and carry out projects that enhance social skills. At the same time, the approach builds mental capacity by allowing the storage of collective information, which is essential for future use. I agree with Hansen (2019) that constructive learning is motivational since students apply their ideas to discover and create new things. Consequently, teaching through the constructive theory helps learners acquire more information through research that adds value to classroom education and benefits students in other areas of life, such as the social environment.
The Existentialism Philosophy
I believe that existentialism is the most effective and practical strategy in modern education because it develops students’ skills and competencies from an early age. The existentialism philosophy primarily focuses on encouraging students through motivation, creating self-awareness, and setting achievable goals according to each student’s unique abilities (Yahyae, 2017). The theory suggests that every student has potential that can be harnessed by developing individual abilities through giving freedom of ideas. Every child has a right to inclusive education despite differences in intellectual abilities. For instance, all student needs to learn literacy and numeracy skills which create the basic foundation of education. However, other subjects such as sciences, humanities, and technical subjects require individual ability to master. Teachers must ensure specialized instruction according to each student’s interest and learning pace, which helps enhance their learning experiences (Hook, 2020). Individualizing teaching and learning encourage students to focus on the abilities that prepare them for future career development. Thus, my vision as a teacher is to promote student academic achievement through existentialism.
Existentialist approaches include creating a specific instructional structure or principles that guide teachers and learners towards their goals. My approach will involve teaching students essential qualities of being successful such as organization, critical and creative thinking. Critical thinking and organization are essential in developing individual abilities since each student will have a work plan and follow it by thinking critically and creatively to advance to the next level of education (Sherman, 2020). Critical thinking helps in facing social challenges at home and school, which may hinder students’ ability to focus and cultivate their potential skills. It is a teacher’s responsibility to ensure each student performs well in academies and in their social lives, which helps build blocks for future success. Therefore, I will apply existentialism by motivating my students and taking an interest in their academic and social lives to know their strengths and weaknesses.
Class management is critical in fostering education and instilling disciple among students. Apart from having practical theories and rules that guide the class, the teacher needs practical class management approaches. Existentialism classrooms are self-directed, and each student learns at their own pace, which helps cater to all student needs (Kwok, 2020). Students might have the content and creativity to solve a problem but need the teacher’s guidance through classroom instructions. Thus, the classes involve much interaction with the teacher as each student needs attention to develop their skills and gain academic knowledge. I believe in mastering each student’s name and using the names to address them individually to enhance the teacher-student relationship. Addressing students by their names increases their confidence and self-awareness, a motivational approach to better performance.
I will initiate the essentialism approach in assessing my performance by accepting students’ feedback and adjusting to each student’s preference. Feedback is an essential aspect of assessing performance for both teachers and students (Kwok, 2020). Although I may not be able to conform to every student’s demand, I will have an idea of their needs and apply other strategies to ensure my students’ comfort. The sitting arrangements in a class determine teachers’ and students’ interactions during class. I believe in having a linear setup with spaces between each student for easy accessibility and helping students individually. The sitting arrangement allows the expression of individual ideas and clustering of students with the same interests in-class projects.
The Curriculum and Learning Environment
Finally, the curriculum and learning environment determines students’ comfortability in gaining knowledge. Schools should provide appropriate infrastructure and learning tools that cater to the diverse student setting (Hook, 2020). The amenities include infrastructure that enhances physical learning and social interaction and contributes to students’ emotional well-being and intellectual achievement. The tools include writing essentials such as pencils, pens, paper, desks, physical education infrastructure, textbooks, and computers in schools that provide technological education. Students have different preferences in learning materials, and providing a variety to choose from helps determine their ability and level of creativity. Academic achievement is fundamental to a student’s life and career path. However, individuals need more than intellectual prowess to solve problems to solve life’s problems and live healthy lives (Kwok, 2020). Therefore, school curriculums should foster the development of social skills such as good communication skills, teamwork, and emotional engagement with others.
To sum up, I believe that teachers should employ more than one educational philosophy to enhance the learning environment. I believe that my philosophy for education regarding teaching and learning will transform with time and through experience. Although I find existentialism to be the most significant philosophy since it offers inclusive education and freedom of expression to all students, I think I have a lot to explore by applying and adjusting my philosophical beliefs. A teacher’s ultimate goal is to ensure students’ academic and social life success. Thus, I will live my philosophy through continuous growth and engaging new strategies according to changing ties and students’ preference.
Hansen, D. T. (2019). Ethical visions of education: Philosophies in practice (Edited). Teachers College Press.
Hook, Sidney. (2020). Education for modern man. WIPF & Stock Pub.
Kwok, A. (2020). Pre-service teachers’ classroom management beliefs and associated teacher characteristics. Educational Studies, 47(5), 609–626. Web.
Sherman, G. L. (2020). Existentialism and higher education: A renewed intersection in well-being. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 002216782091723. Web.
Yahyaei, D., & Mahini, F. (2017). The influence of existentialism on teaching methods. International Journal of Learning and Teaching, 9(3), 354–363. Web.