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Mathematics Institute (Tougaloo College)
Philosophy of Education
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Philosophy of Education

As an apprentice teacher, I have learned that in order to be an effective educator there are qualifications that a teacher must possess. It is imperative that all teachers understand that he or she is a facilitator for students rather than someone who thinks and makes all decisions for his or her students. For example, teachers should allow students to assist in planning lessons. They could contribute their ideas and explain strategies that best fit their learning style. The students would be more interested in the lesson because they helped to plan it. They would participate more often and become engaged in the lesson, thus learning more.

Also, teachers should present themselves in a professional manner at all times. By doing so, they are modeling the proper behavior for their students. They are showing the students that school is an institute for learning, not playing. They are showing the students that they should not take learning for granted, but to learn as much as they possibly can. They are also gaining respect and a sense of seriousness about themselves. When teachers are professional, the students take the teacher and the class more seriously. As a result, disciplinary problems will be at a minimum.

Moreover, teachers should be zealous about teaching. The teacher's enthusiasm towards learning will gain the students' excitement of the course. If students see an energetic and enthused teacher, they would be more motivated to learn. This attitude would also make the classroom atmosphere less stressful on the students, allowing them to learn without anxiety.

In addition, teachers should practice clinical teaching and differentiated instruction. By doing so, the teacher is allowing opportunities for each type of learner to be able to comprehend on their own unique level of understanding. This will increase the students' chances of success in the classroom as well. Teachers should also always make connections between their lesson and the world around them so that the students could get a better understanding of the lesson. Because some students may have more difficulties understanding and comprehending than others, it is the teacher's responsibility to make sure he or she is presenting the information in a way that every student can understand.

Most importantly, teachers should love their profession with a passion so that they would teach from their heart and be sincere in doing so. If you care about something, you would put your very best into it, you would do anything for it, and you would not give up on it. Teachers should have this attitude when entering into the classroom. Students need teachers who will teach them with all that they have. They need teachers who will do anything to make sure they learn. Students need teachers who will be patient with them and never give up on them.

There are certain qualities that a student must contain in order to become an effective learner. A student must want to learn in order to learn. As stated in the Bible in the book of Proverbs chapter one verse five, "A wise person will increase learning." Also, students must not depend fully on their teachers, but put forth much effort to help themselves learn. They must have a desire to increase their understanding and learning. For example, if multiplication is a weak subject for a student, the student should take the initiative and perhaps purchase a deck of multiplication flash cards with his or her allowance in order to become stronger in this area.

In addition, students should motivate themselves. Students should not always look to the teacher to provide stimulating activities in order to be interested in the lesson, but students should be self-motivated. They should come to class on time and prepared with all materials ready to learn. They should have a desire to participate in activities and to volunteer to answer questions.

Furthermore, my philosophy of education is similar to John Dewey's theory. Like Dewey, I believe teachers should teach their students to become citizens in a democracy. By doing so, the students would become self-directed learners able to express their own opinions. They would also become strong-minded, independent thinkers.

I also agree with Dewey in that students are life long learners who learn from their experiences. Dewey believed that the theory of experience rested on continuity (humans are sensitive to experience and survive by learning from experience) and interactions. He argued that we learn something from every experience, whether it is a negative or positive experience. For example, if a student receives a failing grade as a result of lacking to prepare for a test, this student will learn from this negative experience that he or she needs to study in order to receive the desired passing grade. Like Dewey, I agree that education is incomplete if it ignores experience.

My philosophy of education involves duties of both the teacher and the students, in order to achieve success in the classroom. Teachers should be professional, zealous, and passionate about teaching. Students should be self-motivated and have a strong desire for learning. Education is incomplete if it ignores experience. It is through experience that we learn thoroughly what we are attempting to learn. In the field of education, teachers must constantly have their students in mind always looking for new ways to teach and always observing students' different learning styles in order to adapt or modify their teaching.

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