Philosophy of Education for MJ T.
Philosophy of Education for M.J. T.
To me the purpose of education is threefold:
(1) provide students with a basis of knowledge,
(2) teach students how to reason so that they can continue their education throughout their lives, and
(3) instill in them a life-long excitement about and love of learning.
Students must acquire a basis of knowledge, a framework on which to sort out and understand how various aspects of information in any subject area fit together to make the whole picture of where we have been and where we are going as a civilization. Science affects philosophy which affects the arts … ad infinitum. Nothing exists in a vacuum-sealed box. All knowledge is recursive and intertwined - reaches out and affects many areas outside the discipline in which it begins. I liken this basis of knowledge to a needlepoint tapestry mesh framework. The threads of different strands of information are worked in at various points. In some way every thread touches every other thread - perhaps directly, perhaps indirectly, but the composite connection is there and is clear when standing back and surveying the whole picture.
As an educator, my job is to teach students how to reason, analyze, learn on their own - to make them independent and life-long learners. That ability sets apart the educated person from the rest. It gives a person the power to explore and to understand anything he/she chooses to study. This kind of power also breeds a healthy self-esteem earned through hard work and valued because of the personal accomplishment of challenging tasks.
As these two bases of knowledge expand, one more is necessary to make it all “stick.” The last ingredient is equally important - the ability to see how what we study in school does relate to each individual’s world. As students realize that, they feel empowered and excited at each connection they make. They see how what they are learning can expand their world and the possibilities open to them. I “preach” this openly:
Learning is an exciting and never-ending quest. No other person can give you the unlimited future you alone can realize through setting goals, using the framework of all that you have learned, and just plain hard work. And nothing else will make you feel as successful wherever your talents and ambition take you.
I think a teacher’s job is much the same as a parent’s - to equip the individuals in my charge with as many tools as I can so that they can succeed and prosper independently - not needing my supervision. I want to give them such a firmly rooted educational foundation and true confidence in themselves that they will try their wings and fly off into areas I may only dream of visiting.