Philosophy if literally translated means “love of wisdom”. As defined further by Parkay (2013) that “Philosophy is concerned with the basic truths about being, knowledge, and conduct”. With this being said, if philosophy’s main concern is about the answers to the fundamentals truths of life then I have to say that this idea is very much relevant in the field of Education wherein according to Hicks (2014), “Education is a process of learning and teaching primarily the young, the knowledge and skills learning for adult life”. It is obvious that the ultimate goal of these two ideas are knowledge, truth and learning.
As a future educator and a learner, I am tasked to answer the question about what determines my educational philosophy or what are the set of principles that guides my professional action. As what I have learned in the readings that my behaviour as a teacher is strongly connected with my beliefs about teaching and learning, students, knowledge, and what is worth knowing. Under the belief of teaching and learning is questions like what are my primary role as a teacher? For me, it will be more on helping my students in building their own interests, prior experiences, and current understanding which is leaning more on the constructivist view. I believe it is best to have student-centered type of learning inside the classroom wherein their best interest, motivation and skills are being valued very much. Also my belief about knowledge is always directly related to how I go about teaching (Parkay, 2013). In all honesty, I tend to view knowledge more conceptually for I believe learning all the big ideas will help me further understand and effectively influence the environment that we are living in. And lastly, my belief on what is worth knowing wherein I will be focusing more on my students learning on how to reason, communicate effectively and solve problems. This has always been my orientation by the time I entered college and I am really much excited to make use of this approach by the time that I will be teaching.
Then came the part about the 6 areas or branches of philosophy which are metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, ethics, aesthetics, and logic. Out of this 6 areas mentioned by Parkay, is with metaphysics that my attention is drawn much. We know that metaphysics examines the nature of ultimate reality and asked questions like what does it mean to exist? and what is the world made of? I, myself tend to ask questions like this and so I am glad these metaphysical questions are indeed essential in the field of education. As discussed by Parkay (2013), “metaphysics has important implications for education because the school curriculum is based on what we know about reality”. Next is epistemology wherein questions all focus on knowledge and questions like what knowledge is true? how do we know what we know?, and what knowledge is of most worth? One can truly evaluate better on this by considering all the five ways of knowing of the world according again to Parkay (2013), which are knowing based on authority, based on divine revelation, based on empiricism (experience), based on reason and logical analysis, and lastly based on intuition. When a teacher uses these criteria then I believe he/she will arrive at the right knowledge that he/she will be teaching to students. In the readings, axiology was also discussed that focuses more on the quality of life that is possible due to acquiring new knowledge. It is trying to tell that extensive knowledge is vain if one is unable to make use of that knowledge for the benefit of others. Ethics, on the other hand, focuses more on what is good and evil, right and wrong, just and unjust and the knowledge on ethics can help teachers in the future when conflict arise inside the classroom. That is why teachers have to be very careful in their decision-making process and ethical judgement or thinking to help them solve the very core of the problems being given to them. Also, I believe in the value of aesthetics for through this students can help them more in making meanings in all aspects of their life (Parkay, 2013). Lastly, logic that deals with the process of reasoning in which the very essence is to teach students how to think.
As expected the five (5) modern philosophical orientations to teaching (Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, Existentialism and Social Reconstructionism) was discussed in module 1 and I had to go back in the first entry of my journal in EDS 101. It says there that I got the highest score under Essentialism, Progressivism, and Social Reconstructivism. It perfectly makes sense to me why I scored higher in these 3 theories of philosophy. As stress by Parkay (2013), that essentialist tend “to belief the essential knowledge and skills that productive members of our society needs to know”. It says that if you are essentialist then you are applying teacher-centered inside the classroom, the curriculum being used is pre-determined, uses a standardized test and this is the philosophy most represented in school. I am also a progressivist, in a sense that I tend to educate the individual according to his or her needs and interest. It is student-centered wherein student’s interest and social issues are the main concern of the teacher and the teacher acts on as a facilitator. My social reconstructivism is one of the highest as I tend to challenge oppression, power structures, social inequalities, racism, sexism, etc. for a reconstruction for a better society. With the kind of society that we are currently living in and the kind of educational system that we have in the country, then I have to teach my student’s to become the change agents in order to have the country that we envision in the future. Next to these three philosophies is perennialism which states that one tend to value truths that have stood the test of time so this type of philosophy is very popular in religious schools. Lastly, the lowest among five is existentialism in which it is student-centered as student’s choice and interest is being valued. As Satre claimed that “existence precedes essence” which means that we are born in this world and each person is being defined through his choices in life.
With the results that I have gotten clearly shows what type of educational philosophies I tend to value in the future. I agree with the result and it would be nice to develop an eclectic philosophy of education out of these five philosophies of education. I am not sure if I can really incorporate all five in the classroom but I believe I can become an effective teacher if I properly make use all of these in the future. The knowledge and learnings that I will be getting will be of course beneficial in my understanding of the complex political forces that influences schools, for evaluation of current proposals and to grow professionally as teachers.
Hicks, S. (2014, June 14). Introduction to the course: Philosophy of education [Digital Video]. Retrieved at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4D15CEFD8356A3D3
Parkay, F. W. (2013). Philosophical foundations of U.S. Education (Chap 4). In Becoming a teacher (9th edition), (pp 108-128). Needham Heights, MA: Pearson Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved at http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/assets/hip/gb/hip_gb_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0205625096.pdf