In every school, there is a driving force that pushes the beliefs and practices that the school feels are most important. In every school, there are certain classrooms where the teacher has a different view or set of beliefs and values he/she uses to deliver content in the classroom. The purpose of writing this paper is to identify my philosophy of education in the modern secondary school today, I will be pulling information from readings and also from my personal experiences observing and being in a high school classroom.
The main goal I try to create in my classroom is a student-centered and student-driven classroom. Within a student-driven classroom, we meet or try to meet the students where they are, and focus on their individual needs. [footnoteRef:0] By doing this I feel like I can help more kids gain a better knowledge of my content. Now it is easier for me to keep a student-driven class. At most I have twelve students because I work at an alternative school, but as I envision being in a comprehensive high school, I still want to keep the same student-driven classroom.
The philosophy of education article I read, from my professor, discusses how many education philosophies are used in America today. After reading through them and understanding which one fits my philosophy it is very clear to me that my classroom philosophy on education is Progressivism.
The progressive idea and philosophy are revolved around the idea that our instruction and teaching are based on what the student needs, and what is relevant to the student, for them to learn.
[footnoteRf:1] When I decided to get into the teaching profession, one of the very best teachers, who knew I hated reading presented me with a book, called Paedagogica Historica, Vol. 41, Nos. 1&2. This was a very thick book, and I was kind of appreciative of him giving me this book, but I was curious as to why he gave me a book this thick when he knew I probably wouldn’t have the time to read it. After the book became a dust carrier on my desk he called and asked how it was going and if I read his book. I tried acting like I had and he proceeded to ask if I had found his gift within the book yet. He obviously knew I hadn’t. He had left a “BookMArk” on a certain chapter, of a picture of him and me on my Football senior night. When I saw the chapter he left the picture in I finally understood why he gave me this book. I would always wonder why all students seemed to learn at a higher rate and enjoyed it in his classroom, and this chapter described why. It was about the Progressive philosophy and describes how a school with this philosophy would operate.
David F. Labaree, Discusses how although the idea of progressivism would flip the education system upside down, we should not be stuck in the same old-school style of education because our students are not the same kids they were back in the day. The idea that a school’s philosophy is still designed with the same ideas and content that was around years ago is asinine to me. Times have changed and children have changed. I watched a powerful just video on youtube called “I just Sued the School System.” where the speaker in the video is discussing how since the beginning of education institutions how many different things have changed but the educational system has not changed much at all. This video discussed that the way back in the day that classrooms were set up to conform students during an industrial boom, to work in factories, and still to this day we sit the children in rows and make them do the same things they did in those times. To me, Around this video just pushed me towards the progressive philosophy because we have always been told students learn at different levels but I noticed that not many times do educators meet those students where they are in their learning style. By pushing a progressive philosophy I try each and every day to meet those students where they are, so they can achieve success with no limitations.
WithMeeting meeting the students where they are, Itound it was very difficult at first because my students are predominantly African American, and I had great difficulty reaching those children in order to give them the best education possible when I first went into the classroom. After talking with a district employee and discussing my issues, kid’s challenged me to dive every into what my classroom educational philosophy was. With the book I received from my teacher and her challenge it is then I realized I couldn’t educate all students the same, and the best interests of each and every kid needed to be my focus. With the stereotype that African American males have gained in my school district, it was very difficult to push the idea that what they found relevant and how they perceived the content is what or how I was going to teach. I have learned that any student they do not just want to learn about an event in history, but they want to know about something or someone they can relate with or to. I started finding important people who looked like the kids I was teaching, who had the same struggles, or backgrounds as some of the students, and, when I say my classroom took off, it was crazy how much we were accomplishing. I had students in different grades coming to my door, wanting in when they saw some of the classwork hanging up outside and heard some of my kids excited for learning. To me th, Iat is what it is about. This is why i have built a Progressive philosophy in my classroom and why I believe schools should look to go that route in changing the philosophy.