I believe education should be given to everyone. I feel that everyone should be given the opportunity to better their knowledge no matter the circumstance. It shouldn’t matter where you are coming from but rather where you’re going in life. I believe that Progressivism would be my way of giving the education that students would best benefit from. I think the purpose of schooling should be to educate students on things that will help them in their adult lives such as how to acquire insurance, pay bills, and other life skills that we don’t see being taught. With Progressivism the students are active in deciding what to study and I feel like giving them a choice is important because it allows them to take ahold of their own education. I as a future teacher want my students to understand that where they are headed is important, and they have every right to make the decisions that will get them there.
Within Progressivism I see the purpose of schooling to be that students can learn about things that will help them later in life and like Oakes and Lipton said, “Learning to solve problems of democratic society.” (2006, p.107). I want my students to see problems in our society and question them. In high school there was a girl, for privacy I’ll call her Sally, and she saw that we had no concrete recycling program. She took the bull by the horns and questioned our principle on why we didn’t separate plastic from paper and why we didn’t do anything to change this. After some type of debate that no one except Sally and the principal know the school had a vote on what we wanted to do about the recycling issue at our school. Looking back now I don’t think anyone cared as much as Sally did about recycling, but we didn’t want to be seen as bad people so most of us voted in her favor.
When it comes to the preferred curriculum I agree with Oakes and Lipton about it involving problems that interest children. In my experience students are more willing to learn if it involves something they are interested in. When I had my history classes I never wanted to learn because I was very uninterested in the subject. However, we had to pick something in history that changed our lives today and do a presentation on it for a project. I was excited about this because I took it as a change to educate my class on Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes so, my subject was the history of insulin. Normally students do not pay attention during presentations unless it is required but for this project you could see the passion most students had for what they were talking about and it’s because they were given a choice.
When it comes to the role of the teacher Oakes and Lipton have the same thoughts that I do and from their ideas of Progressivism they said teachers “Create an environment rich with opportunities for student-directed learning and group problem solving.” (2006, p.107) I like giving students as many opportunities as possible, so they don’t feel limited and I am a big believer in collaboration. I feel like it sparks more creativity. In my classroom observation I am in currently I have noticed that the students do not like it when the teacher limits their media choices. One day the Kindergarten class I was watching got done with their projects earlier, so they were given coloring sheets. However, the teacher told them they could only use markers and one of the students asked why he couldn’t use crayons. The teacher did not give him a clear answer and gave him the response of “Because we aren’t using crayons today”. I feel like this just limits what students want to create and I don’t like those “Because I said” types of responses. As a future teacher I want to stay away from this. Apple and Beane said “in a democratic school it is true that all of those directly involved in the school, including young people, have the right to participate in the process of decision making.” (2007, p.10) and I feel like that’s not happening. I understand that it was a younger class, but why can’t Kindergarteners learn about democracy or make their own choices? Why did that teacher need to restrict the choices made? The way I look at it markers are messier than crayons would be. I would’ve let the kids vote on what they wanted to use for the day if it was my classroom, but unfortunately it was not.
Now, I believe the role of the student should be their choice as in they can choose to learn, or they can choose not to. I can’t force someone to learn something if they aren’t willing to try in the first place. All I can do is try and provide them with things that could interest them. I believe that they need to put forth the effort if they want to understand their education to the fullest.
When it comes to the philosophy of education I’ve experienced I would say that Progressivism was the one most present. From what I can remember of my high school days most of my teachers would try their best to make our lessons student directed and have us lead the discussions we would have. They would also encourage a lot of group work but that we all have different answers with the same main idea as our group members. Not all of my teachers did this but a big majority of them did.
Now, the value I can resonate the most with is citizenship. In the film American Creed Values, Rice said, “It doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you’re going”. This value is important to me because it’s something I have witnessed amongst my peers and in schools. Some of my friends came from families who could barely afford to send them to school, but they found a way to make it through and make something of themselves. I don’t think we should base someone’s “usefulness” on where in the world they come from, but from where they are going and the work they are doing to get there. One things you need to move forward is an education.
Education is defined as “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university” according to Google definitions. To me education is so much more than that. It can be a process of learning and experiencing things. Education is limitless. This value is important to me as a person and citizen because I believe that everyone should have access to it. I know that not all levels of education are the same, but any kind of education can further an experience for someone. I would like to see a day where kids don’t have to worry about not being able to get an education. Years ago, you didn’t need a college education to get a job but now you do. This is important to me to teach my students because education is everything to me. My students should be given the best education that I can provide to them and they should be aware of the other types of education in the world. Even if they don’t go to college in the future I want to be able to provide them with other opportunities with whatever they want to do with their lives. If I need to provide information on how to become a mechanic or retail worker I will do my best to educate them on those or point them in the direction of someone who could provide a better education than myself.
In the end I just want to provide my students with an education. I want them to be the main contributors to what they are learning and to be excited about it. I believe that as a teacher I need to guide them but not control them. As children or young adults these students are the future. As the future our job as the teacher should be to ensure that they are happy with the direction that they are going in.
Ball, S., & Steiner, K. (n.d.). American Creed. Retrieved September 22, 2018, from https://www.americancreed.org/watch
Beane, J., & Apple, M. (2007) The case for democratic schools. In Michael Apple and James Beane (eds.), Democratic education: Lesson in powerful education, 2nd ed.
Oakes, J., & Lipton, M. (2006). Teaching to change the world. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.Tags: University of Toledo
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