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Philosophy of Education

Brian Bowers
My personal view of education has been stretched in the past two years of teaching and in
my masters classes. As I progress through these classes I have confirmed several of my beliefs,
as well as challenged myself in several areas. I believe that as educators, it is our responsibility
to create independent life long learners. It is easy to get caught up in politics or statistics and get
frustrated. At the end of the day, it isnt what we are teaching that a student will remember, it is
how we taught it and the problem solving skills that are involved. I firmly believe the road we
are taking with our current educational system and a common curriculum is a dangerous and
faulty path. I believe that we need to step back and learn from what other countries are doing
well. This does not mean we emulate them, as each community and culture is so different, and
what works for one country may not work for ours. For example, Finland is the complete
opposite of South Korea in the way that they school their children, yet with similar outcomes.
One culture places complete emphasis on grades and education, where the other culture is more
relaxed and even coming to school less, and without shoes (Hancock, 2014). This simply would
not work in America due to government, massive teacher unions, and our culture. We can,
however, take their mentality and hold teachers to the highest esteem.
I believe that we should be incorporating more STEM and STEAM into all of our
classrooms, throughout k-12 schooling (STEM to STEAM, 2014). I am a firm believer that we
need to be preparing our students for future technologies and problems that will arise. We need to
remember that technology is not the end, it is only a tool used towards a solution. We need to be
preparing all students for success, and not just focusing on the bubble kids. Ill funded schools

without proper resources and a high concentration of IEP students is set up for all students to fail.
Inclusion only works if everyone is on board, and there is an ample teacher to student ratio. Our
educational system should focus on increasing the student to teacher ratios (Department of
Education, 1999).
Testing has become a great downfall of our educational system in America. In Finland,
they do not place emphasis on national or even school testing, yet they rank number one in
multiple categories (Hancock, 2014). We refuse to learn from the top countries in this regard.
Testing places all the responsibility on the teacher, yet the push is to move the control of learning
to the student. This contradicts itself, yet the push on both ends is gaining in strength.
Finally, I have learned to infuse classroom meetings to create a classroom community.
Prior to my masters class I had never heard of classroom meetings. I have incorporated
movement, as it correlates to brain development. I have worked to create collaborative groups,
pods, and create a growing classroom community (Lickona, 1991). My goal for next year is to
expand this community beyond our doors, beyond our school, and beyond our town to get
students to see the bigger picture.

Resources
Department of Education. (1999). Reducing class size: What do we know? (DOE Publication
No. SAI 98-3027). Retrieved from http://www.classsizematters.org/ wp-content/uploads/
2012/11/ReducingClassSize.pdf
Hancock, L. (2011, September). Why are Finlands schools successful? Smithsonian
Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/innovation/
why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/
Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for character: How our schools can teach respect and
responsibility. NY: Bantam.
STEM to Steam. (2014). STEAM. Retrieved from http://stemtosteam.org