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Matthew Peterson 11-13-2009 ED200 Philosophy of Education

Pedagogy is defined as the art and science of teaching. As I teacher I will attempt to successfully balance the methodical, scientific approach of instruction with creativity. The ability to imagine and create new ideas, concepts, and things is, to me, what makes the human condition so beautiful. Its that process of creativity that I hope to foster when I educate people. I desire to inspire and instill a sense of wonderment and perpetual curiosity in my students. In order to effectively do so, Ill need to be competent in several areas. They include communication, purpose, content, and professional development. Its my job to be able to communicate well with my students, parents, colleagues, and community. This freely flowing dialog will help me maintain perspective and develop purposeful relationships with my social surroundings. Its also important to note that I will never stop learning. I will not just be a teacher. I will exist in a constantly emerging stasis fluctuating between student, mentor, and researcher. Incorporating these pedagogical competencies into my personal philosophy will ensure that my content is meaningful, grounded, and intriguing. My philosophical cluster includes concepts that are metaphysical, logical, epistemological, and axiological. I must take into account that there are things outside of my understanding and experience, and therefore are metaphysical by nature, but most things can be broken down and understood logically. This study of knowledge, and how we know what we know, is always changing. What we consider to be true today may not be true tomorrow. Just as what was once considered aesthetically pleasing a hundred years ago, may not be considered as such today. It is my philosophical perspective, or

lense that I view the world through, which guides my attitudes and axiology. Its important for me to be constantly aware of this in order to remain balanced and maintain patience in possibly frustrating circumstances. I must be malleable, flexible, and understanding. This awareness will keep me open to new ideas that come my way. It will also enable me to handle ill behaved students. I will be a passive aggressive teacher. I wont let the students walk all over me, but I wont disrespect them. This balance and mutual respect will hopefully work for the majority of situations Im put in. Humor is another element I plan on using to my advantage. If I can get people to laugh, loosen up, and simply have a good time in my classroom, resolutions may come easier and quicker. Learning cannot happen in a hostile environment. My goal through constant humor is to alleviate the dispute or disturbance as quick as possible, make light of the situation, and move on. There are a few teacher centered philosophies; they include Essentialism, Perennialism, Behaviorism, and Positivism. Essentialism focuses on core academic principles like knowledge, character development, and patriotism. Perennialism is a system that uses literature to develop rational and critically thinking minds. Behaviorism deals with controlling the environment to produce a desirable behavior. Positivism teaches facts based on empirical data and evidence. Of these four I would use a combination of Perennialism, Positivism, and a small amount of Essentialism. For me, its important to develop critical thinking skills and reading comprehension. I enjoy the creative thinking process that Perennialism induces. Not just from reading and asking questions like, what is the meaning of this story? But in all aspects of life, that sense of inquiry is an element I wish to nurture and promote. It would be unsafe and illogical to

have an entire classroom based on intuition though. Thats where Positivism comes in. Whatever ideas I express or draw upon will be based on provable scientific fact or evidence. There are also several student centered philosophies of education. They include Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, and Existentialism. Progressivism uses real world experiences to help students find answers to meaningful questions. The method used is called Pragmatism or the pursuit of practical qualities by concentrating on facts rather than ideals and emotions. Social Reconstructionism turns the school into a place where social problems can be addressed and society as a whole can be improved. Finally, Existentialism uses student directed learning to determine and follow up on what matters most to them. I see myself attempting to utilize all three of these in the most efficient way possible. Progressivism helps the students to focus on tangible ideas, concepts, and meaningful truths. This should be balanced with Existential thought in order to determine what this means to them individually and how they can apply the information to their own lives. The greater goal or good of the knowledge would be to help socially reconstruct our society, person by person, to make it a better place. When it comes to my teaching methods, using the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as a utility for instruction seems like a pretty good idea to me. I believe there are students who learn Visually, Verbally, Kinesthetically, Logically, Musically, Interpersonally, Intrapersonally, and Naturalistically. For me, it makes the most sense to attempt to touch on or incorporate every method into my curriculums and lessons. I will teach to students with visual examples and stimulating images or intriguing films. I will

attempt to make my lectures metaphorical and verbally engaging. I will promote and encourage discussions by asking open ended questions to promote analyzation and inquiry. Group work will be used to help develop or cater towards interpersonal and intrapersonal development. I will also, and as frequently as possible, hold class out doors. Doing so will ensure that my classroom is exciting and dynamic. Periodically switching up the environment will also help students with process of recalling information. However, education isnt just about providing applicable knowledge and expecting students to regurgitate it. I believe that an educated person is someone who is sound in both mind and body. Once you have a particular piece of information or knowledge, what will you do with it? An educated person is virtuous and leads a progressive life. It then is the job of those who are educated, not to just work in the traditional sense, but to help society work, develop, and function. An educated person is interested in the group and the well being of society. An educated person is concerned and compassionate. An educated person understands that wisdom is more important than knowledge. Education is a life long process that happens in the formal classroom and informally in our every day lives. My job as a teacher is to ensure that students realize this. I want to promote a passion for everyday learning. Education provides people with tools that can gradually change their lives for the better. This is why education is so enriching. Albert Einstein said, "People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born." Most of us have had

moments in life when we seem to be touched by a "divine" presence. But we did not think it extraordinary because it wasnt; it was just a beautiful moment filled with love. In those imaginative moments our hearts are alive, and we see the poignant beauty of life vividly with wonder and appreciation. Its those moments that I experience that give me purpose. Its that feeling that I wish to provide in my classroom. Whether it be in life, nature, or people: outside of all my experiences spins some physical beauty and connection with everything around me. My goal as a teacher is to instill this feeling into as many people as possible. And hopefully, little by little, Ill make the world shine a bit brighter.