May 8, 2009

Design Your Educational Philosophy

Use Your Philosophical Outlook on Education As A Guiding Compass

by Beth Lewis,

While studying to be teachers, we are often asked to write out our personal educational philosophies. This is not just an empty exercise, a paper only meant to be filed in the back of a drawer.

To the contrary, your educational philosophy statement should be a document that serves to guide and inspire you throughout your teaching career. It captures the positive aspirations of your career and should act as a centerpiece around which all of your decisions rotate.

When writing your educational philosophy statement, consider the following:
  • What do you see is the grander purpose of education in a society and community?
  • What, specifically, is the role of the teacher in the classroom?
  • How do you believe students learn best?
  • In general, what are you goals for your students?
  • What qualities do you believe an effective teacher should have?
  • Do you believe that all students can learn?
  • What do teachers owe their students?

Your educational philosophy can guide your discussions in job interviews, be placed in a teaching portfolio, and even be communicated to students and their parents.

Here is a sample educational philosophy statement:

I believe that a teacher is morally obligated to enter the classroom with only the highest of expectations for each and every one of her students. Thus, the teacher maximizes the positive benefits that naturally come along with any self-fulfilling prophecy; with dedication, perseverance, and hard work, her students will rise to the occasion.

I aim to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and high expectations to the classroom each day. I believe that I owe it to my students, as well as the community, to bring consistency, diligence, and warmth to my job in the hope that I can ultimately inspire and encourage such traits in the children as well.

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