Educational Philosophy Essay

1037 words - 4 pages

Thus far, my personal philosophy does not fall under any one of the traditional ideologies introduced in class. At its core, my philosophy consists of four different parts. Broadly termed, one might ascribe them the names: essential topics, relation, discovery and creativity. This philosophy has developed from my own beliefs and limited experiences in education.
The first aspect is the idea that there are five topics that are essential for an extensive and complete education. Having been taught for over 2,500 years, math, science, history, philosophy and art have withstood the test of time. The five topics (among a few others) can be found in ancient Athens education system (Aristophanes, Sommerstein 2002). This is not to say that the core topics are not subject to change. If a valid need arises, change must take place. Our understanding of the world has yielded these five subjects from which all other intellectual pursuits arise. Math and science allow us to understand the physical nature of the world around us. History depicts past actions and choices, allowing us to analyze and replicate or avoid them. Philosophy helps us to understand human nature, while art allows us to express it. Included within art are music, literature, and art in its traditional meaning. This is similar to the Perennialist belief that certain knowledge is “classical” and will always be taught.
My belief in these topics comes from my own personal thoughts on what is important to investigate. As this is purely an opinion, I do not have any data backing me up. However, what I do have is personal experience. In elementary I was instructed in math, science, history, the arts and physical education. I never quite understood the importance of teaching children to run and play sports. It is a natural development of their vibrant nature and thus is redundant to instruct. I believe that philosophy, in the sense of self-discovery, is missing and should replace physical education. Why did Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the Great feel the need to create a world empire? Why do I feel the need to boss and control recess? How might these relate? Thought provoking questions such as these should be raised. Understanding ones motivations, or understanding one’s self, is not a task that should be started late in life but instead a continual pursuit from cradle to grave.
The belief in relation has to do with content acquisition. If one is able to relate a topic to an experience or belief, that topic or fact is more likely to stay with them. Recitation is an age old tradition requiring hours of zombie-like behavior, eventually branding information into our memory. Repeating the multiplication tables to yourself two hundred times in a row is effective but inefficient. In my life I have found that I more easily remember information when I am able to make it relevant and relate it to other known data or experiences that I have had. When I polled my family on...

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