Behind every school and every teacher is a set of related beliefs a “philosophy of education” that influences what and how students are taught. Generally, schooling is very essential to human life since school is seen as an institution that works with youth to improve society or help students realize their individuality. Progressivism, social Reconstructionist, and existentialism place the learner at the center of the educational process: Students and teachers work together on determining what should be learned and how best to learn it.
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Student-centered philosophies are more focused on individual needs and preparing learners for a changing future. There is essentialism which focuses on teaching the essential elements of academic and moral knowledge and Perennialism focuses on the universal truths that have withstood the test of time. Essentialism and Perennialism give teachers the power to choose the curriculum that suits them and construct classroom tasks and activities.
Since 20th Century education has become more important worldwide where-by the number of elites and scholars has increased because people have understood the importance of education and its implication on the overall human existence in society. The desire to pursue education is evidenced by the high number of learners worldwide and emergence of institutions of higher learning such as Oxford University, Cambridge University, Ohio State University among others. Education has led to economic, political, social, and cultural development in contemporary society. This reality has entrenched the role of education as a pillar to societal growth, advancement, and progress in diverse realms of engagement.
WORLDVIEW AND PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
As emphasized on the introductory part, education can be described as the key to life in the sense that, education has led to emergence of the life we live today. For instance, the real world today is an interactive place whereby continents are mutually interacting based on all criteria such as trading and tourism. In order to guarantee success in such undertakings, education must be the facilitator in terms of oral and communication skills and also public relations (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2009).
It is perceived that education is a process that involves various interrelated efforts that accentuate the realization of the final product. Indeed, education begins during the early stages of life when individuals make efforts to grasp and decipher the realities that are evident around them. Schools and learning are co-existent in the sense that without schools there is no learning and vice versa. I will refer to schools as molding places where illiteracy is eradicated and a civilized human being is produced through various avenues of instruction. However, Idealism comes in whenever learning undertake place, basically, it plays a large role in philosophical thought of today’s western world.
In order to understand the essence and rationale for education in life, it is important to contextualize the various philosophical inclinations that are evident in this area of interest. An example of such philosophies that guide the purpose and rationale for education is idealism. Under this paradigm, it is argued that whatever we consider as real and normal is a product of mental construction and perception. The immaterial nature and manifestation of ideas and objects is testimony of the human brain to conceive and define ideas according to the inherent ideals and aspirations that are the hallmark of an individual’s life (Flanagan, 2006).
The epistemological implication and relevance of this school of thought is that human beings are overly skeptical of ever encountering experiences that do not conform to their beliefs and attitudes in regard to mental and emotional faculties. The sociological view of idealism revolves around the possibility of human ideas developing into beliefs and value systems that ultimately introduce and sustain change in society. Idealism also gives credence to the fact that all human entities are endowed with mind and spirit that enable them to understand and contextualize all the activities that take place within and without them (Flanagan, 2006).
By understanding the philosophy of idealism, human beings are put in a better position to understand the principles of education and how it affects their existence in society. The philosophy of idealism is an important aspect of human existence because it offers an opportunity for people to contextualize the extent and scope of life meaning and its impact on their day to day undertakings. Idealism has been around human race for a long time. It has influenced the thoughts of philosophers and theologians in major ways. This school of thought has influenced my philosophy and viewpoint of life because I use its central ideas to construct meaning and deduce answers from complexities that exist in my daily life (Flanagan, 2006).
Another important philosophical paradigm is philosophical realism which articulates that reality does not go hand in hand with individual perceptions, conceptual orientation or belief systems that are dominant in their lives. Proponents of this school of thought believe that truth is a corresponding reflection of the human mind in respect to the reality that exists around them. Realists hold the belief that human thoughts and ideas are reflections of the possible real life experiences and that such recurrent experience have a cumulative effect that brings human beings closer to fully understanding reality as it should be manifested in society (Flanagan, 2006).
Idealism and realism present opposing ideas and thoughts that offer the diverse nature of human existence in society. However, it is important to note that both idealism and realism are important philosophical assertions because they create the requisite impetus for people to pursue the truth that manifests their destiny and fate in regard to the existence in society. Neo-scholasticism is a philosophical domain that offers a fusion of philosophy and theological teachings especially those articulated by the scholars of the Roman Catholic Church such as Saint Thomas Aquinas (Flanagan, 2006). Neo-scholasticism seeks to accentuate the sanctity of God as the creator of heaven and earth and amplify his exclusivity as the controller of all that takes place in the universe.
The philosophical doctrine seeks to demystify the rationale for the existence of the material world and how human beings should relate and view the world around them. It also acknowledges the superior nature of man and that the human actions cannot be compared to those of other creatures in the universe because of their ability to reason and think in a rational manner. These philosophies have guided my viewpoint in life and offered the impetus to understand how various occurrences affect and influence decisions and thought processes. This accentuates the role of education and the schools as a social entity where individuals get the necessary skills to enable them navigate through life in an easy way (Flanagan, 2006).
PHILOSOPHY OF SCHOOLS & LEARNING
As earlier mentioned, a school is a social place where students seek to discover and pursue truth regarding the realities of life in modern society. The interactive threshold that thrives within institutions of learning is very crucial in fostering social and cultural integration among students from diverse backgrounds. The most important aspect of such interaction is to guarantee the spirit and attitude that encourages unity in diversity.
The diversity in terms of ideas and views should unite people as opposed to alienating them from each other. The fundamental function of a school is to offer a favorable environment for learners to pursue knowledge that ultimately offers an opportunity for personal growth and development. Besides social and cultural integration, schools enable students to gain concepts on issues that relate to scientific discourse and other factual areas of interest in pedagogy. As an instructor, there is need to focus on the philosophy that shall guide my endeavors and undertakings with learners in the classroom environment. Due to my idealist philosophical inclination, I shall focus on two main key theories in my teaching practice.
My theoretical approach shall include one-to-one technique and disciplinary technique. One-to-one technique involves focusing on an individual student and teaching techniques on how to memorize and recite material that is covered in class. This strategy is very efficient because it enables me to understand their individual learning styles and consequently develop a strategy to relay information in the classroom environment. On the other hand, disciplinary technique focuses on the overall conduct of students. It intends to offer the threshold of appropriate behavior among students, both within and without the confines of the school.
It is my earnest belief that education plays an important role in empowering people towards realizing their full potential in the areas that they set to indulge. Besides offering the intellectual nourishment, education develops a moral regime that guides human behavior and reaction to different situations that may arise during their interaction with others in social contexts. The moral faculty of human behavior is nourished through education because learners get an opportunity to understand what is expected of them in society. The current development and emergence of dynamic educational trends is refreshing because it impacts on the quality and deliverability of material within the context of institutions of learning.
Due to technological developments, there is availability of superior facilities that enable students to engage in activities that complement their desire for learning and broadening the scope of delivery in institutions of learning. Despite the availability of quality facilities, there are numerous challenges that affect the delivery of education. An example of such is the increasing use of the internet. Although the internet is a useful source of information for students, it also exposes students to the effects of negative things that distract them from the pursuit of education. Another effect of technological innovation is the social media phenomenon.
Although social media is vital in developing and fostering social and communication skills, it further exposes students to untoward patterns of behavior (McPherson, 2008). Such components of online learning are multifaceted because they portend both positive and negative implications in regard to education in modern society. In this particular instance, it affects education by disconnecting the teacher and the learner. The need to accelerate the rate of discovery has led to efforts by innovators to ensure that they satisfy the current disparity in regard to innovation and the existent knowledge. However, it is important that the innovations are regulated to ensure that people do not lose track of other important aspects of their existence in society.
My idealist approach to teaching validates my assertion that teaching is a vocation that is dependent on whether a person is dedicated and devoted to offering the best to the learners. In my teaching practice I would precisely like to use technique theories that I mentioned in the previous section which their roots originate from the professional knowledge. For instance one-to-one theory will normally be applicable mostly during lecture hours whereby it will assist both the teacher and student in delivering and understanding the concepts respectively.
Both approaches shall accentuate my professionalism and ultimately offer an opportunity to understand my students and the recurrent needs that come with my job. It is important to contextualize the rationale for punishment especially by considering the biblical view that “when you spare the rod you eventually spoil the child”. Teachers should focus on counseling as a method of correcting students whenever the make mistakes either at school or at home.
The real intention for teachers is to mould the character of learners to enable them have the ability to make vital decisions in life and ultimately lead moral lives that inspire others around them. Education is a strong tool that can be used to eradicate the cycle of poverty in modern society. As widely argued, ‘knowledge is power’ and I strongly affirm to that slogan. The teaching profession offers me an opportunity to continually engage in the pursuit of knowledge in diverse areas of engagement. Continuous study and education is important because it sharpens the ability for an individual to understand whatever that goes around them.
The relationship between teachers and students must be cordial and mutually engineered because they spend a lot of time together. By understanding each other, instructors and learners forge towards developing a favorable environment for relaying and incorporating ideas and knowledge. Through instruction and guidance, learners are able to get information from teachers and ultimately use the information to guide their thoughts into building a good character (Iiyoshi, M. S. Vijay Kumar, 2007).
Both the teacher and the learner must bear the capacity to reflect and act on their role towards each other. This enables them to engage in activities that ameliorate their performance in specific fields of interest to their positions in society. The respect and honor towards teachers must be the sole goal of learners at all times. They should reflect the religious doctrine that requires children to respect and honor their parents as this puts them at peace with God.
As earlier mentioned, teaching is a noble profession that requires dedication and a high level of devotion (Cohan, Andrea Honigsfeld, 2011).teachers are expected to guide their learners in regard to the right ways of doing things in a rapidly changing society. Although students are prone to mischief, teachers must have the patience to correct them and offer guidance to the path of righteousness as illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. The scriptures allude to the understanding and caring nature of the father, regardless of the devious behavior of the son. This should motivate teachers to accept errant learners and advise them on the need to ensure the perpetual propagation of good behavior patterns.
This research paper highlights the integral role that is played by education as an avenue for innovation and progress in modern society. Education has supported numerous discoveries and innovation in areas such as healthcare and technology. The most important aspect of modern education is that it enables people to understand philosophical paradigms such as idealism, realism and Neo-Scholasticism. These paradigms are very important in regard to fostering morality and good behavior in the world. Through education, students get to differentiate reality from ideality thereby honing their desire to succeed in different areas of engagement in society. Indeed, education plays a critical role in enhancing progress and development in modern society.
Cohan, A., & Honigsfeld, A. (2011). Breaking the mold of preservice and in-service teacher edu cation: Innovative and successful practices for the 21st century. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
Flanagan, F. M. (2006). The greatest educators ever. London: Continuum.
Iiyoshi, T., & Kumar, M. S. V. (2007). Opening Up education: The collective advancement of education through open technology, open content, and open knowledge. Cambridge, Mass: MIT.
Kennedy, G., & Australian Learning & Teaching Council. (2009). Educating the Net generation: A handbook of findings for practice and policy. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
McPherson, T. (2008). Digital youth, innovation, and the unexpected. Cambridge, Mass: MIT.