- Each team member will interview an educator about his/her philosophy of education. We will then compare the findings from each interview and determine common and differing trends, ideas, and philosophies. Discuss how these findings can be used to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.
- Where do you see education headed in the future?
- I think education is heading down a slippery slope. Federal dollars and teacher evaluations are being tied to the performance of developing brains. Kids learn at different paces and in different ways; trying to make them meet “one size fits all” criteria is going to minimize the diversity that makes our country so unique. Taking away valuable classroom teaching time and adding the stress and anxiety of so much standardized testing does not prepare them for the “real world” or give them “real world experience.” The possibilities for “what ifs” is scary on both sides of the argument – states and the gov. could take away important and necessary programs such as IDEA (special ed) or they could flood areas with money, and they could do so with little regulation to ensure everyone has an equal right and opportunity to an education. On top of that – the stress induced by all the politics is hurting education. People don’t want to teach anymore and college enrollment supports that theory. In the short-term; we will suffer a large teacher shortage. In the long term….not sure but it’s worrisome. – Holly’s interview
- “I hope we move away from standardized tests. it’s so hard on students and teachers. I hope we become more discovery based. in reality, education is ebbing and flowing constantly. it depends on a lot of things, and even buildings in the same district can function differently. what my kids need is more Hispanic leaders to look up to, so i hope we are moving towards diversifying higher education.” – Abbie’s interview
- The future of education seems to be craving more technological based learning. Currently there’s a huge push to integrate technology into the classroom. Looking at this as an educator and a mother of students attending secondary school. I see the need to educate and familiarize students with basic computer and software skills. That is one “specials” class I feel that we are missing. – Kasey’s interview
- That is a very open-ended question! However, I’d like to see Education headed more towards real world application and away from standardized testing. Blended and online learning are already very much present in schools, but seems like it could be greatly improved. I think schools will continue to move towards project based learning on real-world problems where students can apply learned concepts. Collaboration is being made easier with modern furniture that is easily moved and grouped, and collaboration areas in schools to make it easier for kids to work together. I definitely see more options for kids as technology opens up more doors! I am seeing high schools starting to partner with local businesses to have high school kids start working on real-world projects! – Matt’s interview
- How have your own life experiences shaped your current philosophy regarding education?
- I believe education is the foundation of our future. I believe all kids learn and they learn differently. I believe they need to the tools to thrive and become the best individuals they can be. My personal beliefs were initially shaped through my experiences working with kids in athletics and volunteering in the classrooms, and by teaching/coaching swimming for special populations of all ages. Through the years I’ve been challenged and I still believe this but a great deal of what kids learn is retained when they are available to the information. We have a window of 6 to 7 hours a day to flood them with information and experience and practice and exploring…and that’s it. They need to be available to the information if it is to be meaningful to them. Most of my beliefs are based in my experiences with my own kids and their peer groups. Seeing these kids develop from kindergarten to high school has shown how important parent participation is and how important motivation and guidance are. All kids can learn – but usually they learn differently. – Holly’s interview
- “I always thought that I would be more authoritative as a teacher, that’s laughable now. i spent time in a preschool classroom, and that taught me to love unconditionally. i also worked with a teacher during student teaching who i disagreed with. He would escalate situations. if he gave a kid directions, he would hover over the child until it was done. our kids don’t take well to that. i have learned to give directions, and then walk away. it gives them a choice to comply. my mother is also extremely loving, so she taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.” – Abbie’s interview
- The current trend is to push more content into each school year, verses building a solid foundational platform, especially in the elementary school years. I see that trend in all subjects I teach. Science and SS classes should focus on broad ideas and concepts rather than details that are quickly forgotten. Math contains a plethora of concepts for each school year. Students would be better served by mastering fundamental concepts and mechanical skills prior to being overwhelmed by the multitude of concepts and ideas they’re presented with. – Kasey’s interview
- Both my parents were educators, and that certainly played a huge part in me getting the idea that I’d like to go in to education. Growing up, I was fairly successful in school with academics and extra-curricular activities, and it was a place that I felt confident. Those were two factors that made me consider just continuing in the same setting that I was accustomed to. As I look back on the teachers that were most influential in my life, they were not always the best necessarily at teaching their subject. They were teachers who connected and cared about me. This is why my philosophy is that kids cannot connect with the content, unless they connect with the teacher. My first goal is that my room is a place where kids feel safe, valued, and loved. What you teach can be relevant, and you can be rigorous in your expectations, but without relationships with the students that can only go so far. So in summary, I guess my life experiences of having school being a place where I felt successful, and seeing my own parents enjoy their careers in education drove my interest to also be a part of that world. And my own life experiences of teachers and coaches who made a real impact on my life by caring about me has helped shape my attitude of making that the most important part of my classroom. – Matt’s interview
Common Trends, Ideas, Philosophies
- Move away from standardized tests
- Technology based learning
- Real world applications
- Parents helped shape their current philosophy towards education
Differing Trends, Ideas, Philosophies
- technological classes for students
- improving technology for students
Students learning at different pace is a trend that all teachers are noticing. Many schools get support for kids who learn at a slower pace, and we believe learning tools provided to the schools for these children would help in education. On the other hand, for the students who are working above and beyond their peers, we feel it would be fair to them to have an accelerated program for their education also. More funds for technology would help in both instances. Technology based learning will help the students who need more time by allowing them to take work as long as needed to understand a subject and not feel embarrassed if they can’t comprehend a topic as quickly as the other students. The students who are more advanced will also benefit from technology based learning. If they finish with a class assignment early, they can work on different learning based activities to keep their minds engaged.