An Introduction to My Educational Philosophy
Education is less about what is learned and more about who learns. As B. F. Skinner said “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten” (1964, p. 484). I believe this enduring impact of education on learners should, at its core, be a proclivity towards life-long learning with an open yet critical mind.
To achieve this end, learners must be active agents in their own learning and the learning of others. It is only by placing learners at the centre of learning that an educational system can hope to develop free, independent, life-long learners. With learners, not curriculum, at the centre, the role of the teacher shifts from that of a content-deliverer to that of a facilitator of learning, educational manager, and role model.
Education does not occur in a vacuum, hence we, as educators, must embrace families and communities as partners in the education of their children. Teachers should facilitate collaboration between schools, families, and communities so that we can best serve our students in a way that incorporates the diverse values and ways of knowing of different communities.
Of course, we do have to teach something: our curriculum. In considering curriculum, it is essential to remember that curriculum makes up far more than simply the contents of a course textbook or a list of ministry approved learning outcomes. Instead it is the total of all of a learner's learning experiences. With this broad outlook it is possible to fully examine the hidden messages and biases present in curriculum so that we may change and strive to be more inclusive and respective of diversity. Learners are a diverse group of people from diverse backgrounds, therefore we must use educational practices that are inclusive of diversity in all of its forms.
Ultimately, the goal is to create an educational system which acts in the best interests of our students so that they may grow into critically thinking, members of a diverse society.