Educational Philosophy Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1888 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching


Knowledge, Diversity and the Role of the Teacher

The focus of the discussion hereafter is on the need for teachers to address the individual learning needs of students. Both in line with the findings promoted by the study of knowledge and evolving needs concerning that which is defined as diversity, the thesis of our discussion is that learning is a highly individualized process, with responsibility to this process invested in our teachers.

The standard approach to education is often taken for granted. That is, traditional curricular values and approaches to learning are generally streamlined in the United States. The use of standardized testing, grading systems and text-based learning approaches imposes a monolithic strategy on a subject that is actually profoundly complex and nuanced. This informs my own view of education as something which must encourage learning over ranking; which must facilitate individual needs rather than impose collective standards; and which must promote a sense of personal enthusiasm rather than a fear of negative assessment. This informs the general discussion held hereafter, which promotes learning as a highly individualized process, with responsibility to this process invested in our teachers.

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TOPIC: Term Paper on Educational Philosophy Assignment

I have long held the view that education should be driven by the very same pursuits which drive us in all of life's important pursuits. Most particularly, as we move out into the world in search of knowledge, it should be with the respect and understanding of the vast spectrum of perspectives which create this somewhat hazily defined body called knowledge. Indeed, knowledge is a collective of the information, intuition, instinct and ingenuity of humankind, and therefore takes on more forms than can possibly be imagined in the space of this discussion. This very phenomenon is addressed by the discipline called epistemology. According to Steup (2005), this refers to the ongoing practical and philosophical investigation of what is meant by knowledge. Accordingly, Steup tells that "there are various kinds of knowledge: knowing how to do something (for example, how to ride a bicycle), knowing someone in person, and knowing a place or a city." (Steup, 1)

This is an important point of consideration in my view, and one which allows us to approach with objectivity the incredible infinitude of human innovation and ability. A failure to respect the differentiation inherent to knowledge is tantamount to a failure to demonstrate tolerance for the ideas and insights of others and, consequently, a failure to nurture the potentially unique talents distinct to each individual. This is also a point which proceeds well into our appreciation for the discipline of metaphysics, which renders the already compelling discourse on epistemology as a deeply complex inquiry on the values which allow the claim of knowledge. To Aristotle, the text by Haselhurst (1997) points out, knowledge is often based on the assumption of certain principles by which validity is established. These can have the impact either of broadening or harnessing that which can be characterized as knowledge. Accordingly, Aristotle would indicate that "it is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. But now, since it is this knowledge that we are seeking, we must consider the following point: of what kind of principles and of what kind of causes is wisdom the knowledge?" (Haselhurst, 1)

An interesting aspect of this discussion, from my personal view is that the values assigned to certain degrees of knowledge may be asserted through any number of institutional or individualized sources. Among them, sociological, spiritual and philosophical imperatives may all shape these values differently, offering an extremely challenging aspect to understanding knowledge. And as axiology brings into further focus the implications of 'values' as these relate to such knowledge disciplines as politics and ethics, it becomes clear that there is much discussion which may be had on the subject of individualized bodies of knowledge. This contributes directly to my personal view on the world, which for the purposes of our discussion on knowledge may be roughly conceptualized as the forum within which human beings interact. Such is to say that the infinite permutations created by human interaction should impose a powerful set of considerations on us in our further attempts to understand that which defines the collective body of human knowledge.

Philosophy of Schools and Learning:

The understanding that knowledge is to be understood on such a diffuse set of terms contributes directly to how education should be perceived and approached. Namely, it might be denoted that a curricular approach which is more liberalized for the instructor is likely to create an environment and to establish practices which approach education with the flexibility to keep cultural diversity in mind. The text provides us with a basic understanding of some of the primary obstacles that teacher's face today, citing a climate that is not designed to encourage the inclusiveness of immigrant students and an inversely increased diversity of languages represented within the culture. Accordingly, the primary interest of this discussion is to endorse an adaptation of professional standards encouraging teachers to engage "instructional practice from the perspective of the culturally and linguistically diverse learner." (Chang et al., xi) as the discussion proceeds, subsequent sections are intended to reiterate this view that cultural, linguistic and learning style differences are inherent and must therefore be inherently nurtured in education.

Educational Process:

To my perspective, the educator who meets high competency standards in educational processes is one who is armed with the resources and knowledge to overcome impediments to learning. Philosophically speaking, it might be appropriate to suggest that rigidity is a wrong-headed approach to the nuanced task of implementing curriculum. As this effects curricular content and approach, the Tompkins (2007) text provides us with a number of specific suggestions which may applied to meet the dual challenges of meeting a collective of needs while allowing individual strengths to emerge through normal classroom activities. Once concept that the authors refer to which seems relevant to the question posed above is that of theme cycles. Given that the Tompkins text focuses largely on the discipline of literature in order to express its findings regarding the educational process, this is a strategy which applies specifically to that all encompassing subject of literacy in early education. Here, the authors suggest the development of a concept framework in which literacy education is reflected in a wide array of subject disciplines and where the reverse is also true. Namely, literature lessons should be expected to cycle through a cardinal set of subjects relating to the social sciences, to history and to current events, as well as to traditional or classic literary content. This diversity of content, the Tompkins text suggests, will allow for a diversity of individual interests and cognitive strengths to be satisfied as well as evaluated for further engagement.

Teacher-Learner Relationships:

Contemporary education is beset by both traditional challenges of curricular and instructional theory and emergent modern issues such as political and technological pressures. Within this complex context, the teacher must pursue his or her role in a state of constant evolution. Teachers will be driven by the primary impetus of engaging the student in the learning process. Among the many steps which an educator may take to engage students actively in the learning process, perhaps it is most important for the educator to know that students respond to learning opportunities which are relevant to their individual worlds and circumstances. Particularly, this is true during this age of information, where even younger students expose themselves to so much more information in so many new contexts than in generations prior. Students have the choice now of culling information at their own pace and within a subject and context that is of direct interest to them in ways that might not have occurred to educators just over a decade ago. Specifically, teachers must know that elements of popular culture like the internet, satellite television, mobile communication devices and interactive video gaming have all changed the way that young people are exposed to information.

This is both an opportunity and an impediment to engaging students. The developing teacher will experience first hand that there is an ever more pressing need to find ways to equip students with the tools to contend with this barrage of information. There is a distinct need for the effective teacher to draw this availability of information by asking students to find ways of participating in learning activities that engage these appealing sources. As we will address further in this set of questions, the instructor may be seen as an instigative force in helping students to connect their personal world with that inside the classroom.

Slavin argues that "an outstanding teacher does nothing any other teacher cannot also do -- it is just a question of knowing the principles of effective teaching and how to apply them." (Slavin, 5) Namely, the author indicates, the teacher must see his or herself as a vessel through which information flows as well as a channel for the student's motivation to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Educational Philosophy" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Educational Philosophy.  (2010, June 17).  Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Educational Philosophy."  17 June 2010.  Web.  1 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Educational Philosophy."  June 17, 2010.  Accessed December 1, 2021.