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Running Head: MY PHILOSOPHY AND BELIEFS OF CURRICULUM

My Educational Philosophy
My educational philosophy is varied. Part of my philosophy as an educator is determined
by what is considered acceptable in the current educational climate. Yet, many of my beliefs
stem from ideas that view education as more than teaching students the Three Rs, also known
as the core subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
One definition of curriculum that reflects my current teaching is the Behavioral
Approach. Integral to this approach is: using precise objectives, outcome-based education, and
standards-based education (Hunkins & Ornstein, 2013). I use this on a daily basis due to the
Common Core State Standards. These standards determine what my students need to know. I
must then determine prior knowledge to decide what students need in order to meet the
standards. Once this is decided I set objectives for the lessons and ensure the objective can be
met and assessed with a measureable outcome. With the implementation of the Common Core
State Standards, the Behavioral Approach is a practical manner in which to view curriculum.
On the other hand, I also exhibit many of the Progressive traits in my educational
philosophy. Progressivism is described as student-centered, where teaching students means
showing them how to think, not what to think (Hunkins & Ornstein, 2013, p. 131). Moreover,
one would focus on critical thinking rather than focusing on a certain body of knowledge
(Gordon & Oliva, 2013). The teacher is the leader of group activities and seen as a guide rather
than the authority of a subject (Gordon & Oliva, 2013, p. 140). Additionally, students plan the
activities with the teacher, and the childs needs and interests are considered when planning
(Gordon & Oliva, 2013). Furthermore, teachers of this philosophy are very dedicated and caring
and they strive to actively engage their students (Hunkins & Ornstein, 2013).

Running Head: MY PHILOSOPHY AND BELIEFS OF CURRICULUM

I follow the Progressivism philosophy because as an educator I want children to be able


to know how to think. This is exhibited in my classroom through my use of Critical Literacy.
Like Adrian Blackledge, rather than seeing my student as a vessel to be filled, I attempt to
create experiences that offer students opportunities to actively construct knowledge by
interrogating social conditions, ideas on power, marginalization, and other significant issues in
students lives through dialogue (Coffey, 2008, p. 2).
I also exhibit both Progressivism and Critical Literacy practices because as a teacher I
see myself in the guide role instead of the authoritative role (Coffey, 2008). Rather than being
the know-it-all in the room, I allow children to use their curiosity to search for their knowledge. I
guide them in learning new things as well as using direct instruction. While I recognize there is
a time and place for lecturing, guiding the children can be very meaningful. Part of the guided
learning in my classroom includes the children not only working with myself, but with their
peers as well, reflecting attributes of Vygotkys Peer Learning. I have seen for myself that
cognitive growth occurs when children have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers
(Hogan & Tudge, 1999).
To further extend how I fit within Progressivism, I am also a very dedicated and caring
teacher. I strive to actively engage my students and show them how what I am teaching is
meaningful to life. Actually, much of this Progressivism philosophy is also behind the scenes in
which I exhibit my caring attitude and dedication to the children.
Consequently, I identify with John Dewey due to his Progressivist ideas. He believed
anything could be an educational experience (Gordon & Oliva, 2013). In the article entitled John
Dewey and Progressivism in American Education by Lucian Radu (2011), he explains how
Progressivism is a reaction against the traditional American school system. Radu further

Running Head: MY PHILOSOPHY AND BELIEFS OF CURRICULUM

examines Deweys educational philosophy by explaining how Dewey believed that schools
should be child-centered (Radu, 2011). It also focuses on the childs needs and explains that he
believes the students learn by doing, because, the authentication of knowledge could only be
achieved through direct experience (Radu, 2011, p. 4).
Some ways that Deweys philosophy has been incorporated in schools is by establishing
different types of projects (Radu, 2011). For example, students can do building projects which
are based on the achievement of a plan or idea, consumer projects which cultivate aesthetics
though art and literature, problem-solving projects, and exercise projects which lead to
developing ability and skills (Radu, 2011, p. 5). I utilize these styles of projects in my
instruction when it is possible and wish to do more with projects in my classroom.
Furthermore, I love the idea of Deweys philosophy where he explains that learning does
not stop after childhood, it should continue in adult life (Radu, 2011, p. 4). Learning should be
focused on every kind of learning that helps students, young and old, to grow (Gordon &
Oliva, 2013, p. 133). Learning is a lifelong journey that we are all privy to.
Now, as I complete my masters degree, I am on my third year of teaching 4th grade and
my second year as Lead Teacher of the grade level. My mentoring of new teachers is almost as
important to me as how I reach my students. Getting an education has given me opportunities
that I could not have imagined. My experiences as a student and a teacher have inspired me to
be a life-long learner and, in turn, inspire those around me. Due to this, I aspire to continue my
education. My current studies in Literacy Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
have ignited a desire to delve deeper into Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education. Obtaining
a doctoral degree will lead me to successfully achieve my scholarly pursuits of reaching the, as

Running Head: MY PHILOSOPHY AND BELIEFS OF CURRICULUM

of yet, unreached students. In my path, I foresee loving the opportunity to continue in academia,
undertaking a faculty and research position at an institution of higher learning.

Running Head: MY PHILOSOPHY AND BELIEFS OF CURRICULUM


References
Coffey, H. (2008). Critical Literacy. Retrieved from http://econowha.ie/wpcontent/uploads/2014/04/Critical-literacy-Heather-Coffey.pdf
Gordon, W. R. II, & Oliva P. F. (2013). Developing the Curriculum. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson.
Hogan, D.M., & Tudge J.R.H. (1999). Implications of Vygotskys Theory for Peer Learning.
Retrieved from http://www.uncg.edu/hdf/facultystaff/Tudge/implications.pdf
Hunkins, F. P., & Ornstein, A. C. (2013). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and
issues. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Radu, L., (2011). John Dewey and Progressivism in American Education. Bulletin of the
Transylvania University of Brasov, Series VII, 4 (53), 85-90.