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Kyle Letot
October 20, 2014
My Philosophy of Education
Education has always been a necessity for every student in the United States. The idea of
education is to further ones knowledge in order to gain more opportunities for future careers or
jobs. However, the idea of education has begun to change since it was revolutionized so many
years ago. People believe that to have education means schooling when a person attends an
institution of knowledge. Education is now a drudgery, which it should never be. Unfortunately,
many students are finding it harder to attend school, dropping out, or skipping a higher level of
education all together. This shouldnt be the case anymore. In my perspective, I believe that the
purpose of education is to open the door for a better future for oneself if they would claim that
opportunity. Education is to help develop the abilities to be creative, be curious, expand
horizons, be interactive in life, and find new possibilities for yourself.
John Dewey had mentioned in Democracy and Education that an education of some sort
is vital in the socializing aspect. It is better if we are active in our participation and construction
of our development through education. Rather than just telling a class what to do, I plan to
actively have them give their own interpretation and ideas to a subject. Students should have
their own ideas heard rather than just listening to what I tell them as an idea. As Dewey wrote,
To have an idea of a thing is thus not to get certain sensations from it. It is to be able to respond
to the thing (p.30). A student should have a say in how they learn. By letting them reply with
what they are thinking, students can have an active participation in their education. This will
broaden their own perspective and give them a progressive outlook for the future.

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Education has purpose in preparations for the future. As a young child, reading and
writing become our foundations as we begin to learn. At this stage it is critical to let children find
their creativity, be curious, and begin the expansion of their knowledge base. It is said that young
minds are more easily molded than those of adults, so future educators must take care in how
they approach the students with their skills in teaching. I was a child when my most changing
years in educational development occurred. A particular teacher, Mrs.B, taught my fifth grade
education. Only a few other times have I experienced teachers like her in the learning field and it
is disappointing. This particular educator took great strides in her students educations to make
them want to know more about their lives and future. Her class gave me a life-changing
experience in what I wanted to do. My two worst grades were in English and Science, and now I
plan on teaching English and Earth/Space Science to future generations of students alike. I was
pushed by her and a few others to pursue the subjects I loved even though they were tough at
first. Students need that type of preparation, or they wont try to expand their horizons.
Adrienne Rich wrote an article called Claiming an Education. This particular reading
wrote an important stance of education, you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an
education; you will do better to think of yourselves as being here to claim one. (Rich). Your
education depends on you; therefore a person cannot just stand by and think that they will just
soak in what they learn. They must be active participants in their education. So many times I
hear regrets from former students wishing they had studied more and done this and that. That
regret is coming from future teachers! These particular students didnt claim their education.
Already they will have to work twice as hard to make up for what they missed out on, by not
pushing themselves, students will see that they wont be as adequately prepared for teaching.
Rich states near the end of her article that, the contract on the students part involves that you

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demand to be taken seriously so that you can also go on taking yourself seriously. This means
seeking out criticism (Rich). One must push students even if it means finding out criticism
about you and them. Risks will need to be taken, and trial and error will occur. Education is not a
perfect route, but it is the most necessary route a person needs. It develops who we are and our
future. This is the best time to make mistakes, that way we can learn and work harder next time.
With education, the future will hold endless possibilities with students wanting to claim that
opportunity.
Part Two
Learning has always been an experience in education to promote knowledge. Whether it
is learning in school, learning from mistakes, or learning from parents, learning shapes the lives
of everyone. School is commonly known as the place of learning in most areas of the country,
in order to make that true, teachers need to facilitate learning to meet the demands of students in
a high quality setting. Often there will be students that may try to rebuke learning, but a practical
teacher will use different methods to engage even the most unwilling of students. Learning
occurs in a positive setting with multiple engaging factors as well as hands on experience so that
students are willing to participate in expanding their knowledge base. My goal is to have students
learn because they want to, and not just because they are made to do so. Learning is a necessity,
but it should be a want as well. It is important that the first step be proper curriculum content.
Each class is designated with a specific purpose/subject. Within this period, students
should be able to get the most out of what they learn by having the right content presented. If a
class is about Government, then the government of our country should be taught as one of the
prime examples, so students will be able to comprehend the basics. If a class teaches A.P.
Chemistry, it is expected to be about properties of matter in different chemical or covalent bonds

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in the Universe in a more advanced setting for students who want the challenge. If the class fails
to have a curriculum that is designed to encompass the subject as well as the common core
standards, then learning will not be achieved the right way or at all. John Dewey states in
Democracy and Education that, In short, the grounds for assigning to play and active work a
definite place in curriculum are intellectual and social, not matters of temporary expediency and
momentary agreeableness(195). The purpose of a curriculum is to promote social and
intellectual awareness in learning a particular subject as Dewey has stated. If shortcuts are taken
to try to speed up the instruction of the lessons or make it easy to a fault, the learning process
suffers. It is not easy when it comes to learning, but once it is understood it becomes invaluable.
Another important factor in learning is instruction. Teachers must be able to instruct their
class on the lesson that is being presented. Since there are a multitude of students with needs for
different learning styles, the teacher must be able to accommodate. For example, in teaching
Meteorology to students: visual, audio, and physical learning must be incorporated in the
instruction. A teacher can use students as molecules to represent the different stages of matter for
physical participation, students make their own posters to show the water cycle as visual
stimulation, and a video clip about severe weather provides as audio learning. There are a
multitude of examples and techniques that can be had and if the teacher includes these methods
of instruction into the lesson, more students will be more interested and willing to participate in
class and in learning the material. Dewey says, Interest, concern, mean that self and world are
engaged with each other in a developing situation (126). If the student has no interest in what is
being taught, they will not learn. That is why by instructing with multiple techniques in mind
will give more chances to students to learn and like it as well as the students become more
involved in the lesson itself.

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David Hansen wrote about learning in how, that students as intentional agents in their
own learning are not considered relevant to the improvement of teaching, that instead the
objective is to develop conceptions of teaching that can improve the achievement of any student,
regardless of experience, interest, or community (108). He continues on saying it is a noble
cause but then the intentions of students may not be heard. In teaching, by letting students be
intentional agents in learning they will become more willing to learn in environments that have
learning as being a difficult process, such as Honors classes or even regular classes in certain
circumstances. The learning process is different for everyone, and I know that the girl who sits
behind me in my literature class, most likely does not learn the same way as I do. Therefore, a
teacher must incorporate different styles of teaching to fit the different kinds of learners. The
learning process must accommodate everyone who wants to be involved and by doing so, more
students will become willing to learn and possibly create better techniques for their own learning
process to better their education.
Part Three
The focus of education is aimed towards what is necessary for students to learn as they
contribute to society or focus on as their purpose in life. Education is supposed to provide those
building blocks of knowledge for each and every person in some type of school establishment.
The original basic four subjects should be taught; English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science,
and Social Studies as they make up the majority of the knowledge base for everything we know.
Many students do not understand that each of those subjects is used on a daily basis whether we
are conscious of their use or not. My perspective is that all students should be taught the four
subjects, what they are interested in, and life skills.

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The original core subjects have been taught for many decades and applied in other areas
of study. The values of these subjects are being lost as many students are having anxieties
pertaining to one or more of the subjects. Nowadays, many students are trying to extract
themselves from taking some of those courses or changing career paths to avoid a subject they
dislike. As teachers, we should teach the students to be more open to challenges but also to
understand that everyone struggles in something, in earlier education. John Dewey stated in his
book Democracy and Education that, Mind is capacity to refer present conditions to future
results, and future consequences to present conditions (p.103). This means that what occurs in
the present affects the future outcome. If a teacher teaches a subject, but is harsh and critical to a
student about it, the student will develop negative feelings toward learning it in future situations.
Each of the core subjects correlates directly towards one another, and by not being properly
taught one of those subjects, a student misses out on important information that is viable for
future references. The gateway of the four core subjects is that they lead to future interests and
possible careers. Dewey writes, The aim set up must be an outgrowth of existing conditions
(p.104). Therefore it is important that students are taking early interest to expand as well as being
taught in a caring environment that will determine the path overtime.
Once the core subjects have been encountered, students are able to begin the process of
learning what they are interested in and applying the knowledge to future careers. In secondary
education, students are able to create their own schedules and take the classes that are needed but
also what they like. It is true that there a number of years required by the state that tells students
how many years they are to take certain subjects, but it is the specific subjects in each core that
make up the learning. A student may be required to take three years of English, but they opt for
three honors classes or two one year classes and a creative writing and film as literature class to

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fulfill those requirements. The aforementioned is just two options of the countless possibilities
being offered at a specific school, but it is the idea that depending on skills and interests, students
can create their own path to lead to their future. In Multiplication is for White People Raising
the Expectations for Other Peoples Children by Lisa Delpit, Delpit uses the example of Shinichi
Suzuki, assumed that all children has the capacity to learn to play the violinAny child who
is properly trained can develop musical ability potential of every child is unlimited (p.152).
Delpit is saying that human ability is an example to how much effort is put into work and the
potential. If a student finds they like reading about combat (for example), they will read and
expand upon wars in history to further their knowledge and begin their career path. The interest
level will dictate workmanship, but expand their knowledge as well. It is important to note
though that not only is learning what you are interested in crucial, but life skills are as well.
Many schools do not teach the necessary life skills that have important function in
todays society. Balancing a checkbook, getting a loan, buying a house, or preparing for job
interviews are just a few of the life skills that needs to be taught. These are everyday processes in
the U.S. that needs to be exposed to students. Schools should have lessons/classes to help
everyone for the future. The common core subjects are the perfect start, specific subjects are
necessary in obtaining higher levels of education, and life skills are needed to function in todays
society. What is taught in schools today defines the outcome for most students, so if the
instruction is expanded, students will obtain more out of their education. The lessons taught will
be the key to society and its future.

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Works Cited
Delpit, Lisa. 2012. Multiplication is for White People Raising the Expectations for Other
Peoples Children. New York: The New Press.
Dewey, John. 1916. Democracy and Education. New York: The Free Press.
Fenstermacher, Gary D. Rediscovering the Student in Democracy and Education, John Dewey
and Our Educational Prospect: A Critical Engagement with Deweys Democracy and
Education. New York: State University of New York Press.
Rich, Adrienne. (1979). Claiming an Education, On Lies, Secrets and Silence. New York:
W.W. Norton.