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Running Head: Philosophy of Education


Jennifer Mendoza
LBS 400-Senior Seminar
02/16/15
Philosophy of Education
Purpose of Education
Education is essential in preparing children for eventual adulthood. Children need to develop
foundational skills like critical thinking that are required in order to be successful in pursuing
their goals in life. According to Martin Luther King Jr. (1947), one of the purposes of education
includes not only enabling people to become critical thinkers but also instilling in them morality.
Education should prepare children so that they can become contributing members of society. In
doing so, they can bring about change so that the world can be a better place to live. The world is
constantly evolving and the future promises many innovative changes as well as challenges. For
this reason among many others, children need to be educated so that in adulthood they can be
active problem solvers.
Learning Environment
Establishing an ideal classroom environment is critical since it allows students to not only learn
with greater facility but also understand that their opinion is valuable. If children know from the
onset that their opinion is valued and respected, they will be more likely to participate in
discussions rather than just being an observer. This can also aid their self-esteem and self- image,
which can aid learning. While observing a classroom, I watched how a child was embarrassed
when the teacher stated that the answer was incorrect and other children starting laughing. This
child might be more hesitant in the future to contribute an answer. This type of learning
environment is not ideal because students should not fear being wrong or being made fun of.
Timothy Clapper (2010) mentions negative learning environments can affect the way children or
adults approach learning. These experiences like anything else are not forgotten and can have a

Running Head: Philosophy of Education


lasting effect that affects their future. This shows that children learn best when they are
empowered to share their view points with others and ask questions without the fear of being
criticized.
Commitment to Social Justice
Social justice is very important because children come from many types of cultures,
socioeconomic background, etc. and should be provided with the best learning experience.
Teachers need to learn about where their students come from so that they can better understand
them and better meet their needs. While I conducted an observation in a classroom, the teacher
shared that he sometimes stayed after school to work specifically with students that he knew did
not have help at home. He seemed to know his students very well and I think it is great that he
makes the effort to meet the needs of his students. It is also important for teachers to be aware of
the prejudices that they may have so that they can address them. In doing so, they will be able to
learn from their misconceptions and be fair to all their students. Young Lee stated that in order to
prepare teachers to teach for social justice then their educators need to know how much they
understand it. These teacher educators also need to know how social justice is present in their
experiences in the past and presently. With the increasing diversity in classrooms, teachers need
to be prepared to work with students and have the knowledge necessary to help them succeed.
Curriculum
There are many subject areas that need to be covered and a limited time to cover them. A teacher
that I observed once shared that she tries to focus on what her students need to know upon
leaving her classroom for she cannot cover everything. I think this is a good strategy because you
want students to acquire the necessary information in order to be successful and prepared in the
next grade level. The first CSUDH Teacher performance Expectation states that teachers have to
follow the standards which also include the Common Core. The standards clearly define the
material that students from each grade level need to be taught. Therefore, it is critical that

Running Head: Philosophy of Education


students are exposed to the material and have ample opportunities to learn it. Lessons should be
planned so that they are engaging to students and relevant to their life. Jean Piagets viewpoint
was that new learning should be connected to their life experiences. If students know why they
are learning the material, they will be more likely to want to learn it. I have come to realize how
the subject areas are all interconnected and how they can be applied in many lessons. The subject
area that I think should be integrated into the lessons is physical education for I have come to
realize how vital it is for students to engage in it throughout the day. There are texts that suggest
taking a break between lessons and spending five minutes playing a game that fosters physical
movement. Regardless of what subject is taught it should be fun for students and give them
opportunities to converse. I particularly like the idea of having students work in pairs in order to
encourage discussion.
Teacher
Effective teachers
Effective teachers are those who are approachable and who students can trust. If students trust
teachers, they will be comfortable in asking questions without fear of being judged. When
students can communicate with the teacher they are better able to learn the material. The
personality of the teacher can grab students attention and can engage them. When a teacher is
passionate about the subject that they are teaching, students can see this and this will in turn
intrigue them. the teach the required standards so that students can be adequately prepared for the
next grade level. Teachers need to continue to develop professionally because changes are
always being made. There may be new teaching methods that are proven to be effective which
teachers should be aware of so that they can employ them. This is especially true in terms of
technology since students need to be computer literate. Teachers need to teach students how