After taking the Education Philosophy quiz, I was surprised to find that my prediction was incorrect—I wasn’t a pure Existentialist. However, I did tend towards Experimentalism and Existentialism. The majority of my selections fell within Postmodernism. Even though the results of this quiz are somewhat limited, it’s fun to think about the questions posed.
Knowing myself reveals my biases, strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. It’s my job to bring balance without favoring my strengths all the time. I’ll work harder to balance out my weaknesses and less developed tendencies, especially when it comes to the curriculum and classroom. It’s important to remember that my philosophies frame my essential questions and slant the information I present and sources I choose.
Who I am, my beliefs, values, style, and preferences color my view of the world, students, and classroom. It’s my responsibility to see my filters for what they are, and recognize that students, parents, and teachers may be challenged by, in agreement with, or polar opposite from me. By presenting multiple sides to situation—information presented as possibilities and not fact with one truth but a variety of perspectives—is critical. I’m curious to see what my students’ educational philosophies are from a learning perspective—and that of my cooperating teacher. All of these factors impact my learning, collaboration and teaching.
Grant and Gillette discuss Existentialism and Postmodernism on the following sections pulled from their more extensive chart.
According to Grant and Gillette, “Experimentalism is the belief that the primary purpose of schools is to teach students to think effectively” (analyze, criticize, select between alternatives, and propose solutions based on analysis and selection). This could dictate my choice of assignments and projects dominated by thought and thought patterns. “ Existentialism is a philosophy that seeks to understand what it is like to be an individual living in the world...able to deal with human existence.” Instruction steeped in Existential philosophy could ask students to use their “freedom of choice, contemplate responsibility, and to live meaningful and authentic lives.” Postmodernism includes “truth, language, and thought within reason, science, technology, human nature, and self.” Teachers with a Postmodern slant could potentially discuss power and oppression, creativity, aesthetics, knowledge, and power.
Carrying out my philosophy in the classroom would ideally follow a democratic position offering students different perspectives on an issue and encouraging them to seek different points of view.
Grant, C.A. & Gillette, M. (2006). Pursuing An Educational Philosophy, Learning to Teach Everyone's Children: Equity, empowerment and education that is multicultural, NY: Cengage, 299-339.