Before beginning any paper on a philosophy of education, it is important to define the terms used so that both the author and the reader are “on the same page.” Webster’s New World Dictionary, in the third definition, defines philosophy as “the general principles or laws of a field of knowledge” (p. 1015). Education is likewise defined in the first definition as “the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind, character, etc., esp. by formal schooling” (p. 432). Hence, a philosophy of education would be elaboration and discussion of the general principles of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of a person or people.
With the term philosophy of education defined, I can state that the
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Educators who practice progressive concepts would be those who possess excellent ego strength, and would tend to fall into the “low control” area of classroom management, as much of the instruction and learning is student directed. In such a scenario, the educator serves as a facilitator, aiding and guiding students in the learning experience. Such an educator would not rely upon lecture as a primary method of instruction, but would rather use a variety of instructional methods to include, but not limited to cooperative learning, small and large group, individual self-paced learning, utilization of graphic organizers to aid in development of organizational and higher learning skills, as well as plenty of hands on activities where learning encompasses as many senses as is possible.
As much as I find a natural alignment to progressivism as an educational philosophy, I would modify and add to the overall philosophy to strengthen it and expand its scope of just dealing with each individual student. I would strengthen the basic premises of progressivism by the incorporation of brain-based learning.
Such an educational philosophy, by virtue of its nature, allows the educator to take advantage of the latest research into brain-based learning. Brain based learning research can be distilled into approximately nine core principles (MOEC, 2004; Funderstanding,