3 Things I Learned:
The first thing I learned was that while I consider myself a conservative individual, I seem to lean towards more democratic educational philosophies such as progressivism, existentialism, and pragmatism. I believe what I believe but am open-minded. Our society is full of diversity whether that be race, religion, sexuality, or politics. Our curriculum and teaching practices should reflect that diversity; therefore, past teaching practices just don’t cut it. New teaching practices such as the flipped classroom, student-led teaching, or mixed grades and subjects are slowly on the rise. I am interested to see how these ideas are being incorporated and how they are impacting both the students and teachers.
The second thing I learned was that John Dewey preferred the term naturalism over pragmatism. I find that it actually makes more sense than the term pragmatism because the theory is that the most beneficial way to learn is through organic free-flowing experiences. Replacing pragmatism with naturalism also helps me to better understand the concept and its reasoning, which is more about the process of education rather than the outcome. In this way, the term experimentation, as used by the article, is fitting.
Another thing that I learned (and found interesting) was that a lot of the philosophies share certain concepts. Both progressive and existential, for example, share the concept of giving students more choice. While they have different approaches, their goals are mostly the same. I look forward to exploring these concepts further to hopefully see which is better and why.
2 Connections I Made:
One connection I made relates to the different parenting styles that were discussed earlier. The different types of philosophies reminded me of the different types of parenting styles and while I was reading about the different teaching philosophies, I was contemplating which one would connect best with an authoritative parenting style. One of my goals as a teacher is to be an authoritative role model to students who don’t experience that kind of parenting at home.
Another connection I made is with progressivism and my CBSL placement. Progressivism focuses on gaining new knowledge through experience rather than the passing on of old knowledge. Wascana daycare follows a “play and experience to learn” motto. The children have a lot of choice in what they will do throughout the day, and almost 100% of what they do is playing and experiencing.
1 Question I Still Have:
I wonder which philosophy I will practice once I actually become a teacher? Will I live out my goals and be pragmatic? Or will I succumb to the ways I am familiar with from my own education?