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Philosophy of Education

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If you listen to lectures for eight hours a day, how will you feel? If you have to memorize ten different meanings of one word, how will you feel? If you have five exams to take in one week, how will you feel? Definitely, you will feel very, very disgusted. Unluckily, these are exactly what I experienced all through my 16-year school life. Victims of this kind of education are used to passive acceptance of knowledge and seldom make inquiries about this world.

Surely we need a different kind of education that can motivate students to learn, to question, and to make discoveries. In other words, this education should train students to love and be able to learn. As we all know, this is an ever-changing world, so it's impossible to learn all the knowledge out there at school. However, the ability to learn will make it possible for us to obtain any knowledge we need throughout our life. Furthermore, this ability can greatly benefit the whole human society. Without it, we wouldn't have had so many inventions and discoveries like Law of Gravitation, airplane, and internet... This ability will also push us to know more about our world. That's why I think helping students gain the ability to learn should be the purpose of education. Both progressivism and constructivism can fulfil this goal. They both "put the learner at the center of the educational stage."(Sadker & Zittleman 293) They both "build the curriculum around the experiences, interests, and abilities of students."(Sadker & Zittleman 284) We teachers only facilitate learning by encouraging students to question, research, and draw conclusions on their own. Under these philosophies, students are regarded as the most important part of education while knowledge itself is emphasized under traditional education. Since students are valued, they become motivated to learn. Under these philosophies, "mind is trained to analyze experience thoughtfully and draw conclusions objectively."(Sadker & Zittleman 283) Therefore, students learn to construct knowledge on their own.

In my classroom, I will

* Offer open-ended questions for students to discuss as a way of training them to think critically, e.g. what kind of conduct do you think is wrong?

* Engage students into as many hands-on activities as possible, e.g. instead of teaching the story of the Lost Necklace, I will divide the story into several parts and also divide students into several groups. Then assign each group to act out one part of the story. In this way, students build up their understanding of this piece of literature through active involvement.

* Provide plenty of books, magazines, computers for students to use when they do their reasearch and investigation on a certain topic.

* Design as many group activities as possible for students to participate



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