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Personal Educational Philosophy

What's my philosophy?

Establishing a personal educational philosophy is no easy task. There are so many philosophies to examine, and each of them has redeeming qualities. Of course, each of them has negative qualities as well. I think that choosing just one philosophy to follow is the wrong course of action for me. To be truly effective in the classroom, I need to come up with my own philosophy based on the best qualities from each.

From Ideology, I’ll take the premise that the “teaching–learning process should assist students to realize fully the potentialities inherent in their human nature” (Gutek, 2009, p. 30). I believe all my students have great potential, and I see it as my job to help them tap into the potential they try so hard to hide. Many of the students I work with have horrible support systems with nobody to encourage them to do their best. Through encouraging them to succeed, I can help them realize their inner potential.

From Realism, I’ll take the belief that “education should provide the experience, training, and practice that will cultivate our potentiality...” (Gutek, 2009, p. 58). Cultivating and developing potential is what I’m all about in the classroom. Given that there are no state mandated standards for the subjects I teach, I’ve had to develop my own set of standards. To determine if my students are progressing and learning skills that are important for their future, I am able to let them practice what they learn so they can gain experience from the training I provide.

Pragmatism tells me that, “intelligence, the ability to define and solve problems, is acquired through the experience of persisting and working through problem-solving situations” (Gutek, 2009, p. 85). In order to provide my students with problem-solving situations, I need to stay current on the breakthroughs in technology. Technology is ever changing; therefore, the curriculum in my classroom has to be ever changing as well.

Existentialism is a philosophy that’s near and dear to my heart. What I like most about Existentialism is that it opposes the use of philosophy to answer life’s hardest questions. Rather than relying on previously expressed philosophies to solve problems, existentialism encourages students to find the answer that’s right for them. From Existentialism I’ll also take the belief that impersonalization in education is not good for anyone involved. I want to work at allowing my students to develop as themselves while they learn important skills that will help them move forward in life.

Creating a personal philosophy for education is challenging. With so many different philosophies, that all have a variety of beliefs and a method to choose from, it’s difficult to know which one is the most effective choice. For me, a combination of philosophies is the best course of action to help me become a more effective teacher.


Gutek, G. (2009). New Perspectives on Philosophy and Education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.