Design Your Educational Philosophy

Your Philosophical Outlook on Education

Elementary School Teacher Calling on a Student
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While studying to be teachers, we are often asked to write out our personal educational philosophies. This document, which can be challenging to create, serves an important role in the lives of many educators, and in fact, can be a tool to help you not only craft your teachings, but also help you find a job and further your career.

Your educational philosophy statement should be a document that serves to guide and inspire you throughout your teaching career and beyond. In fact, many administrators also have educational philosophy statements. This type of document captures the positive aspirations of your career and should act as a centerpiece around which all of your decisions rotate.

When writing your educational philosophy statement, consider the following questions:

  1. What do you see is the grander purpose of education in a society and community?
  2. What, specifically, is the role of the teacher in the classroom?
  3. How do you believe students learn best?
  4. In general, what are your goals for your students?
  5. What qualities do you believe an effective teacher should have?
  6. Do you believe that all students can learn?
  7. What do teachers owe their students?
  8. What is your overall goal as a teacher?

Your educational philosophy can guide your discussions in job interviews, be placed in a teaching portfolio and even be communicated to students and their parents. It is one of the most essential documents that you will have because it conveys your most personal thoughts and beliefs on education. Many schools use these statements to find teachers and administrators whose approach to education aligns with the school's mission and philosophies.

Many teachers find it hard to write their philosophy statement because they must find a way to convey all of their thoughts into one brief statement. It's important to make note of all the things you want to say, and from there, determine which thoughts are most crucial to your own processes. Don't craft a statement that you think the school wants to read; craft an educational philosophy statement that represents who you are as an educator. Schools want you to be genuine in your approach.

Sample Educational Philosophy Statement

A full philosophy statement should include an introductory paragraph, along with at least four additional paragraphs; it is essentially a basic essay. The introductory paragraph states the author's point of view, while the other paragraphs discuss the kind of classroom the author would like to provide, the teaching style they would like to use, how the author will facilitate learning so that students are engaged, as well as their overall goal as a teacher.

What follows is a section that was taken from a full statement to illustrate what one might include within the body of their statement:

"I believe that a teacher is morally obligated to enter the classroom with only the highest of expectations for each and every one of her students. Thus, the teacher maximizes the positive benefits that naturally come along with any self-fulfilling prophecy; with dedication, perseverance, and hard work, her students will rise to the occasion.

I aim to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and high expectations to the classroom each day. I believe that I owe it to my students, as well as the community, to bring consistency, diligence, and warmth to my job in the hope that I can ultimately inspire and encourage such traits in the children as well."

The Evolution of Your Educational Philosophy Statement

It is important to note that throughout your career you may actually change this statement. Updating your educational philosophy is important to ensure that it will always reflect your current opinion on education. It can be a tool that you use to stay focused on your goals, keep you moving forward, and ensure that you stay true to who you are as an educator.