8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing Your Educational Philosophy

Your Philosophical Outlook on Education

Elementary School Teacher Calling on a Student
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While going through their own education, teachers are tasked with developing personal educational philosophies. It is one of the most essential documents that you will have because it conveys your most personal thoughts and beliefs on education. This document serves an important role in the lives of many educators and can be a tool to help you not only craft your teachings but also help you find a job and further your career.

8 Questions to Consider

When writing your educational philosophy statement, you'll want to think about not just your classroom management style but also your beliefs on education. From differentiated learning and teaching styles to the role of the teacher in the classroom, consider the following questions to help you frame your philosophy:

  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. Many schools use these statements to find teachers and administrators whose approach to education aligns with the school's mission and philosophies. However, 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 an 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 the author would like to use, how the author will facilitate learning so that students are engaged, as well as the author's 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

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