You will articulate a personal philosophy of education noting specifics of belief in the areas of worldview foundations. The philosophical foundations will include metaphysical and epistemological beliefs. Applied beliefs will include the role of the teachers, students, and curriculum in the classroom environment. Relevant issues will include discipline, diversity, curriculum development, professional development, and learning communities. As an academic paper, it is to be supported by the body of knowledge in the field, which is to include references to the literature from educational philosophy, psychology, curriculum, and learning theory.
You will need to plant these belief statements firmly in your worldviews, basic philosophical statements and in the literature. The writer then makes some of the above issues more important than others, depending on the personal philosophy espoused. The focus is that the articulation of your philosophy must be personal, logical, and well integrated. This last point includes both integration within the paper, but also integration of the various thinkers and those who have gone before. What makes this distinctively different than an undergraduate statement of an educational philosophy is the expectation of integration with literature and critical engagement with ideas. This is very important. Do not merely write a list of beliefs, but rather pull in ideas from authors and thinkers from the course and critically integrate those ideas.
The paper must be 8–10 pages (excluding title, abstract, and reference pages), use APA format, and include a minimum of six scholarly references. You will submit the paper in both LiveText and SafeAssign. There is a rubric that will be used in grading (see below).
1. Title Page
a. Title: Consider the title of your paper to be a motto or slogan reflecting your philosophy. It should be clear enough to give the reader some idea of what you believe about education. Avoid statements that sound vague or flippant.
b. Other Information on Title Page
• Student Name
• Student ID#
• Course# and Section
• Instructor’s Name
2. Abstract (100–120 words)
• Write this paragraph last but place it after the title page and before the introduction to the paper.
• This should be a synopsis of the main findings of your paper.
• Consider this an abridged version of your full philosophy statement.
• Although not labeled with a heading on your paper, this section will introduce your philosophy and provide a specific thesis statement that will be developed throughout the paper.
• It’s always best to place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. This serves as a transition into the rest of the paper, which supports the thesis statement.
HEADINGS: To ensure that your paper meets the requirements of the rubric, the following elements must be clearly identified with headings.
4. Worldview & Philosophy of Life: This is what you know and believe about the world and life. How does your Christian faith influence your beliefs? This section should flow smoothly into and be consistent with your thoughts about schools and learning. (The questions listed here are strictly to provoke thought and to help you know how to focus your writing. Do not write your paper as a list of direct answers to these questions.) What is your worldview and what is it based upon? How would you describe your view of life in general? How will your worldview influence your practice as a teacher? What is your basic philosophical belief, and how is it related to/grounded in my worldview?
• Metaphysics: What is ultimately real? What gives life purpose or meaning?
o What do you most value?
o What do you want your students to value most?
o What ethical principles will guide you?
o If appropriate to your content area, what principles of beauty do you hope to instill in your students?
5. Philosophy of Schools & Learning
• What is the purpose of learning, education, schools?
• Epistemology: How do learners come to know truth? What causes learning to occur?
• This is what you know and believe about schools and learning. How does your Christian faith influence your views? It should connect with the previous section and flow smoothly into the next section about instructional practice. Avoid the common error of fragmenting your paper into sections that do not relate to one another. Each section should build on previous ones and support the others.
• Identify key theories from your courses that will impact your teaching. In this section describe the theories and in the next section discuss how you would practice the theory in your instructional methods.
• How will professional knowledge guide your practice?
• Refer to the knowledge base in teacher education that includes educational psychology, philosophy, and learning theory. Don’t try to cover everything; just identify two or three key theories you espouse.
• From what specific professional knowledge will you draw in your practice? Whose theories, ideas, etc., are meaningful to you? Be cautious about assigning to yourself a label that you do not fully understand. This could be potentially embarrassing once you discover everything the label entails.
6. Instructional Practice/Methodology
• This is what should be implemented in the classroom.
• How does your Christian faith influence your practice?
• This section should flow smoothly from the previous one. In the previous section you should have identified and briefly discussed what theories you plan to implement. In this section you will explain how you will put those theories into instructional practice.
• What pedagogical practices or methods should be used most frequently? Why?
• What instructional strategies do you value and implement?
• What do you hope to accomplish by using these strategies?
7. Teacher-Learner Relationships
• How does your Christian faith influence your relationships?
• What is the role of the learner?
• What is the role of the teacher?
• How should they relate to each other and why?
• How does your Christian faith influence your views of others?
• What diversity factors need to be taken into account by the teacher?
• How do factors of student diversity impact instruction?
9. Your Choice of Headings (optional)
• You may insert optional headings to address issues that are important to your philosophy of education.
• Here are some ideas you might want to consider:
o My calling
o Classroom management philosophy
o Content/subject-area philosophy
o Assessment philosophy
o Parent role and relationship with teacher
o Current critical issues in education
• Your conclusion should tie in with the introduction somehow so that your paper displays coherence.
• If your introduction included a metaphor, quote, theme, etc., it would be appropriate to tie back into that.
• This is an ACADEMIC paper, not a free-writing journal of emotions and feelings. Consider it a mission or vision statement on the purpose of schools and education that you might publish in an academic journal to persuade other educators to conduct their practice for the same purpose and in the same manner you would.
• State where you agree or disagree with some of the leading theories and theorists.
• Develop your own ideas about theorists and their ideas and how they seem to fit or not fit with your personal views and with a biblical view.
• State any assumptions that you are operating under as you write your view.
• Because this paper is made up of your personal views, it will be graded on how well you followed the rubric, supported your ideas, and presented them in a clear, consistent manner. You may disagree with the instructor without any penalty.
• Make sure you are careful in your use of grammar and sentence structure. Check your spelling. Have someone read your paper for content and correctness.
• Avoid passive tense verbs.
• Ensure that your pronouns and antecedents agree in number.
• Do not dwell too much on biographical or testimonial information. How you came to believe what you do is not as important as what you believe and your rationale for it.
You may use a variety of sources, such as…
• Your class textbooks for this course
• Your methods and psychology textbooks
• The Bible (APA permits you to cite the Bible in the body of the paper, but it is not to be listed on the reference page)
• Educational journals
• Books you’ve read that have influenced your worldview or educational philosophy
• Do not use www.Wikipedia.com or wiki-type pages as sources in an academic paper. Because it is an open environment, the information is constantly being changed by registered users and is not always reliable.
• Include at least six references.
Point Of View
Because this is a personal Philosophy of Education paper, you may use first person pronouns such as “I” and “me”, but please don’t overuse them. For example, try not to overuse “I believe…” or “I think…” This is a position paper; therefore, it is assumed that the entire contents contain your beliefs and thoughts. Do not use “I feel…” Despite a popular notion, the APA manual does permit first person. Anytime third person would confuse the reader or anytime the purpose of the paper is appropriate to first person, it may be implemented. Do not use the “editorial we” or “you” as this improperly addresses the reader.
Two problems our candidates have in their writing tend to be (1) pronoun-antecedent agreement and (2) the gender issue of “he or she.”
Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement: Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents. It is incorrect to write, “Each teacher [singular] should manage their [plural] own classroom.”
Gender Issue: It is considered sexist if you repeatedly use singular antecedents and follow them up with masculine pronouns. For example, “Each teacher should manage his own classroom.” It is also problematic if you redundantly use “he or she” and “his or her.” (Please don’t use “he/she” or “his/her.”) Some writers solve this by stating to the reader that for simplicity’s sake the pronouns will be masculine or will rotate periodically between masculine and feminine. This can be awkward and cumbersome. But there is a better solution!
To assist in avoiding both of these problems, I recommend that you write in plural as consistently as you can. For instance, use students, principals, teachers, parents, schools, etc., instead of their singular counterparts. Follow these antecedents up with “they” or “their.” This avoids the gender issue altogether. When you find that you must use a singular, you may periodically use “he or she” or simply restructure the sentence to avoid the “he or she” if possible. Rare use of it is fine.
Plagiarized papers will be rejected. Every paper will be evaluated for originality by SafeAssign, which reports to the instructor the degree to which your paper is suspected of plagiarism. The following tips will help you avoid any problems with plagiarism:
Direct Quotes: No more than 15% of your paper should be made up of direct quotes. Short quotes should be in quotation marks and longer quotes should be indented (see APA). If you do not set off direct quotes in this manner and also cite them, it is plagiarism.
Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact is not your own, you must cite its source. When not directly quoting, summarize or analyze the idea in your own words.
Submit this assignment in both LiveText and SafeAssign by 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, August 2, 2014 .