Idealism in Education

I think, therefore I am – Rene Descartes have always believed that thinking proves your existence as a human.

Descartes was not the only philosopher who developed an idea that led to Idealism. Numerous of which are Socrates, Plato, George Berkely, Immanuel Kant and a lot more. They have several Idealist philosophy that exist until today – From our daily lives, religion to education – we breath and live in some Idealists’ philosophy.

My parents were ideal to guide me through my learning. I remember my father who told me “You know what the answer is, just focus and keep trying. Do you believe that you can?” They have always known that I already have the knowledge and skills within me and I only need to believe and be guided accordingly.  Idealism is also present in my belief as a Catholic, that God is Good, the truth and the way.

Education was not spared to be influenced with it. My teachers and professors encouraged me to be a student of character and discipline & to challenge my ideas. We have discussions where we can reflect and exchange thoughts  to come up with what has true essence and value. We have debates – arguments, where we are to use our logical reasoning to prove a point and conclude with the ideas that proves to be true. Most of my teachers were Idealist who wants us to be  loyal, studious, diligent and hungry for knowledge.

Idealism is still one of the foundations every Philippine Education considers – intellectual and spiritual formation and development is included on every institution of learning until today. It is evident in our curriculum – History and Math as the core subjects because they are true and abstract. For  Catholic Schools, religion is included. And of course, who is not aware of Science High School which is very similar to Plato’s Homogeneous Ability Grouping, a program where students have advanced Mathematics and Science to those who meet the criteria.

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Understanding Philosophy of Education

It’s inevitable to think that some things are still unanswered.

More questions arise as time goes by. Why, How, What, When? We challenge an idea and come up with the most logical reason to answer the question. Is philosophy the mother of curiosity?  Is it what the great people called when they are thirsty of knowledge and wisdom? It still puzzles me, though.

Philosophy – has never been a focal point of my quest however as I run through all the readings, I realized how it has been present all through out my life. Assessing my daily routines, I found out I have them all along – Confucianism’s Golden Rule: Ren – to love others. The philosophy of Confucius is concentrated on humanity with its ethical foundations. I have always been going back to ethics, practicing loyalty, integrity, etiquette and knowledge. At this point,  I thought this is just what my parents taught me to be a good person. This just proves, philosophy might not be very well evident but as I zoomed in and out of my life , I was surprised of how many philosophies are their . I might even have have Buddhist’s or Plato’s teachings in me, who knows?

As an educator – philosophy is also important. It gives as the pursuit to know more and to generate ideas to ask ourselves why do we do this? What do we do to be a successful teacher? How can we make sure we do what’s important as an educator, what’s our goal – our aim?  Some questions, that needs to be answered, put into theory, applied to practice – adjust , re-theorized, re-applied, discussed among educators to come up with the best possibilities.

Knowing its importance gives us the advantage of being on track, it gives us optimum support to analyze and criticize how are we doing as an educator.  When problem arises, we are able to get back on what is important. If one knows his educational philosophy, it’s not just coming in an institution daily, getting  student’s attendance nor giving exams to gauge knowledge. An educator with a solid understanding in educational philosophy can move and shake one’s belief in education and can relate social and economic dramas to education in it’s wider and larger context. It will be a continuous learning journey for everyone!

Writing and Thinking: Plagiarism and My Educational Philosophy

Freedom of expression is one of our rights in different forms and various channels – books, media and technology.  It is but one way for us to deliver our message and gain information as well. In professional or academic setting, integrity and respect to one’s idea is imperative.

Integrity is making sure we claim what is only from our own thinking, analysis and idea. Though one’s knowledge and wisdom is never enough in one area at a particular time, it also free and infinite – it’s abundant. We can choose to rely on theories, philosophies, ideas, experiments, charts, etc to help us understand and learn more however, we must ensure that we respect these by citing or quoting them.

“If you use an author’s specific word or words, you must place those words within
quotation marks and you must credit the source.” 1

I am a believer of learning and knowledge – that it is one of the best gift humanity has, therefore I have a strong respect and integrity for others therefore, I say – No To Plagiarism, and that is just one of my philosophies as a student of life and in academe. There’s a lot of things I believed in, some may be incomprehensible to others, some may just be the same as that of Buddha and Confucius.

I had the time to know myself more in terms of my styles and skills that I need to develop to learn effectively. I more of a visual than an auditory learner. I have experienced and still prefers to see the person talking or discussing. It gives me a connection to the transmitter & me being the receiver. More over, I am global, field-independent, extroverted, synthesizing and more of the other based on the result of the survey. I’d rather hear a general idea then would gladly accept specifics supporting it.  Nevertheless, I’m certain that what’s important is to be able to adapt in an environment that will make me learn more. Raise inquiries if necessary and seek help from my professors if needed.

Within the course of time, I am able to identify the areas where I need to improve. Time management and concentration gives me the ability to grasp an idea. I have to be in a place conducive for learning for me to digest a topic, should have enough time to read in advance. Two of the skills I need to consistently execute and deliver.

Consistency is the name of the game. No one ever hit the top without perseverance and self-discipline.  I may know all these helpful tips, may have read them a hundred times, or even posted a note to remind me to do them, I would be fooling myself if I don’t have the reason of doing them so, for whatever my own purpose, is what fuels me to stick and live to succeed in the academe!

Moreover, some things are still unclear:

Why is education important? How should one be educated, what are the things to be considered?

Just a few questions I have that gave me an I idea of how I view education after answering: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073525901/419185/sad25901_ch08.pdf 2

Total

21 Essentialism
19 Perennialism – Lowest
22 Progressivism -Highest
20 Social Reconstructionism
21 Existensialism

Above shows the result and I agree with balanced Teacher-Centered Philosophies and Student-Balanced-Philosophies. One can not survive without the other. Though I can say that they differ in count, my philosophies still shows that a higher percentage taps to Student-Balanced-Philosophies showing just one (1) point difference from the other. (Progressive, Social Reconstructionism & Existensialism)

It is evident that we need our teachers to guide us in learning however it is also important to take students’ ability, interest and use media, history and culture & social impact in their course through education. It’s not that I do not agree with the result that Perennialism is my lowest, I still believe that we must start with what is essential – understanding & comprehending by making a person literate using words and numbers. One must learn through massive application to attain expertise and knowledge.

Being a part of a third-world country I’ve seen enough socio-economic events that led to failure and success with one’s ability and knowledge. I belong to a family with just enough for daily living and my parents instilled to me how education is important in attaining success. I am involve in a community and a church that set examples of how things are viewed and done outside the four corners of our house. I am a part of a religion that taught me the ethics and morals of right and wrong.

However, in all those facets that influenced me about it, my own education experience has the greatest impact. I have felt how I should have been taught in a different style so I understood more, why there were not enough discussions and debate on History and Culture. Nevertheless, I appreciated how dedicated and passionate an educator, a teacher, a professor, or a trainer is, in imparting and guiding their students.

References:

1. Acknowledging, Paraphrasing, and Quoting Sources

http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Acknowledging_Sources.pdf

2. http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073525901/419185/sad25901_ch08.pdf