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Erik Kaufhold Philosophy of Education John Dewey said it best when he said, Education is not a preparation for life,

but life itself. My philosophy of education is a simple one thats based on this quote, and that philosophy is something that is vital especially in the area of adult education. Even though this statement is basic, it takes a lot to bring about given the diversity of adults. In order to make sure that every adult learns, a teacher needs to continuously strive to improve his practice and not be afraid to implement new lessons, try new ways to reach students, and always manage his classroom as democratically as possible. Implementing new lessons into the classroom that are student centered and that bring into practice the experiences and goals that adult learners have is one way that a teacher can improve his methodology and I feel this is one way to help adults learn best. This is why I believe that hands-on learning and other constructive activities are beneficial, innovative approaches to bring new and different lessons in the classroom. On top of these activities, I feel that taking some time to facilitate discussion through small groups, one-on-one discussions and technology, is important to critically reflect on what the students are learning as well as help them understand where the foundation for their values and beliefs begin. By using these methods, I feel that students will not only be interested in every unit taught, but they will also be able to relate what is being taught in the classroom to the outside world. I also believe in different ways of assessing my students to see how well my methods work with different groups of learners. Teaching is one of the hardest things one can do primarily because a teacher must constantly try to reach students with different learning styles and personalities. This is especially true with adults since they have such varied interests, goals, and values based

on the culmination of the experiences that they have had. Galbraith (2004) states that, There is the implication that experience plays a strong role in the process of learning with adults (p. 361). With this in mind, it is important that an adult educator conduct some activities in the beginning to get to know what kind of experiences his or her students have had. Furthermore, forming relationships with students by reaching out to them is an important ingredient in getting students to buy-in to your classroom and get them engaged. This time spent connecting with students is helpful for a teacher because they can use the information to create relevant lessons and gain respect from students. Another vital aspect in teaching is constantly checking the dynamics of your classroom as well as an understanding of the adult learner as a person. I believe that students need guidance, but they should not be micromanaged. I feel that teachers need to be clear and concise in regards to what is expected in the classroom and establish nonnegotiable rules that revolve around respect. I also feel that students should have a choice in the matter and whether or not they decide to misbehave, the students should understand that it is their choice, but they have to be willing to accept the consequences of their actions. I try to use the method of re-directs of giving students several opportunities to change their behavior and if they do not then I set aside time for them to come in and discuss ways that I can help them change their behavior. To help an adult learner navigate their way through education requires several key ingredients. I feel that a teacher needs to be a life-long learner with education in mind and come up with new methods of delivering lessons based on a hands-on/constructivist approach. I also believe that forming relationships and connections with students facilitates learning. Finally another important aspect that will help learning is having a classroom management plan that not only revolves around respect, but also lets students

understand that they have choices, but they should be willing to accept the consequences of their actions. By implementing all of these methods, I feel that students will not only achieve my philosophy of making sure every adult enjoys learning, but they will also hopefully want to continue learning.

References: Galbraith, M. W. (2004). Adult Learning Methods: A Guide for Effective Instruction (3rd ed.). Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company