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Philosophy of Education

I truly believe that education is a precious opportunity to inspire children to reach their full human
potential. As an educator, I take this opportunity very seriously.

The Purpose
I believe that education itself, in many different forms can serve a multitude of purposes. It can serve
to oppress, to enlighten, to aid economic growth, to indoctrinate, to legitimize structures of power, to
overturn structures of power, or perhaps even to create critical and global awareness. It is my
contention that the purpose of education should not be to create human beings as commodities or to
control their political tendencies, but rather should aspire towards building a more human society
where critical thinking helps to connect people in working towards a common goal of social and
environmental justice.
Both East and West seem to feel that an educational system that does
not eventually lead a man out of the world of human affairs into the
wider consciousness of spiritual things has failed in its mission and will
not measure up to the soaring demand of the human soul. A training that
stops short with the intellect, and ignores the faculty to intuit truth which
the best minds evidence, lacks much. If it leaves its students with closed
and static minds, it has left them without the equipment to touch that
intangible and finest "four-fifths of life" which Dr. Wiggam tells us, lies
outside the realm of scientific [30] training altogether.- Wiggam, Albert
Edward, THE NEW DECALOGUE OF SCIENCE .

Social and Environmental Justice


The educational goal of social and environmental justice may be considered vague, idealistic and
unachievable to some, but I believe that by not making this a priority in education that we are
limiting our potential and perpetuating an inadequate and unsustainable way of life. In order to
understand what social justice is, all students need to truly understand the structures of power in their
own societies in relation to those of societies around the globe. I believe that in order to achieve
social justice in any form that students must first gain a social and political understanding that goes
beyond fact and which delves into their emotions and inflicts a sense of responsibility. Teachers need
to introduce students to the notion of citizenship as well as to what responsibilities come along with
the privileges of being a citizen in a democratic and developed society. I believe that the goal as well
as the result of educating for social justice is to enable students to actively participate in making the
world a better place.

Moral Responsibility and Peace


I feel that moral responsibility plays a major role in educating towards a more peaceful society. It is
impossible to envision a peaceful world without first addressing what I believe to be one of the most
fundamental problems, but it is also a very difficult and perhaps even an impossible task to teach
another human being how to be moral. According to Epictetus, In a word, neither death, nor exile,
nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our
inward opinions and principles. Following in the footsteps of Socrates, Epictetus held that our aim

was to be masters of our own lives and he aspired and encouraged others to live virtuously, in
accordance with reason and in accordance with the "nature of things". The ideal world would
obviously be one in which every human strived to be a moral citizen. As an educator, it is imperative
that I set a strong moral example for my students both inside and outside of the classroom. With
sincere intentions, I strive to make a human connection with each of my students. This is
fundamental in my practice and is the only way that I feel I can inspire them to achieve any type of
excellence.

Holistic Approach
I believe strongly that education needs to be holistic at its core. I think that education should be
understood as the art of cultivating the moral, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual
dimensions of a developing child. Holistic education seeks to encompass multiple layers of meaning
and experience rather than defining human potentials and possibilities narrowly. Every student is
more than a future employee and their intelligence is far more complex than their ability to succeed
on a standardized test. The goal of holistic education is to call forth an intrinsic reverence for life and
a passionate love of learning.
It is holistic education which aims to de-emphasize the factory model of education while
emphasizing the importance of the human experience. We need to not only look at the potential
earning abilities of students and begin to look at a students ability to be human. Do they understand
their responsibilities towards themselves, towards each other, and towards their Earth?
I believe that it is necessary to cultivate a holistic philosophy in education and that the implications
for the future of our world rest in our ability to revolutionize our societal and global goals.

Searching for Meaning


I aim to teach students to be accepting and critical of our society, accepting and critical of other
societies and open to the possibility of a change for the better. I strive to encourage my students to
think outside of the proverbial box and attempt to find purpose in everything that is human,
including our actions. I want my students to leave my class in search of a life filled with meaning. I
believe that meaning must be found in order to be truly human and that it is different for all people,
but that we must find it in order to achieve happiness and avoid the current unsustainable trend
towards emotional and social depression. I often wonder if we are raising children to fill empty
spaces in our machine, or if we are raising them to think, love, learn, examine and exist, as we
should be.

Excellence and Inspiration


Personal excellence is the goal. It is my contention that excellence, as defined by each individual, is
attainable for everyone if and only if they are inspired. I consider it to be the job of the educator to
inspire them.

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand
for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. -Kofi Annan