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Ador, Angela Mellina V.

ProfEd3/BSE-English
CED-02-201 P January 15, 2019

Basic Philosophy of Special Education

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the learning period, the students should be able to:
1. Recognize the philosophies of special education in each sections presented; and
2. Identify the main objective and philosophy of special education.

Introduction
In my journey to become an educator I have encountered several people along the way
that have helped me shape what are my views for education and learning. I have been very
fortunate enough to observe in an inclusion setting and self-contained classroom as well.
Interviewing and studying the methods of the education that I have been able to observe have
helped me tremendously. Whether the interviews used in this essay were conducted face to face
or via electronic communication the spirit of what education hold dear poured from their words.
Education is more than just the lesson that we teach but it is the lessons we learn from our
students, the experiences we have along the journey with our students and the discovery pf self
around each turn.

Section One

The first section of developing my special education philosophy was to think about the
different philosophies that will sculpt my philosophy. In everything there is a sense of logic or
purpose. There are laws or boundaries that contain or shape our thinking, beliefs, and values.
Knowing what I hold as the most important building block of my philosophy is what will will
strengthen me in my future journey as an educator when I may question why I chose my
profession. I asked the question which philosophy you incorporate into your professional
operation in education: metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, or logic, or do you use a mixture of
the philosophies. Conducting interviews with various educators from a self-contained setting or
inclusive setting with a principal I received a wealth of information. When I discussed what their
principles or theories were for education I received a wealth of information. According to J.
Boykins (personal communication, 2013), “I assume the axiological perspective towards
education. My philosophy is that every child should be empowered through education. Education
Ador, Angela Mellina V. ProfEd3/BSE-English
CED-02-201 P January 15, 2019

is empowering on all levels regardless of disability.” What I took from her statement was
education has the value of empowering students no matter what their disability. According to MJ
Bender (personal communication, 2013), “I feel that a combination of all of them (philosophies)”.
Another educator Marcus Hawkins (personal communication, 2013), “I believe that I’m more of
a logical teacher. My main purpose is for each student to become active learners. I want them to
be aware of the outside world. I want them to separate truth from fiction and real from make
believe. Once students are able to identify the difference, then they can make their own decisions
about their lives.” He wants students to go beyond the classroom and get a real grasp of learning
where it is applicable for them. It is one thing to learn it in a classroom but it is another thing to
have to apply it outside the classroom in life. James Urquhart, the principal that I interviewed to
get an administrator’s view of Special Education Philosophy stated (personal communication,
2013), “I believe it is important to incorporate a mixture of philosophies to meet the individual
needs of each student. My philosophy is a school, administrator, and/or teacher should do
whatever it takes to meet the individual needs of each child.” Reading their responses as well as
a few others that contributed to my learning process I have come to understand that although I
may learn towards being logical and axiology I do incorporate all into my personal philosophy.

Section Two

Taking into consideration about the theory of metaphysics and epistemology it is not that
I do not chose to include them in my philosophy because they are there on some level. However
they are not the building blocks for what my philosophy is built upon. According to J. Boykins
(personal communication, 2013), “Metaphysics is a philosophy that I would be less likely to use
when working with my students because it is limiting”. Interestingly enough Marcus Hawkins
stated (personal communication, 2013), I would use all. I think you need to use metaphysics
and epistemology because you have to think outside the box when creating lessons for special
needs children.”

The educator that I observed Richard Romeo stated (personal communication, 2013), “As
a special education teacher and educator I believe that incorporating all philosophies into your
classroom is empowering and rewarding. However there are some components or beliefs within
a philosophy that I don’t necessarily agree with. For example: one component of pragmatism is
Ador, Angela Mellina V. ProfEd3/BSE-English
CED-02-201 P January 15, 2019

that a pragmatist’s believe that teachers are supposed to help students examine and clarify their
values. Even though this is true I feel that that in order for students to truly understand the
material, student should examine and clarify their own values Teachers can provide explanation
if a student asks for it but overall the teacher shouldn’t examine values because eventually they
will instill their views on the student for their benefit in my opinion. Values should be clarified by
family members not teachers.” I agree that we as educators have to help students examine but
we should do it from a point of view that does not push our beliefs onto the students.

One thing that was brought to my attention that I had not really thought of is how
educating students maybe looked at us a “factory production” view, sort of like using one template
for all. Although I had not thought of it as a philosophy in some ways it seems to be one or at
least portrayed on some levels in education. According to Clee Lee (personal communication,
2013), “The philosophy that all children should be treated the same way and have the same
expectations.” The meaning I looked for that is all children learn differently and at different stages
so for my self as an educator to expect the same out of two different students with the same
disability is truly unfair and inexcusable, therefore never put into practice by me.

Section Three

According to M. Hawkins (personal communication, 2013), he stated “Emotional. This is


probably one of my weaknesses. With emotional students, I tried to talk to them logically.
Axiology is probably sufficient with this type of disorder. Physical, mental, and social. I understand
their limitations so I would use logic to develop lessons that will satisfy their limitations. If they
have social limitations, I would not give them low marks because they were unable to present in
front of the class.” This gives me a format to look to to when I work with various disabilities and
how to sculpt or guide these students to where the end result is for them in a respectful way. R.
Romeo (personal communication, 2013), stated “My philosophy indicates that teachers should
always emphasize discipline in their classrooms and set clear expectations through classroom
rules and procedures. Teachers should teach to meet the individual needs of the students. They
should manage their classroom and have a mutual respect with their students. Teachers should
never be arrogant, sarcastic, negative, or show favouritism. Indeed teachers should create a
positive learning environment that is inviting to all types of learners. Teachers should provide
Ador, Angela Mellina V. ProfEd3/BSE-English
CED-02-201 P January 15, 2019

immediate feedback and always speak in a positive way.” Principal Urquhart (personal
communication, 2013), echoed the thoughts of Mr. Romero in saying “My philosophy is that you
do whatever you can to allow students to achieve success. High expectations should be set for
all students with clear rules and procedure. A positive learning environment is critical for student’s
success.” In setting my personal philosophy in word I will make sure that I also set it in deed or
actions when working with my students and setting the atmosphere in the classroom. The
breakdown for each disability being addressed by my philosophy would be: (1) emotional-set an
atmosphere that promotes achievement and gives feedback in a positive and constructive way
that builds the students up. (2) physical, have a classroom that is accessible for students and
have available resources for those needs of my students, and (3) mental and/or social, provide
stable and positive activities as well as a calm environment that allows the student to learn in a
safe space or stress-free space but also equip the students with techniques (actions and
consequences) that allow them to release the emotions but in a safe and positive way.

Section Four

The way that I would implement my philosophy in an inclusive classroom will be that my
classroom is not only stated to be safe spaced but it will be structured to be one as well. There
will be a lot of expectations that will be posted in the room where it will be accessible to all
students to see. We will also go over expectations at minimum twice a week, preferably at the
beginning and ending of the week. That way we can start off the week with what we want to
accomplish but end the week with what we did get accomplished. My thinking is that in doing
this we, as a class, can see what we did well and what we have to work on next time but celebrate
what we got done that week. This would create a more positive atmosphere, promote learning
and create a more cohesive community of learners.

Implementation of my philosophy in a self-contained classroom would look pretty much


the same but we will go over our expectations daily before class starts and once class is done at
the end of the day. This would be also built on as part of a daily checklist to not only hold my self
accountable but to hold the students accountable as well. Breaking it down to a daily activity
instead of a checklist for the beginning of the week and ending of the week is to keep the self-
Ador, Angela Mellina V. ProfEd3/BSE-English
CED-02-201 P January 15, 2019

esteem of my students high due to being in a particular classroom all day. There may be more of
a need to promote the achievements of the class more than just twice a week.

Section Five

My mission statement as a special educator is simply this “My mission to my students is


to educate, respect, learn from, laugh with, grow with, and honor them. My mission to my
profession is to promote, advocate, develop, and challenge my fellow educators to the
professional level that exemplifies as special educator. My mission to the parents of my students
is to each day making sure that I attempt to adhere to the mission of my students and my
colleagues.”

Reference:
Love, H. (2013, April 08). My Special Education Philosophy retrieved from slideshare.net:
https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/ssuser3080f6/my-special-education-philosophy