We have been encouraged to develop our own education philosophy when beginning this course. At this point in the academic year we are about to go on our Learning from Life placement, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect upon my own educational philosophy and how this has developed over the year.
Last year my educational philosophy agreed strongly with John Dewey’s suggestion that education is a social process. I feel schools provide should provide a broad holistic education to children, going well beyond what can be found in a textbook. I feel that this development in education is as important as the facts and figures which they might learn in a classroom as it provides them with social skills which they can use for years after they leave school. Additionally, I believe that education should be child centred, this is an aspect included in Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), as through the Experience and Outcomes document lessons can be developed to the classes individual needs and so enabling personalisation and choice (Scottish Government, 2008, P26). This option can ultimately develop children’s love for education as they are learning something which is relevant to them and that they are passionate about.
Throughout this year we have looked at a variety of aspects within the curriculum and education system. Through looking into Languages, Maths and Science curricular areas to the history of education and differing curriculums across the world, I feel that teaching is less about dictating facts to a room full of silent children, as it was in the past, and instead it should be more about giving children the opportunity to explore and develop their own learning in a safe and supportive environment. I feel that this allows for more meaningful learning as the children can feel proud of discovering something for themselves and through communication with their peers about it, consolidation of this learning is achieved. This is an idea which is being further explored within Upstart, a campaign to change the starting age of children in formal education from 5 to 7 and instead allow children a greater opportunity to explore the world through play. You can see further reasons for this change on their website at: http://www.upstart.scot/reasons/.
At the same time, we have just completed an interagency module about the importance of working with other professionals and methods which can enhance this but also hinder it. This has developed my educational philosophy as I have seen how important it is to a childs education and welfare when all professionals are working together to achieve the same goal. This has encouraged me to strive for this within my own practice as through this collaborative practice every child can receive the support necessary for them to achieve their full potential. This is an important aspect to think about when looking at inclusion within the classroom, as multi-agency support can help children in a variety of manners. I am interested in furthering my understanding of how to develop this inclusive practice.
For my learning for life placement, I am going to Abu Dhabi and working with a learning support team in a school which follows the American Curriculum. It will be interesting to see how these ideas are reflected through the American Curriculum and especially how they create inclusion of all students.