My Philosophy of Education
In education, Essentialism and Progressivism have been in conflict for centuries. Essentialism emphasizes the vital, or essential, knowledge and skills that productive citizens should have, rather than simply requiring students to learn a set of external truths or facts. William C. Bagley (1874-1946), the founder of Essentialistic Education Society and author of Education and the Emergent Man (1934), believed that “progressive” education damages the intellectual and moral standards of students. He believed that while educators should promote students' interest in subjects, students should learn the importance of duty and discipline in completing their studies. Within a systematic program of studies and activities, the Essentialist believes that teacher-initiative is necessary to guide and direct the young learners toward organized cultural experiences. The Essentialist recognizes the unique abilities of each student and stresses the significance of differential lesson plans that best meet the academic needs of each child (spu.edu/online/essentialism_in_ed.htm).
My philosophy of education is based on an essential or fundamental orientation, rather than on Progressivism. Since an educational leader is a pillar in any society, I do believe that I have an ethical responsibility to fulfill my duties to God and to His children for the general welfare of all in society. Thus,
- I believe that a sound education (knowledge) is the key to building and sustaining a healthy society and that educators are vital agents that help shape future generations.
- I believe that the classroom is a place for training students’ minds, not just to find employment to meet a particular standard of living, but to teach children how to become both principled and productive contributors to society.
- I believe that what is planted in the minds and spirits of the children today will be the fruits that will manifest themselves tomorrow-whether these fruits will be bitter or sweet.
- I believe that while students must take personal responsibility for their learning, educators are significantly responsible for what is formed (created) in the minds of our youth.
- I believe that an effective teacher does not merely share a systematic set of lessons that are cataloged by facts, events, or rules; instead, the best educators seek to attain, understand, and diligently plant into the minds of students the timeless universal principles and wisdom that govern human existence and experiences.
- I believe in a well-structured curriculum with a meaningful content that will guide students to rational and purposeful thought.
- In the attempt to evaluate ideas and assumptions, I believe that it is important to seek time-proven truths.
- I believe that a quality education for all students is foundational to personal and organizational success on all levels.
- I believe that the timeless truths and principles set forth in the Hebrew Bible are worthy of consideration in public, as well as in private, academic curricula.