Philosophy of education

May 13, 2013    teaching learning thinking

"Storyteller," by Ma Pe Wi

Story Teller, by Ma Pe Wi. Collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

What is my philosophy of education? I love the sentiment that R. Murray Schafer conveys in this statement: “Do not design a philosophy of education for others. Design one for yourself. A few others may wish to share it with you.” To me, this reinforces the learning that, as a teacher, I share with my students. I think one of the main reasons that I love to teach is that I also love to learn.

Today, I looked back at all of the tours that I led or wrote this past year for our kindergarteners through second graders at the Nasher Museum of Art. As I put together a list of all of the works of art that we thought about together, I realized that my own relationship with these works has evolved and deepened over the course of this past winter and spring. I know from speaking with a number of students that this has been their experience, too.

As a teacher, my primary concern has always been to explore various ideas and ways of thinking with my students, not merely to “download” my own knowledge into their minds. I feel that I must be every bit an active participant in learning and meaning making as my students. To bring it back to Schafer’s maxim, I must always consider what I wish to learn and grow and how I want to think.