An Educational Philosophy
I am required to write my educational philosophy for the administrative program I am currently enrolled in. This exercise has proved itself quite a bit more challenging than I anticipated. I’ve done this before, years ago, when I completed both my undergraduate and first graduate programs. Things have changed since then. I’ve changed since then.
What follows is my first iteration of my philosophy as it presently stands. This will be revisited at the end of my program, and I’d imagine I will, as I have already done, make changes.
Feel free to poke at it, push it around, and outright tear it to pieces as you deem fit. I know I have.
I believe the purpose of education is learning. It is both that simple and that complex. While there are many ancillary benefits derived from an educational experience, if the process occurs devoid of learning, it is simply not education.
While learning is paramount to education, the process of learning is framed in a myriad of constructs. I believe the most imperative construct is the democratization of information. Learning takes place in a manner that allows all people the right to access and potentially understand all available information. Information is no longer held exclusive for the privileged, but rather, it is available for all who desire it.
This democratization comes at a great price, for the responsibility of understanding can be overwhelming. The enlightenment of understanding that there is more than that which I have, or choices other than that which I choose, or even needs greater than that which I can give, requires a democratic education to teach not only understanding information but also empathy.
If we are to bring the learning and understanding of available information to all, regardless of one’s station in life, we must also teach that each is going to approach and consume the information uniquely. We do not all live identical lives, therefore, we do not all learn and malleate information identically, but rather quite individually. Our individuality causes each of us to bring our own bias, experiences, culture, values, strengths and weaknesses into our learning and understanding of the world, and acknowledging that every other person does not learn, experience and see the world the same as I do helps fight repressive, oppressive assumptions about the way others should behave and act upon information.
If I had but one line to use to build my philosophy of education upon, it would be, education is making learning available to all who desire it; teaching them that through the learning, we can achieve both understanding and empathy that will move every individual who seeks to be moved.