Determining Your Educational Philosophy Part III: Philosophy Concerning Knowledge

In this article various philosophies will be examined in an effort to assist with developing an educational philosophy. As an educator it is essential to possess a philosophy which will be applied in the classroom.

Educational philosophies are as unique as each individual educator, although each philosophy shares common components: a philosophy of the learning process, a philosophy of students, a philosophy concerning knowledge, and a philosophy of essential skills and information. Examining each of these components will help you form your educational philosophy. This articles highlights the philosophy concerning knowledge.

A teacher’s view of knowledge is evident in his or her instruction. Teachers may view knowledge as memorization of facts, conceptualization of ideas, or understanding of experiences. Teachers using memorization of facts see knowledge as small pieces of information that fit together to complete a larger puzzle. For example, a foreign-language teacher might require the student to memorize vocabulary lists and grammar rules to learn the course content.

Conceptualization of ideas is based on knowledge acquired through big ideas that allow us to understand the world around us. Foreign-language teachers who use a conceptualization of ideas may ask students to perform in a play written in the foreign language. Students are allowed to explore the learning material by relating it to real-world experiences, while still remaining within the comfort zone of a familiar environment.

Finally, teachers may believe that knowledge comes from an understanding of experiences, which requires exposure to the material in a practical setting. Experiences require an active use of the material in a set outside the comfort zone of a familiar environment. The foreign-language teacher may feel that, in addition to memorization and conceptualization, no foreign language course would be complete without a trip to a country where the language is primarily spoken.

How do you view knowledge?

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