What is Your Philosophy of Education?

 

This philosophy of education survey comes from the Philosophy chapter (13) in the Sadker & Sadker foundations text. 

Sadker, M.P. & Sadker, D. S. (1997). Teachers, schools and society (4th ed., pp. 403-405.)  NY:  McGraw Hill. 

Mark your answers on the score sheet below, add your totals and see how your beliefs fit into various educational philosophies and your classmates.  Use the following scale: 

 

5 = strongly agree; 4 = agree; 3 = neutral; 2 = disagree; and 1 = strongly disagree.

  1. The curriculum of schools should be centered around the basic subjects such as reading, writing, history, math, and science.
  2. The curriculum of the schools should focus on the great thinkers of the past.
  3. Many students learn best by engaging in real-world activities rather than reading.
  4. The students should be permitted to determine their own curriculum.
  5. Information is taught effectively when it is broken down into small parts.
  6. The curriculum of a school should be determined by information that is essential for all students to know.
  7. Schools, above all, should develop students' abilities to think deeply, analytically, and creatively; this is more important than developing their social skills or providing them with a useful body of knowledge about our ever-changing world.
  8. Schools should prepare students for analyzing and solving the types of problems they will face outside the classroom.
  9. Reality is determined by each individual's perceptions. There is not objective and universal reality.
  10. People are shaped much more by their environment than by their genetic dispositions or the exercise of their free will.
  11. Students should not be promoted from one grade to the next until they have read and mastered certain key material.
  12. An effective education is not aimed at the immediate needs of the students or society.
  13. The curriculum of a school should be built around the personal experiences and needs of the students.
  14. Students who do not want to study much should not be required to do so.
  15. Programmed learning (sequential, step-by-step) is an effective method of learning.
  16. Academic rigor is an essential component of education.
  17. All students, regardless of ability, should study more or less the same curriculum.
  18. Art classes should focus primarily on individual expression and creativity.
  19. Effective learning is unstructured and informal.
  20. Students learn best through reinforcement and reward. 
  21. Effective schools assign a substantial amount of homework.
  22. Education should focus on the discussion of timeless questions such as "What is beauty?" or "What is truth?"
  23. Since students learn effectively through social interaction, schools should plan for substantial social interaction in their curricula.
  24. The purpose of school is to help students understand themselves and find the meaning of their existence.
  25. Frequent objective testing is the best way to determine what students know.
  26. The United States must become more competitive economically with countries such as Japan, and schools have an affirmative obligation to bolster their academic requirements in order to facilitate such competition.
  27. Students must be taught to appreciate learning primarily for its own sake rather than because it will help them in their careers.
  28. Schools must place more emphasis on teaching about the concerns of minorities and women.
  29. Each person has free will to develop as he or she sees fit.
  30. Reward students well for learning and they will remember and be able to apply what they learned, even if they were not led to understand why the information is worth knowing.
  31. American schools should attempt to instill traditional American values in students.
  32. Teacher-guided discovery of profound truths is a key method of teaching students.
  33. Students should be active participants in the learning process.
  34. There are no external standards of beauty. Beauty is what an individual decides it to be.
  35. We can place a lot of faith in our schools and teachers to determine which student behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
  36. Schools must provide students with a firm grasp of basic facts regarding the books, people, and events that have shaped the American heritage.
  37. Philosophy is ultimately at least as practical a subject to study as is computer science.
  38. Teachers must stress for students the relevance of what they are learning to their lives outside, as well as inside, the classroom.
  39. It is more important for a student to develop a positive self-concept than to learn specific subject matter.
  40. Learning is more effective when students are given frequent tests to determine what they have learned.

Educational Philosophy Score Sheet

 Write the number of your response to each item/statement in the spaces below. Add the number you marked in each column and put your sums in the bottom row. Then indicate your rank order for each column.  Use the following scale: 

 

5 = strongly agree; 4 = agree; 3 = neutral; 2 = disagree; and 1 = strongly disagree

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once you have finished this exercise, look at the types of philosophies heading the columns on the survey response sheet to find out what types are compatible with your beliefs and approaches.