Personal Philosophy


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Abstract Paragraph: Subsequent sentences should practically explain what you will do in your instructional practice to carry out the philosophy you stated in the first sentence.


Introduction(Do not use a heading for this section.)

The purpose of the introductory paragraph is different from the abstract. Do not simply copy the abstract.
In this section, introduce your thesis statement that will be developed throughout the paper.
It is best to place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. This serves as a transition into the rest of the paper.

Thesis Statement: The thesis statement and introduction to it should focus on the purpose, outcomes, goals, and impact of education. It should not address how important it is to have a philosophy of education and should not focus on the process of instruction.  Focus on the “why” instead of the “how.”

Philosophy of Schools & Learning(first heading)

This section should focus on the “why” of education—the long-range impact you believe schools and learning should have on individuals and on society. Save the “how” of education for the next section.
This is the core part of the paper where you expound more specifically on your thesis statement.
State what you believe. Do not feel obligated to embrace a particularly established philosophy.  However, you are to situate your beliefs among others by citing ideas that illustrate yours or are in opposition to yours.
Refer to the knowledge base in teacher education that includes educational psychology, philosophy, and learning theory. Do not try to cover everything; just identify one or two key theories that might illustrate your own beliefs about the purpose of schools and learning.
Be cautious about assigning to yourself a label that you do not fully understand. If you do not understand all that the label entails, you could unknowingly convey inconsistent ideas throughout your paper. 


Instructional Practice(second heading)

This section should flow smoothly from the previous one.
Discuss how learners come to know truth. What causes learning to occur? (Epistemology)
Address what you will implement in the classroom, which is the “how” part of education.
What pedagogical practices, instructional strategies, or methods will you tend to use most frequently? Why?
What do you hope to accomplish by using these strategies?
Now would be a good time to go back to the introduction and ask yourself, “Did I address instructional practice in the introduction instead of the purpose/impact of education?” If you did, revise the introduction so that it addresses the purpose of education. Come back to this section to focus on the process of instruction.


Teacher-Learner Relationships (third heading)

(Remember that the questions listed in this guide are only to stimulate thought. You are not required to answer them systematically. Doing so might make your paper too rigid.)

What is the role of the learner?
What is the role of the teacher?
How should they relate to each other and why?


Diversity(fourth heading)

What diversity factors need to be taken into account by the teacher?
How do factors of student diversity impact instruction?

Your Choice of Headings (optional)

You may insert optional headings here to address issues that are important to your philosophy of education.
Here are some ideas you might want to consider:

My calling
Classroom management philosophy
Content/subject-area philosophy
Assessment philosophy
Parent role and relationship with teacher
Current critical issues in education


Conclusion(final required heading)

Your conclusion should tie in with the introduction somehow so that your paper displays coherence.
If your introduction included a metaphor, quote, theme, etc., it would be appropriate to tie back into that.
Both the introduction and conclusion should focus on the thesis of the paper, which is to address the purpose/outcome/impact of education (not the process of instruction).

Q: I would like to use a paper or parts of a paper I wrote for another class.  Is this okay?
A: Yes, as long as you do the following:

Get the permission of this course instructor.
Ensure that your paper meets the rubric for this course.
Cite yourself as current APA requires.
Insert a statement in noticeable font on the title page such as this: “Portions of this paper were drawn from a previous work submitted in EDUC ****.”


State where you agree or disagree with some of the leading theories and theorists.
Because this paper is made up of your personal views, it will be graded on how well you followed the rubric, supported your ideas, and presented them in a clear, consistent manner. You may disagree with the instructor without any penalty.
Avoid dwelling too much on biographical or testimonial information. How you came to believe what you do is not as important as what you believe and your rationale for it.

You must use your textbook as one of your references.  Incorporate into the paper some key ideas from the textbook to support or illustrate your philosophy of education or to cite ideas that are in opposition to what you believe.  You may use a variety of other sources, such as…

Your methods and psychology textbooks
The Bible (current APA permits you to cite the Bible in the body of the paper, but it is not to be listed on the reference page. So ensure that you have the correct number of sources listed on the reference page, which cannot include the Bible.)
Educational journals
Books you’ve read that have influenced your philosophy of education.
Do not use Wikipedia as a source in an academic paper. Because it is an open environment, the information is constantly being changed by registered users and is not always reliable.
Include at least four references (You may use the Bible in the body of your paper as long as you cite it according to current APA format, but it cannot be listed on the reference page.)
A variety of resources should be represented: books, journals, online, Christian, secular, etc.

Because this is a Personal Philosophy of Education paper, you may use first person pronouns such as “I” and “me,” but do not overuse them.  For example, try not to overuse “I believe…” or “I think…”  This is a position paper; therefore, it is assumed that the entire contents contain your beliefs and thoughts.  Do not use “I feel…” 
Two problems students frequently have in their writing tend to be (1) pronoun-antecedent agreement and (2) the gender issue of “he or she.” 
Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement: Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents.  It is incorrect to write, “Each teacher [singular] should manage their [plural] own classroom.”
Gender Issue: It is considered sexist if you repeatedly use singular antecedents and follow them up with masculine pronouns.  For example, “Each teacher should manage his own classroom.”  It is also problematic if you redundantly use “he or she” and “his or her.”  (Please don’t use “he/she” or “his/her.”)  Some writers solve this by stating to the reader that, for simplicity’s sake, the pronouns will be masculine or will rotate periodically between masculine and feminine.  This can be awkward and cumbersome.  But there is a better solution! 
To assist in avoiding both of these problems, it is recommended that you write in plurals as consistently as you can.  For instance, use students, principals, teachers, parents, schools, etc., instead of their singular counterparts.  Follow these antecedents up with “they” or “their.”  This avoids the gender issue altogether.  When you find that you must use a singular, you may periodically use “he or she” or simply restructure the sentence to avoid the “he or she” if possible.  Rare use of it is fine.          

Plagiarized papers will be rejected.  Every paper will be evaluated for originality by SafeAssign, which reports to the professor the degree to which your paper is suspectedof plagiarism.  The following tips will help you avoid any problems with plagiarism:
Direct Quotes: No more than 10% of your paper should be made up of direct quotes.  Therefore, do more summarizing and paraphrasing than quoting.  Short quotes should be in quotation marks and longer quotes should be indented (see current APA).  If you do not set off direct quotes in this manner and/ordo not cite them, it is plagiarism.
Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact is not your own, you must cite its source.  When not directly quoting, summarize or analyze the idea in your own words.
Submit this assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.

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