My teaching philosophy is guided by a deep appreciation for the pursuit of knowledge. My work today in education is a philosophical analogue of and continuation to my work in media and publishing industries earlier in my career. Through my career, my work has reflected themes in media and culture, cognition, communication and knowledge tools as extensions of the self (McLuhan, 1966), as well as social justice, social progress and democracy. These themes continue to inform my work as an instructor.
I believe that education empowers individuals, advances their self-actualization, strengthens their personal dignity, and improves their well-being. Learners become better able to make appropriate choices in their lives. Educated citizens can participate more fully in the democratic process (Dewey, 1916). In turn, the interests of a democratic society is fulfilled through an educated citizenry.
The Van Tilburg/Heimlich Teaching Beliefs Scale categorized my beliefs as that of an enabler (Heimlich & Norland, 1994, pp. 207-209). This category is characterized as “very learner-centered” and concerned with allowing learners to define activities and processes within learning contexts (Cano, Garton, & Raven, 1992). This assessment reflects my focus on learners as individuals. The Norland/Heimlich Teaching Values Scale indicated my teaching priorities as being content, student, teacher, group, and finally environment (Heimlich & Norland, 1994). This reflects my valuing of knowledge as a key priority in education.
Although I have little interest in whether or how my students may remember me as an individual, I do hope that by my example I may instil in them a greater appreciation for values that I believe to be important – inquiry, curiosity, honesty, integrity, respect, ideals, ideas, humanity, and learning.
- Cano, J., Garton, B. L., & Raven, M. R. (1992). Learning Styles, Teaching Styles and Personality Styles of Preservice Teachers of Agricultural Education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 33(1), 46-52.
- Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education: an introduction to the philosophy of education. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 28, 2008, from http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=37173.
- Heimlich, J. E., & Norland, E. (1994). Developing Teaching Style in Adult Education. Jossey-Bass.
- McLuhan, M. (1966). Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man (2nd ed.). New York: Signet Books.