This I Believe

by Beth Knittle on May 6, 2008

Jen Wagner has tagged me in the This I believe meme started by Barry Bachenheimer

I have been mulling this over a few days. Hoping to come up with something witty and inspiring. What do I believe about education? My answer has changed over the years. As I have matured as an educator, became a parent, varied my experiences and shared with other educators I find I am not the same teacher I was 20 plus years ago (thank God). I am sure I will be different educator in another 20 years.

I began writing my list of where I stand now but the list kept going and going and going. So I have summarized it into a few key beliefs, a snapshot of my philosophy of education at this point in time.

I must preface this with a quote attributed to Mark Twain, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” I think that really reflects my current view. My children hear me say it often, in fact I have caught them telling others.

I believe

…education begins at birth and ends with death. It is not limited to what happens in schools.

…all people should be educated to reach their fullest potential; academic, creative and spiritual.

…learning how to learn, reason and share what you know are fundamental to education.

…learners should frequently ask themselves “how do I know what I know?” They need an understanding of the theory of knowledge.

…education is an active process and often collaborative

…education must be adaptive and flexible to the changing needs of the learner and society.

…the desire to learn is an intrinsic value but it can be encouraged and fostered from without.

When I am in one of my more cynical moods I might include, that schools should not hinder the educational/learning process. But that is more a transient thought of mine then a persistent belief.

Now the truly hardest part of the meme who to tag next. So how about

Julia Colby
Liz Davis
Louise Maine

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

M Hamra May 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm

What a wonderfully refreshing and certainly challenging post. The power of reflection (and action) can be powerful and is often underated. They are very sound and valuable beliefs I agree with them and will reflect upon them in teh coming days. Thankyou

Barry May 7, 2008 at 10:11 am

Well done. I think this is my favorite:

“…the desire to learn is an intrinsic value but it can be encouraged and fostered from without.”

The “without” being the role of the the great teacher.

Thanks

Barry

Liz Davis May 8, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Beth,
Thanks for tagging me. I’m thinking…

This is my favorite of yours:

learners should frequently ask themselves “how do I know what I know?” They need an understanding of the theory of knowledge.

We all need to do this more! I’ll let you know when I’ve got mine done.
-Liz

Bryan May 12, 2008 at 8:59 am

This is fantastic:
“all people should be educated to reach their fullest potential; academic, creative and spiritual.”

I found your site because I’m doing outreach for ISEF 2008, which takes place this week: about 1500 school kids from all over the world converging on Atlanta to compete with their science projects.

We’re hoping to participate in a dialog about what education means in our rapidly evolving world. I hope you’ll click on my name and spend a few minutes checking out the ISEF site to see what you think.

Cristi July 28, 2008 at 11:33 am

Thanks very much for an inspiring post. I am new to the field of education and still trying to figure out my own views. Thanks for helping me reflect on my newly forming philosophy.

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