William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Professor, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PVAMU/Member Texas A&M University WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY?Many individuals have a philosophy embedded in their subconscious minds. Althoughone does not realize altogether that certain beliefs follow a selected philosophic approach,individual actions parallel certain philosophies more than others. The following mediumoffers information concerning personal philosophic beliefs so that a basic understandingcan be obtained and a personal philosophy developed. Please answer the followingstatements on the answer sheet at the end of this section utilizing the scale: Strongly Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree |--------1------------------2------------------3-----------------4------------------5-------| 1. The subjects of a school are the most important feature of an education. 2. Schools should promote a teacher-centered environment in order to encourage effective learning. 3. Education is a prerequisite for a student to understand life’s intentions. 4. What students are taught should be determined solely by student interest and input. 5. The deductive approach is the most effective method of teaching any subject to students. 6. Universal truth is an individual perception. 7. If it happens, it is real. 8. Disregard the past and you are destined to repeat it. 9. A school’s curriculum should be determined by the specific needs of each community, where content is designed for the betterment of each student.10. Education should focus strongly on the development of reasoning skills of students.11. Curricular content should center primarily on the scientific method for resolving dilemmas.12. Students should be free to explore their interests in whatever fashion they desire.13. The climate in which one lives solely defines one’s behavior.14. All children can learn the same thing, but not at the same rate.15. Students should be placed in classrooms according to their individual abilities.16. All reform movements in education are basically the same.17. The curriculum for students should contain a specific nucleus of information that is indigenous for all literate people.18. Ethical behavior and morality should be incorporated into a student’s learning process.
19. The curriculum of a school should not be decided by a small circle of school officials, but by all involved parties within the community.20. What is real is perceived differently by individuals, therefore no two things can be the same.21. Learning by specified programs of material in sequence is paramount to a child’s education.22. Teachers need to give more individual assistance in the classroom.23. Students with a mental disability cannot learn the same subject matter as regular students and should not be placed in a regular classroom environment.24. Money is not the total answer to increased student achievement.25. Learning to read proficiently is the solution to the educational dilemma.26. Each individual in society must attain a specified body of knowledge to function properly.27. Student needs, experiences, and interests should be the determining factor when designing a school’s curriculum.28. A school’s curriculum should contain more electives for students to choose.29. A complete curricular analysis for effective teaching should include scope, sequence, articulation, pacing, and, most importantly, reward or reinforcement.30. All teachers have an underlying concern for students and the learning process.31. Effective education begins at the home.32. Traditional education of the 1950s should be reinstated in the school curriculum.33. Teachers should not teach in areas where their proficiency is below average.34. More emphasis should be placed on “The Great Men” and “The Great Books” of past civilizations.35. The curriculum should be entirely a hands-on, practical approach.36. Student achievement cannot take place in a traditional, lecture-oriented format.37. The environment is a tangible place where material is a solid representation of what is.38. Students learn best in a one-on-one basis.39. Students, teachers, parents, and administrators should decide solely on the curricular structure of a school.40. What works in one environment does not necessarily work in another.41. There should be a distinct division of subject matter, not the consolidated collection presently advocated.42. Art/music appreciation should stress past contributions rather than practical applications.43. The teacher’s sole function in the classroom should be to guide students through problem-solving situations.44. A school environment should nurture students to find their roles in society.45. Fool me once, shame on you–fool me twice, shame on me.46. Children are born with universal knowledge and it is the teacher’s job to bring forth that knowledge.
47. The universe is made from scientific laws and the scientific process is designed to explain our existence.48. If it works, it is true.49. Enculturation is the primary function of education.50. A school’s curriculum should concentrate on long-range goals, not on immediate concerns.51. A student should feel free to be inventive and communicate inner curiosities without the threat of reprimand.52. Individuals are first an introvert and second an extrovert.53. The scientific approach is the best approach to effectively understand explained and unexplained phenomenon.54. Reality is what one believes.55. Teachers should always adapt and should be flexible in the learning environment.56. We learn best from experience.57. A strict, proven curricular format is necessary to ensure proper learning.58. Even though students learn at different rates, every student should be exposed to the same learning material.59. School environments should be void of any autocracy by the teachers and/or administration.60. Every child evolves at a different rate, both physically and mentally, and should be free, without interference, to do so.61. Students learn best when given an incentive or reward.62. Students know what they need to know and should follow their beliefs.63. Teachers are in the best position to determine appropriate learning activities.64. Our past dictates our future.65. Students do not do enough outside assignments for effective exposure to the subject matter.66. The Socratic method of questioning should be utilized more in the classroom to cultivate critical thinking skills.67. Student-to-student interaction is the best learning method.68. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” because there is no standardized scale for measuring beauty.69. Moral and ethical values are not inborn traits, but learned processes.70. Perceptions are everything in learning.71. Student success is a product of his/her environment regardless of intellectual capability.72. Field trips should be utilized more often to enhance the learning process.73. All teachers of a given subject should teach the same content in order to establish continuity of learning.74. Students learn by themselves under direct supervision of the teacher.75. Students learn better when grouped together than when separated for individual investigation.
ANALYTICAL PHILOSOPHY - philosophy based on analytical activity.AXIOLOGY - area of philosophy that focuses on values.BEHAVIORAL ENGINEERING - Philosophy of education that focuses on controllingthe learner’s environment.BEHAVIORISM - educational philosophy and practice that emphasized reinforcingappropriate behavior or learning: includes the concepts of stimulus and response.ECLECTIC - selecting what appears to be the best doctrines, methods, styles, orphilosophies.EPISTEMOLOGY - deals with knowledge; therefore, directly related to the instructionalmethods employed by teachers.ESSENTIALISM - area of philosophy that believes a common core of knowledge andideals should be the focus of the curriculum.EXISTENTIALISM - philosophy that emphasizes individuals and individual decision-making.IDEALISM - a philosophy that emphasizes global ideas related to moral teachings.METAPHYSICS - the branch of philosophy that deals with ultimate reality.ONTOLOGY - the study of what is real; the primary focus of metaphysics dealing withwhat is real about material objects, the universe, persons, being, mind, existence, and soforth. Hard core reality.PERENNIALISM - educational philosophy that believes in the existence of unchanginguniversal truths.PRAGMATISM - philosophy that focuses on practical application of knowledge.PRESCRIPTIVE - attempts to establish standards for assessing values, judging conductand appraising art: ordered with the force of authority.PROGRESSIVISM - educational philosophy emphasizing experience.RECONSTRUCTIONISM - educational philosophy calling for schools to get involvedand support social reform.SPECULATIVE - considerate of possibilities and probabilities; philosophy is a searchfor orderliness applied to all knowledge; it applies systematic thinking to everything thatexists.SYNOPTIC - providing a general summary of data collected at many points to present anoverview.SYNTHESIS - assembling various parts into a whole; reasoning from self-evidentpropositions, laws or principles to arrive by a series of deductions at what one seeks toestablish; enables educators to see the relationship of ideas to practice.