Induction occurs during this type of lesson because the student first makes “an observable instance” and then uses “reasoning to general statement” or to make a claim/interpretation (pg46). In essence, the student through the first reading of the poem tries to find the true meaning. Then the student looks for the evidence that they believe shows support of their claim. Therefore the student might come up with one interpretation of the poem because of one line that strongly suggests their proposed interpretation. I try to make them look beyond that one line and find many pieces of evidence that will suggest their standpoint. Then the interpretation might transform into a completely different interpretation. This is my way as an educator to teach with an inductive attitude, promoting my students to look at life and works of literature with this same attitude instead of the deductive attitude of ‘write about what the teacher says is correct.’
For example, one of the symbols in the novel is of the red apple. In the story, the main character, Jonas, is the only one in the community that can see color. This is shown to readers through use of Jonas, similar to the name Jonah from the bible, seeing an apple being thrown in the playground as “different.” Jonas cannot quite put his finger on why he sees the apple this way. Readers later find out that this is because he holds the knowledge that the rest of the community no longer has, the ability to “see beyond,” which includes color, and holding the knowledge of what the world was like before “sameness” was forced upon the community. Before students read this part of the novel, I share with them the story of Adam and Eve. This story becomes my mini lesson for symbolism. I explain to my students how the apple in the story represents the knowledge that God did not want Adam and Eve to have. This is similar to how the apple is represented in the novel. The Christian belief and philosophy shows its “emphasis on the fatherhood of God and in God’s concern for humanity” similar to how the author of The Giver, Lois Lowry, created in this beloved novel I teach to my 7th graders (pg 96)
In regards to Pragmatics and Progressivism, the educational system should give the future generations the “tools, like hammers and microchips, that people devise to cope with the world,” more specifically with the problems that will call for leaders to solve. The educational system should be used to help the teacher shape the student’s tabula rasa “to interpret the child’s powers” that can be used throughout the rest of the individual’s life (pg 131). Although directly teaching the child ABOUT democracy is important, education should “not be mere preparation for life, but an important part of the life that the children themselves live” and embrace through means of experiences they encounter (pg 131). This very well could mean showing the child history lessons that show democracy working at its best.
For example, one of my students was dead set on not doing homework. He did not understand why he needed to do his homework and usually this turned into an emotional breakdown in the middle of my class. Although I have a paraprofessional in the classroom, I needed to do something to prevent this from disrupting the other students in this inclusion classroom. After getting to know this particular student, I found that he loved being the leader of the class. Therefore, I started to come up with small ways that he could be “the leader” as long as he did his homework and acted appropriately. As the book states, “when students are retarded or emotionally disturbed, conditioning is one way to develop a step-by-step program through rewards (or punishment) so that they are led to achieve complex patterns of behavior” (pg 196). This technique worked wonders during this school year and I was able to dodge many distractions for my other learners.
Further example if needed: One of the lessons I created for my class asked students to create a symbol that represented them as an individual. The students were asked to not share their symbol with anyone else in the room until it was time for us to all share the 3D project. Additionally, students needed to explain why this symbol represented them and only them. Educators must give students ample opportunities to share something personal and give students time to contemplate how they would handle a situation in order to promote this authentic attitude.
Ashley sullivan’s philosophy of education
The following presentation
outlines my personal philosophy
of education and how I utilize
my training to promote an
environment conducive to
learning for all levels of learners.
I have decided to focus on each
of the philosophies discussed in
class and how I infuse different
practices and philosophies
frequently during my
instruction which also includes
my lesson planning, my attitude
in the classroom, and my
interactions with parents and
If you have ever watched the movie Dead Poet’s
Society, you have become familiar with a teacher
named Mr. Keating, played by Robin Williams.
Mr. Keating, like myself, pushes his students to
work hard towards being civic students, to explore
new horizons through analysis of poetry and other
works of literature, and utilize their individuality,
moving away towards the norms of textbook
analysis. Although it seems as though my
philosophy has a lot of Existentialist influence, I
believe my personal philosophy meshes all 10
theories discussed in this course similar to Mr.
Keating and the way he made his students think
outside of the box.
My definition: Idealism is the
study of truth and finding
your own place in the world.
This could occur through a
spiritual revelation or
religious following or what
you experience on a day to
day basis in the natural
world, similar to the
Transcendental writers I
teach students about that
include New England
Transcendental poets and
excerpts of Walden.
Focus questions to ask students:
What is the form of the poem?
What do you think the poem is about?
How do you know? Provide evidence.
How do you connect or not connect to this
Promoting my students to move out of “the
cave” and into the world of ideas (Ozmon pg.
Promote my students to live rich, colorful, and
Creating relationships with student's to spark
interest and to plan further lessons.
Pushing students to take the initiative to
Discussions, analysis, and synthesis of ideas
through use of classics such as Walden and other
Interactions with parents to push students to their
Through education, the individual is given the
stone and then asked to create their own version of
the wheel. Even though one is given tools, it is the
individual's job to search for the truths. This
freedom creates an ideal world which is constantly
moving or thinking “how can this be improved”.
This is an idea I will now use in my poetry unit
with 8th graders as I try to constantly explain to
them that many interpretations of poems exist in
the world and that it is their job to search for the
answers/evidence that supports the
truth/meaning that they have found during their
THE FOLLOWING LINK
SHOWS REALISM AT BEST
My definition: Mastery
of material that is
present outside of the
mind, thinking critically
and scientifically about
the topic to be
Harmony of both mind
and body (Ozmon, pg.
The teacher in the
movie Dead Poet’s
Society pushes his
students to think
Writing narratives based off real or imaginary
Asking students to challenge ideas and work towards
finding new information while providing evidence to
their findings (showing the method of finding facts).
Providing students with opportunities to write about
real life situations or to reflect upon them in their
writing (making inferences and connections).
Creation of thought provoking questions to fix the
“ills” of the world.
Visuals to help learners understand the “sensation of
objects,” similar to Maria Montessori (Ozmon, pg. 51).
Motivation and direction to allow
the student to shape their own
Servicing mankind .
Promoting good conduct through
Promoting use of imagination.
Use of logic when test taking,
writing, or solving problems in or
outside of the classroom.
Challenging some ideas that might
need some “fixing.”
One on one conferences with
students to discuss how they will
go about completion of lesson.
I try to make my students think independently.
This is very difficult for a middle school student
however I am trying to prepare and differentiate
my lessons for those who will be entering the 9th
For example, when we look at the poetry unit, I
explain to students that they should ATTEMPT to
find their own meaning of the piece and that the
evidence that they provide will help support their
claim. In this way, ELA class can be a lot like the
scientific method as used in Science as claims are
made AFTER trial and error or inquiries are made.
My definition: Using
ideals taught in multiple
religions to promote
“more compassionate and
(Ozmon, pg 77).
Understanding of the
inner self in a search for
inner strength, stability,
Showing students the diversity of the world.
Examples of Gandhi in my Nonfiction unit and
how he promoted the non violent movements
due to the influences of religion.
Use of religious stories become archetypes for
many of the stories read in class.
Promoting the students to find their quiet spot
for relaxation when concentrating on their
Fostering an environment where the individual
feels safe to be themselves.
Treating the individual with respect.
Establishing an environment where Zen is
I use many Christian stories to try to help my
students understand figurative language. One
example occurs in my unit on the novel The
Giver. The novel has many religious allusions
that need to be connected to the actual biblical
stories to understand.
things that give us “best”
results, hands on problem
solving, and working in
(R)-taking action regarding
real life problems like
violence, bullying, etc. as
well as “democratic control
over decisions that regulate
human lives” (Ozmon, pg
Giving students real life scenarios.
Using Nonfiction unit to show students the ills
of the world and how others have worked to
Group work that requires each student to work
together to meet a common goal.
Creating scenarios for students to problem
solve through use of group work.
Showing students real life scenarios.
Promoting students to fix society (students
worked to raise money for Hurricane Sandy
Pushing my students to be democratic/ civic
According to John Locke, “the most desirable
environment for their (children) education” is
to place them in an environment that will
shape them into the people they are (pg 115). If
we want to shape the future generation’s
“tabula rasa,” we will need to make sure that
we educate them on the importance of
democracy and the importance of empathy.
Although education does hold many other
purposes, it can also be used to fulfill a political
My definition: Behavior is
influenced by things in the
environment. Therefore, in
education the student
behaves a certain way due
to the classroom
“from behavior patterns
by the teacher (Ozmon,
Classroom rules are clearly stated and
High expectations are set for learners to
Parent communication when necessary.
Relationships established with students to
ensure they understand the rules of the
Rewards for positive grades, even if it is only a
Punishments for not so ideal behavior.
Rewards to condition students with behavior
and learning disabilities to promote positive
Conditioning has been very useful my student
who have Autism . Conditioning and rewards
have been very helpful in maintaining my
classroom management with this group of
I have also used extrinsic rewards with the other
students as well. For example, students can earn a
“free homework token” if they receive a 100 on a
vocabulary quiz. This technique promotes my
students to study hard for the quiz and shows
them that their hard efforts do pay off.
CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO
SEE THE TYPE OF ATTITUDE
My definition: Using your
individuality to move
away from cultural norms
for the betterment of
society, asking the
individual person “Who
am I?” “Where is my life
headed?” and “Why do I
exist?” in order to know
oneself better (Ozmon, pg
The following clip is from
the movie Dead Poets
Society. Notice how the
teacher promotes his
students to think for
themselves, not just by the
Putting students in
real life situations.
Teaching them to
cope with the
stress of an ever
with material and
readings that they
can ask themselves
“What would I
have done in that
Emphasizing individuality through their
writing (Ozmon, pg 231).
Utilizing theater of the unknown in my lessons
(Monsters are due on Maple Street).
Projects and essays that ask the writer to look
at themselves and utilize this knowledge in
their piece of writing.
An example of the existentialist attitude I display
is my class occurs during my Nonfiction unit. In
this unit, students are asked what they think they
would do if they lived during this time period and
how they would react to the injustice that existed
in the world. This is similar to the existentialist
attitude that asks students to ask themselves “Who
am I?,” Where is my life headed?,” and “Why do I
It is my hope that all educators create a learning
atmosphere that allows for such opportunities that
I and existentialists have deemed important to
create authentic individuals for society.
My definition: The
clarification of language
in their writing and oral
speech, using precise
language to prevent
“Teachers need to be
clear about the nature
of the central
activity…” (Ozmon, pg
Revision of writing
Objectives of lesson clearly stated on the board.
All students have access to dictionaries when
unfamiliar words arise in readings.
Weekly vocabulary review.
Calling students to analyze readings to find
Understanding the “logic of language”
(Ozmon, pg 299).
Promotion of good word usage in writing
Circling unfamiliar vocabulary to later look up
in dictionary when unsure (TBALL notes).
Reading and analysis of The Giver by Lois
Vocabulary used in context, not just
We also need to remind students that "knowing
how” and "knowing that" are very different and
give them the opportunities for both (pg 291). For
example, giving the students a vocabulary list of
new words to "know that" word is not enough. We
need to teach students to "know how" to use the
words properly in a sentence and in context.
Educators must become "acutely aware of
language and its potential" and promote this
attitude about language to students (pg 294). This
will help them on standardized tests, though their
college careers and even in their professional lives.
Questioning old ways of
thinking, people thinking
critically about subjects
that include “issues of
power, history, personal
and group identities,
cultural policies, and
social criticism, all
leading to collective
action” (Ozmon, pg. 324).
Modeling the behavior to dig deeper into the
Creating lessons that become part of “social
memory” (Ozmon, pg 325).
Curriculum that “enlightens and liberates
students” (Ozmon, pg 325).
Use of technology to enhance learning and
interests of students
Students are asked to really dig deep into that
which they are reading in my course. For
example, students will need to find the irony in
a piece or look for magical realism. The short
story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
using many elements of magical realism that
they will need to identify.
I believe that the most effective
teachers are open to trying new
techniques and philosophies in
their practice. I became a teacher
because I was fortunate enough to
meet people who made me
challenge the norms of life, gain a
love for great works of literature,
and gave me the confidence to be
myself. It is my hope I infuse this
same attitude in my students. My
philosophy can be summed up
into a few key points, similar to
Establish relationships with
students and parents
Use multiple technologies and
teaching styles to enrich learning
Push students to be civic people
Introduce students to difficult,
real life situations in readings
Push students to challenge norms
and fix society
Be an individual that represents
society in a positive way
Be involved in that which you
Establish a love for life and
All videos from Youtube.com
Dead Poets Society, Monsters are due on Maple
Street, A Raisin in the Sun
All images unless otherwise stated from my
Pinterest boards which can be accessed at:
You will also find many resources for teaching
under my “Books Worth Reading” board.
Ozmon, Howard. 2012. Philosophical Foundations