Nowadays, creating a developed society to be committed, interactive with century’s diversity, scientifically and culturally opened, relies on choosing an educational philosophy that is based on beneficial cultural elements and values. “Educational philosophy is the backbone of any efficient teacher. It encapsulates essentially the principles, the ways of thinking and the beliefs that provide the foundation and the framework on which teachers define, delineate, and justify their teaching agendas, their curriculum preferences, their pedagogical styles, their classroom organizational structures, name it.” (UgwuozorIn, F. O, 2019, p. 2) In general, creating a personal philosophy helps in justifying and highlighting the teaching plan and program, which then leads to efficient teaching and well education. Putting into consideration the 3 educational philosophies of Pragmatism, Realism, and Idealism, this essay is developing and summarizing a new philosophy of education, which is based on “Uniqueness”. Moreover, it borrows experiences of great philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Dewey.
A personal philosophy is a ‘great idea that informs the mind, fires the imagination, moves the heart, and shapes ’ (Colson, 2011, p. 17). My personal philosophy of education stands on the concept that each student is unique. Each student is a human which has a different background, capabilities, potentials, intelligence quotient, personality, opinions, and beliefs. Accordingly, improving the educational environment to be more stimulating, results in improving a student’s social, emotional, mental and physical growth. As this philosophy is issued in the 21st century, it is using this century’s skills: Creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration to achieve a better education.
The main objectives and goals of this philosophy are the human goals, the scientific, the cultural, the linguistics, the goal of creating and building individuals as well as societies, the goal of innovating, and the continuous education’s goal. It uses some educational methods and learning styles that are age-appropriate. This philosophy can assure classifying the students and putting each of them in the right place where he belongs, according to the data we get. Collecting this data is regular, frequent, random, in-class, outdoor, and feedback from other teachers and parents. This will guarantee to get accurate results for each student.
From one perspective, the philosophy of uniqueness crosses the way into idealism by focusing on ideas, soul, spirit, mind, brain, and thinking. It allows students to think in order to get an answer, which they believe is suitable. It encourages and inspires students to learn, especially when they know that their own explanations and thinking are equally important. It also, depends on what the student thinks about a certain story and what other conclusions can he create. When talking about Idealism, we need to come along with its originators like Socrates and Plato. To make it clear, we can imagine a competition between the two philosophers, based only on ideas: Socrates: “All that Plato will say is incorrect. Plato agrees: “Socrates is telling the truth!” The previous example proves that we can build a whole subject, invent a new learning tool, write a full essay or create an interesting conversation between students, relying on a single idea.
From another perspective, the philosophy of uniqueness borrows some principles from Realism. Besides the brain and its ideas, it also focuses on the body, using its senses. It is concerned with material, what actually exists, what we touch, see, feel and experience. The difference between Realism and Idealism is that ideas are not touchable unless it is transferred into words by someone. The philosophy of uniqueness directs us to use many senses. As long as we include more senses, learning will be easier. It implements Aristotle’s approach in teaching by realizing the real world and depending on physical substances. It depends on engaging the social, external life and nature in the learning process by using the techniques of experience and observation.
Furthermore, as in Realism, the philosophy of uniqueness is built upon the dialectic reasoning, Syllogism, Induction, and Deduction. Deduction and induction are opposite to each other and choosing which one to choose, depends on the situation. Each one depends on a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. In deduction, if the conclusion is not working well or seems to be wrong, we have to check all the premises. In contrast, induction does not need certain knowledge and its conclusion will be easier to work. For example, in deduction, our major premise could be: “If any student in my class gets a full mark, he will be rewarded.” While the minor premise could be: “Ali got a full mark!” These 2 premises lead us to a definite conclusion which is: “Ali will be rewarded.” Reasoning helps students achieve moderation and balance in their lives.
The philosophy of uniqueness passes by Pragmatism in some areas. In spite of Idealism and Realism, Pragmatism’s roots refer to experience and change. It is based on how “Truth” can change. Truth is not stable and does not last forever; it changes according to the position, situation and time. Pragmatism depends on testing whether a specific idea is true under certain circumstances. In addition, it means having more than one opinion about an idea. It encourages students to be open to change. In pragmatism, “Evolving” is the key to a change!” As the main originators in Pragmatism, John Dewey, believed that using techniques like problem-solving and integrated curriculum, is more effective. An integrated curriculum is a new technique, which connects some subjects to each other. For instance, when we use a song of the 5 senses to give a better understanding and a better chance of memorization for students. Using this way allows us to connect science music. Also, when we take the opportunity to talk about Maths and its scientists in a History class. The philosophy of uniqueness uses these connections to stimulate students and get progress
“One measure of the effectiveness of a well-reasoned philosophy of education is that it arouses the teachers’ and students’ desire to pursue their goals—or the telos —of education (Dwight, 2003; Miller, 2016), In order to test the theory, I applied it on my daughter and got impressive results. Before being a teacher, I used to judge my daughters’ acts, blame her and always compare her with others. In contrast, knowing that each person is unique helped me build an understanding of her actions and responses. It contributed to adjusting my thinking, teaching styles, and methods according to what she needs. Indeed, it helped develop her self-confidence to express her own opinion, regardless of the time. In particular, even in daily life, it minimized the time and effort needed for her personal choices and increased her progress levels.
To sum up, I believe that teaching students while putting into consideration their differences, will always give better results. Focusing on their diversity in strengths helps to bring out the best of them. I aim to well educate my students as individuals and as a part of society. I hope that my job as a teacher will help deliver pure information that is planted in my students’ minds and soul, then harvested in their life.