by Cheryl Lacey, ©2022
(Jan. 11, 2022) — What is your philosophy of education? I’ll forgive you if you can’t answer this one.
A philosophy of education is an explanation of values and beliefs about teaching.
The truth is, very few educators answer this with confidence.
Here’s my philosophy.
There are only three things over which we have control. Our vantage point, what we think and what we say.
Schools are often guilty of using wordy vision and mission statements to describe their culture beliefs. They might sound impressive, but they don’t really say a lot about teaching.
Just to be clear: a vision statement focuses on what the school aims to do; a mission statement focuses on what the school does today.
Here’s a vision statement from an elementary school.
To nurture in children a desire to learn throughout life and to develop the capacity to exercise judgement and responsibility in matters of morality, ethics, and social justice.
Here’s its mission statement.
To partner with our students on their lifelong journey of learning and discovery, so they may participate meaningfully and purposefully in a world they are already helping to shape.
Would you enrol your children at this school?
Schools are not children’s partners, and certainly not for life.
The relationship between parents and children is for life.
Look at the statements again. How does this school view parents?
The more a school asserts a partnership with students and the less parents are recognised, the greater the alienation between parents and their children.
Parents raise children. Schools provide a service – to assist parents with their children’s education.