# James Gilboy: My Personal Philosophy Of Education

This document highlights the personal educational philosophy of James Gilboy. It includes reflective thinking about my twenty-two years of education experience in terms of what I believe to be true, real and valuable. It examines how my teaching, learning, and instruction have changed and been shaped by educational philosophies and theories. Personal Philosophy of Education

Introduction

In this paper I will develop a comprehensive personal philosophy of education. It is based on my personal experiences as a teacher for the past twenty-two years. During this time, I’ve seen many changes to the methodologies and theories of teaching practices. The one thing I believe to be constant in education is change. This paper will

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At this point in my teaching career, I was honing my skills of teaching the basics and subjects of first grade. As a teacher I was the expert, the authority figure imparting knowledge. There was such an emphasis on discrete skills in reading and math. I simply taught my students to read, to write and do math. As Marlow (2002) states “Realism then as a philosophy of education emphasizes that measurable results from pupils can be obtained to state precisely how well a student is achieving.” (pg. 3). That accurately defines how I was functioning as an educator, I taught, tested, and reported to parents how well my students were achieving. Around this time in my career came about a new federal law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) which was, in theory, designed to improve our educational system through the use of standards and benchmarked

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No longer could I be satisfied with being the expert and just teaching the basics, as this practice was clearly not going to meet the demands of the new law. I needed to get my students to think more and to problem solve. Author Gutek (2014) states, “problem solving is the appropriate method of instruction for those who accept the Pragmatist’s view of knowledge.” (pg. 6). As a teacher, I was becoming more pragmatic. My students were not just taught the basics of reading, writing and math. In contrast to my beginning years of teaching, my students now were becoming strategic readers, better writers and more mathematical thinkers because I was challenging them with problem solving activities. Students were exposed to the how’s, the why’s and what if’s in content areas. The pragmatic way of problem solving was most evident in mathematics as the math curriculum I was using emphasized thinking and problem solving. My students were exposed to real life problems and with just a little guidance from me, they were able to think and solve complex math problems. My teaching matched the expectations of that of John Dewey as I encouraged children’s open-minded curiosity and fought against stifling it with routine and dogmatism. (Gutek, 2014). Over the next ten years or so, I successfully employed this method of teaching students.