Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Educational Philosophy

Most of the time when someone mentions philosophy to me, or asks me about mine, I tell them if you want to know about philosophy go read Aristotle or Socrates. They know philosophy, I don't and when you want to know in depth about something you need to consult an expert in that field. If I wanted to know about ladies to have a good time with I'd try to contact Charlie Sheen. I never knew my thoughts or beliefs would impact a school district, but the day I became a superintendent that changed. I have found, also, that as I learn more my philosophy has become a revolving door, it changes with gained knowledge.

I do hate walking in schools, at least in this part of Kansas, and seeing their mission statement and no one knows what it is. The thing I have noticed is they all say the same flowery things to which the meaning gets lost. I believe our mission at Pleasanton is to prepare our students to be adequately prepared for their next step in life. That may be going from 3rd to 4th grade, junior high to high school, or high school to college/work. Thats it.

But here are some other things that I feel we need to examine at my school and I have the many contributors to twitter to thank for opening my eyes and brain, and it didn't even hurt to much.

Learning content to learning how to learn-Spewing facts back at me is not going to make it in the world we are now living. A student had better prepare to open up to new learning to be successful. This is why some veteran teachers struggle, just be a life-long learner.

Going in that same direction the instruction needs to shift to life skills-be able to work in groups, where to locate and determine relevant information, and students will take more ownership in learning as we shift from data-driven instruction.

The one size fits all teaching will go away-As well it should differentiating learning should have been done so long ago, no one can imagine that all students learn at the same rate, so why do we teach them that way.

Assess what they have learned-I think we will eventually learn that so much standardized testing means nothing about learning. I think semester type testing will go away and shorter more frequent measures will guide our instruction.

"We've never done it like that before." If a teacher says this-they will be fired on the spot whether they have tenure or not.

There you have my educational philosophy for December 2010, I guarantee you it is different from December 2009, and hope its different in December 2011. Did you think of Aristotle or Socrates when you read this?


  1. Interesting Post Greg. I like your statement about mission statements and how they really do not mean anything yet every school is supposed to have one. I think as you do that education needs to be flexible and individualized more and unfortunately that is going to be hard with our current system and rules. Will be interesting to see what 2011 brings and hopefully it is for the better.

  2. Admin, if not okay please remove!

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