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Dr. Stewart's Educational Philosophy

 
 
 

 

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My educational philosophy consists of a combination of the theories of Idealism and Pragmatism.  The principles of Idealism call for a person to look beyond what can be physically seen and promote the development of understanding the complete object or subject.  As an educator, I follow the beliefs of Idealism in theory with use of Pragmatism on a day-to-day basis.  Idealism promotes a holistic learning in the classroom while Pragmatism allows a student to demonstrate his or her understanding in a variety of ways. This leads directly to my belief in proficiency-based education in the classroom.

    Traditionally, public school and higher education has been viewed as a set of required courses, hours, or credits that a student must complete in order to receive a diploma. The only association with learning has taken place in the assumption that a student gains knowledge during his or her tenure in the class. The degree of learning has been determined by the grade the student receives upon completion of the course requirements including the required amount of “seat-time” for the course. The obvious flaw in this assumption is the fact that a student can attend the class for the required amount of time, complete all of the classroom assignments, take all of the exams and quizzes for the class, and still not develop the understanding and application essential to Idealism. Proficiency-based education requires a student to “prove” his or her understanding of a subject. I have almost adopted the nickname of Missouri, the “Show Me State,” as my philosophy in the classroom.

   Idealism, a belief in the necessity of an understanding of a subject; proficiency-based education, a belief in the necessity of “proving” the understanding of a subject; and Pragmatism, a belief in the necessity of allowing a person to “show me” using a variety of methods provides the underlying basis for my actions, both in the classroom and in the administrative situation.

 
 
 
 

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