Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How my philosophies of life influence my educational goals

This is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for my History and Philosophy of Education class:
"So how does my metaphysical philosophy drive my educational goals? Well, since I believe that the universe was created by a good God according to patterns and principles, and that it is a reflection of Him, it must then follow that one of my main goals in education is to guide students to see and discover the patterns and principles in creation so that they can live in harmony with the creation and its Creator. Since I believe that the nature of God is goodness, love, justice, and wisdom, then my second goal in education is the be a model of God’s goodness, love, justice, and wisdom in my interactions with students that they may come to know and be like Him. I also believe that humankind is made in God’s image, and yet that image has been marred by sin. In response, God sent Christ as our redemption. Therefore, another educational goal I have is to treat all my students with dignity as God’s image bearers as I train them to treat others with dignity. Not only that, but because of the effects of the Fall, my goal is to guide them into the knowledge of Christ and His grace as I am able and mediate for them before God in prayer for their souls’ salvation. I also intend to support and train students as they work on developing their full potential so they might shine more brightly as tiny reflections of God on the earth. Finally, since I believe reality is absolute, my next educational goal is to teach reality as something to respect as we respect God—not something we create for ourselves. And because reality consists of a deeper spiritual dimension with its corresponding physical dimension, I also purpose to make sure I teach with depth and not just coverage so that my focus is not mere rote learning that touches on the mere physical surface of things.
Now how are my educational goals influenced by my epistemological beliefs? Since I believe that the revelation of Scripture enlightened by the Holy Spirit is the best way of arriving at truth, my goal is to make that revelation integral to my conveyance of knowledge. This may be directly to my children at home or in a private religious school. Or if teaching in a public school, it may be indirectly as I live out and teach its basic principles. However, I intend to make clear through words and actions that the quest for knowledge can rightly be attained through a variety of other methods, such as reason, senses, intuition, and authority, when they are balanced out and used in an attitude of humility that remains open to correction.
My axiological beliefs also influence my educational goals. Since I believe in right and wrong that is absolute according to God and Scripture, one goal I have is to implement rules and curriculum that best align with those absolute moral standards. Since I believe there is a type of absolute beauty that reflects God and His glory, I also set an educational goal of helping students develop a taste for that beauty (as best as I can ascertain it), recognize their unique preference for various aspects of that beauty, discover the beauty around them, and create beauty within their lives."

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