Philosophy of Education

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Education and Training

    Course : Practicum in Education and Training

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student explores the teaching and training profession. The student is expected to:
      • (C) formulate a personal philosophy of education
    • (3) The student communicates effectively. The student is expected to:
      • (A) assess the effectiveness of personal verbal, non-verbal, written and electronic communication skills
      • (D) integrate effective communication skills in teaching or training
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • explore educational philosophies and their purposes
    • explore personal philosophy of education
    • create a philosophy of education
  • Rationale


    What is a philosophy of education? It is an explanation of basic beliefs about education and is based on a person’s philosophy of life. Your beliefs influence your actions. Your personal belief system, including your philosophy of education, will determine what values you emphasize, how you organize and manage your classroom, how you teach and how you relate to children and their families. Your philosophy guides your thinking and actions as a teacher. It is important that you understand the influences your educational philosophy will have on your teaching, including your student-internship teaching. In this lesson, you will compose your own philosophy of education.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Aesthetics: What is beautiful

    Axiology: The branch of philosophy that considers ethics, values and aesthetics

    Epistemology: A branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods and limits of human knowledge

    Essentialism: The basics of the core curriculum philosophy of education – teach what is essential to know

    Ethics: What is right and good

    Existentialism: Educational philosophy that supports the teachers encouraging students to develop their own unique qualities and take responsibilities for their own actions

    Logic: A branch of philosophy that considers reasoning to arrive at legitimate conclusions; includes mathematical logic

    Metaphysics: The branch of philosophy that strives to explain the nature of things

    Perennialism: Philosophy of education that believes that students should learn through the study of the classics – such as reading the Great Books

    Progressivism: Educational philosophy that considers the students’ needs, interests and experiences to make lessons relevant

    Social Reconstructivism: Educational philosophy that supports giving social problems immediate attention

    Socratic: Method of questioning; a systematic series of questioning credited to Socrates (also called dialectic – an argument between two opposing sides)

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • presenter/remote
    • computer lab with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines for Internet access)


    • mission statement from your campus and school district


    • colored construction paper
    • glue sticks
    • index cards (3 x 5)

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Prior to the lesson:

    Familiarize yourself with examples of educational philosophies at:

    Educational Philosophy and Practice

    Sample Educational Philosophy Statements

    Three examples of a philosophy of education

    Before class begins:

    As students walk into the classroom, distribute an index card to each individual. Instruct them to write words and/or terms that describe an effective teacher.

    Write “Effective Teacher” on the board or overhead. Ask the students to share what they wrote on their index cards. Assign a scribe to write the information on the board. Ask the following:

    • How would you describe your favorite teacher?
    • What personal characteristics did your favorite teacher possess?
    • Why is teaching important to you?
    • What do you think “good teaching” is? What does it look like?
    • How does this connect to your basic beliefs about learning?
    • How will you assess the effectiveness of your teaching?
    • What metaphor would best describe your teaching style?
    • Why is it important to develop your own philosophy of education?

    Distribute KWL Chart Philosophy of Teaching (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Have students fill out the first two columns of the chart. Ask students to write down what they already know about philosophies of teaching and what they want to learn about philosophies of teaching in the second column. The last column will be completed during Lesson Closure.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Provide students with Philosophy of Education Note-taking (see All Lesson Attachments tab) or have them take notes in their journals.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Philosophy of Education (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Allow time for classroom discussion.

    Using Philosophy of Education Note-taking (see All Lesson Attachments tab), students will have an opportunity to reflect on, review and respond to the information pertaining to the PowerPoint™. They will write a summary of questions, topics or statements which reflect the information from the lesson:

    • Discuss the topic
    • Write down your thoughts
    • Make a real-world connection to the lesson
    • How is this going to help you in the future?

    Allow for questions and answers to check for understanding.

    Throughout the lesson, refer to the Word Wall so that students may become familiar with terminology. You may use a site such as or to create a digital word wall.

    Videos included in the PowerPoint™ presentation:

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • providing frequent feedback

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute handout Teaching Philosophy Template (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Inform students they will be creating their own philosophies of education. They need to answer the questions honestly about their beliefs toward education and teaching. This will be used later during Independent Practice to develop a philosophy of education.

    You may opt to select and print examples of educational philosophies or have students view them at:

    Check for understanding.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • providing frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute and introduce My Philosophy of Education (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will follow a basic three-part process for creating their own philosophy of education:

    Step 1:
    Organize ideas and create a working draft, using the information from the previous exercise “Teaching Philosophy Template.” Tell students to provide explanations for their beliefs and ideas about education. Stress that they need to pay attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation.

    Step 2:
    After they have written their drafts, instruct students to exchange them with a partner and peer edit each other’s philosophy of education drafts. Students may also opt to have their English teachers review their drafts and give input on their philosophies of education.

    Step 3:
    After their drafts have been edited, students will create final drafts. They will:

    • Type their final drafts, double-spaced, and place them on construction paper
    • Share philosophies with the class
    • Place philosophies on the wall for display

    Distribute My Philosophy of Education Rubric (See All Lesson Attachments tab) so that the students understand what is expected of them.

    Thoroughly explain project guidelines and each rubric component. If time allows, students may present their papers to the class.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • providing frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment
    • assisting student in gathering information
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • Lesson Closure

    Review objectives, terms and definitions.

    Have students form two circles with an equal number of students in each circle (if there is an odd number of students, have one student to serve as the leader). Have the students create an inner circle facing out and an outer circle facing in. Have circles move in opposite direction – both to the right or both to the left. Since the circles are facing opposite directions, this will force the circles to move in two different directions.

    Music may be played and stopped or the teacher/student leader may just say, “Stop.” The students facing each other have two minutes to explain one belief and one way that belief will influence their teaching. The teacher/student leader may ask a specific question for the students to discuss. To insure that each student has a chance to both listen and speak, the teacher/student leader may say, “Outside (or inside) circle speaks first,” and then after one minute say, ”Switch.” When the music starts again, or the teacher/student leader says, “Rotate,” the students will move to a different partner and repeat the process.

    Complete graphic organizer, KWL Chart Philosophy of Teaching (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to analyze what students have learned about philosophies of education.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Student projects will be assessed with the appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • grading according to work done
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • References/Resources


    Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft.


    • Early Childhood Education Today, Twelfth Edition by George S. Morrison
      This book is a great resource on early childhood education. It covers the foundation of education, programs and resources for children and families, educational needs of infants through the primary grades and the special needs of children and families.
    • Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional. Fifth Edition by Don Kauchak & Paul Eggen
      For any student going into the teaching profession, this is an excellent choice. It is an easy read for students on all levels. It covers the changing teaching profession, the foundations of education and how to become an effective teacher.
    • Touch the Future: Teach! by Carlos Diaz, Carol Pelletier and Eugene Provenzo, Jr.
      In this book, students are asked to reflect on their own culture and how it has helped them to develop their ideals of teaching. The authors ask students to reflect on their own belief systems as they prepare to become future educators.


    • What is Your Philosophy of Education?
      McGraw-Hill Publishers created an online inventory for students that will direct them to one of five types of educational philosophies, Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructivism or Existentialism, based on their responses.


  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Assign students to read about teaching philosophies. Information can be found in newspaper articles, magazines, journals and online print.

    • Print, distribute and discuss your campus’ and school districts’ mission statements. Encourage a student discussion about the beliefs, values and virtues of your school district.
    • Promote the use of the pre-reading strategy prediction.
    • Encourage students to connect reading to their life experiences or prior knowledge.
    • Word Attack Strategies: Prior to reading, allow students to skim the passage or text, circling words that are unfamiliar to them. Once these words are decoded (glossary, dictionary,, classroom discussion) the student will have a better understanding of the pronunciation and meaning of the unfamiliar word(s), facilitating comprehension.
  • Quotes

    The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
    -Albert Einstein

    The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
    -John Powell

    Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
    -John Dewey

    Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
    -John Dewey

    By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

    Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies

    PowerPoint ™:

    • Philosophy of Education
    • Presentation Notes for Philosophy of Education



    Bill Gates on Education and Good Teachers
    Bill Gates shares his vision for education.


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • KWL Chart Philosophy of Education
    • Philosophy of Education Note-taking


    • Philosophy of Education Questions
    • My Philosophy of Education
    • My Philosophy of Education Rubric
    • Teaching Philosophy Template

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • The most important thing that I believe about education is _________________________.
    • The effect that my beliefs will have on my education is _____________________________.
    • The effect that my beliefs about education will have on my students’ education is __________________________.
    • The things that have most influenced my beliefs are __________________________.

    Writing strategies:

    • RAFT Writing Strategy
      • Role: Current educator
      • Audience: Future educators
      • Format: Persuasive
      • Topic: Making a difference in students’ lives
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • The way that I would describe my philosophy of education is ____________________________.
    • The person that has most influenced my educational beliefs is ____________________________.
    • The way my culture and heritage have influenced my system of beliefs is ________________________________.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Encourage students to research the life and times of the early Greek philosophers and to create a skit or short play with more contemporary educators interacting (debating/discussing) with the great philosophers at the School of Athens.
      Examples for the skit or short play might include:
      • Benjamin Bloom meets Socrates and discusses questioning techniques and the taxonomy of thinking skills.
      • Howard Gardner adds movement, music and art to a lesson.
      • Would Madeline Hunter (a woman) ever be accepted?
    • Interview the best teachers students have had. The interview could be conducted in person, by e-mail or via Skype. Students can prepare a PowerPoint™, video or other creative presentation of the qualities that teacher possessed. Videos can be posted on YouTube™.
    • Survey students of various ages, teachers, parents and administrators about characteristics teachers should possess. Compare the data and make graphs to compare information from various groups.
    • Research emotional intelligence and ways to develop those attributes. Make presentations using technology to share the information with the class. Role play scenarios of teachers using emotional intelligence strategies.
    • Work individually and then in small groups to make lists of school-based qualities of effectiveness. Make a class list. Go to the school website to find and make a copy of the District and Campus School Improvement Plan. Compare students’ class lists to the ideas in the school documents. They may make a list of suggestions for the school principal or Improvement Plan Committees.

    TED Talks:

    TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer). The video below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the video and lead a discussion concerning the TED Talk.
    Bill Gates on Education and Good Teachers
    Bill Gates shares his vision for education.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Interview a central administrator or campus administrator to learn how the mission statement for the district or school was created.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    STAR Events:

    • Early Childhood – An individual event that recognizes participants who use Family and Consumer Sciences skills to plan and conduct a child development project that has a positive impact on children and the community.
    • Focus on Children – An individual or team event that recognizes participants who organize a community service project focused on a specific need related to children in the community.
    • Teach and Train – An individual event that recognizes participants for their exploration of the education and training fields through research and hands-on experience.


    SkillsUSA Contests:

    • Early Childhood Education – An individual event that recognizes participants who demonstrate knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and ability to prepare and implement learning activities for children three to five years old. Contestants will prepare a written lesson plan and take a written test assessing their knowledge of child development and effective teaching strategies.

    Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE)

    TAFE Competition:

    • Educational Leadership Fundamentals – This competition is an individual event that recognizes participates who take a 30-minute timed exam about knowledge of the teaching profession.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to the lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Possible idea: Tell students that for this project that they are all Social Reconstructionists. Remind the students that Social Reconstructionists believe that education should give immediate attention to social problems. Have students brainstorm social issues at their school. Then select a problem and develop a lesson plan that addresses the issue. The class could work individually or in groups. If time allows, have the students teach the lesson to another group of students.

  • All Attachments