As an Educator, writing a personal philosophy is a great way for others to read what your values and beliefs are in regards to early childhood education.
The following article provides strategies for Educators on how to write a personal philosophy. It details what can be included, questions to think about and examples of personal philosophies.
What Is A Personal Philosophy
A personal philosophy clearly defines you as an Educator. It is a statement of reflection about your beliefs that influence your actions. It's the process of continuously examining, testifying and verifying your personal beliefs.
It is a tool that not only guides your own teaching and beliefs but also helps other Educators and Parents understand your individual approach to early learning.
How To Write A Personal Philosophy
If someone asked you to explain your personal philosophy in early childhood education, what would you say? How would you begin to formulate a statement that captures the essence of your beliefs about teaching and learning?
The following are some of the most important areas you may want to address in your personal philosophy. It is truly up to you to create a philosophy that accurately expresses your unique teaching style, values and beliefs when it comes to early childhood education.
- Clear statements about what you believe and how you intend to implement and support your beliefs.
- Explaining the values that guide your teaching beliefs.
- Including specific examples of teaching theories and approaches
- Include theorists that you like and provide examples
- It can include - How children learn, Your role as the educator, Role of the community, Your understanding of early childhood education, Your commitment to further professional development, Role of families
- Relate your philosophy to current trends and theories, as this philosophy should guide your actions as an early childhood educator.
- Links to the EYLF (or approved learning framework), Code of Ethics
A good way to think of it is by writing down some of your beliefs regarding children's development and learning.
Questions To Think About
Use the following questions to help you think about your beliefs regarding teaching young children. It is not necessary to respond to each of these questions in your written philosophy. You may also decide to comment on additional issues as well. Take some time to think about each one in some depth.
- How do you view young children?
- What is the child’s role in their development and learning?
- What do you believe about how young children learn?
- How do you view your role as an Educator?
- How will your views influence your teaching?
- What kind of environment do you hope to create? How does this relate to your basic beliefs about young children and learning?
- What do you hope young children will become?
- What do you want them to achieve, accomplish, learn, feel, etc.?
- What kind of assessment will you use to be sure that children have met objectives?
- Looking back at the history of early childhood education, who or what approaches have the greatest impression on you, and why?
Examples Of Personal Philosophies
Here are some examples of personal philosophies:
- I believe that each child is an individual and as an educator I will value and develop each child's strengths, interests, skills, abilities and knowledge to extend their learning.
I believe that children learn through play. I will provides opportunities for children to explore, discover, create and imagine.
I believe in cultural diversity. I will celebrates the benefits of diversity with each individual child and enable them to understand and acknowledge differences.
I believe young children are very concerned about themselves and the small world they live in: family and home. However, each child is unique with different interests, backgrounds, and developmental stages.
I believe the environment plays a major role in the success of an early childhood program. It should enhance the children’s interests in all developmental domains. I believe learning in an early childhood environment is done most successfully through stations that can be visited, explored, and revisited again and again. The environment should take into consideration the social skills, communication skills, physical abilities or challenges, and learning styles of the children being served.
I consider families a vital aspect of my program. Parents who are able to spend time in the classroom occasionally are more aware of the details of their child’s day. Observing what goes on first hand helps a parent know what to ask the child at the end of the school day.”
- The early years of a child’s life are busy. I believe learning is happening all the time and is interwoven through all developmental domains. These include: physical, social/emotional, cognitive and communication. Therefore, the goal of my program is to make this ongoing learning experience safe, positive, and fun, nurturing the whole child as I strive to guide them into the next stage of development with confidence in themselves and an excitement for continued learning.
Children need the assurance of being loved and cared for while they are enjoying an educational environment. Teaching children is my passion. Security and trust are very important components as well, of my relationship with each child.
In planning my program I would strive for a developmentally appropriate, child-centered atmosphere where children have the opportunity to master new challenges through activities and topics that are meaningful to them, thus building their self esteem as they develop and learn.
Children should be given choices, responsibilities, and opportunities to initiate their own learning. I believe observations and assessments are excellent tools to use when planning curriculum. Observations not only aide in creating the curriculum but also give insight into the development, knowledge and skill levels of each individual child.
When writing your personal philosophy remember:
- Use present tense, in most cases. Write the paper in first-person (which is the most common and easiest for your audience to read).
- Write in language and concepts that can be broadly appreciated. A general rule is that the statement should be written with the audience in mind. It may help to consider a school administrator (e.g., school principal) as your audience.
- Write a paper that will let your audience know where you stand in regard to important educational theories and practices. By including specific examples of teaching theories and approaches, you are able to let your reader take a mental “peek” of your classroom.
- Make the paper memorable and unique. Think of this teaching philosophy as part of a job application where your readers are seeing many of these statements. What is going to set you apart from others? What about you are they going to remember? Create a vivid portrait of yourself as someone who is intentional about teaching and committed to his/her career.
Creating a personal philosophy should not be intimidating, in fact, it is an excellent opportunity to clarify your teaching philosophies and beliefs and commit them to paper.
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Developing A Personal Philosophy Of Early Childhood Education