Statement of Educational Philosophy

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Table of contents

  1. Reflective Scholar
  2. Global Citizen
  3. Instructional Leader
  4. Philosophy of Education

Before pursuing my dream of furthering my education to become a teacher, I would get asked multiple different questions. “Why do you want to become a teacher?”, “What grade level would you prefer to teach?”, “Where and what type of school could you see yourself teaching?”, “Who do you want to be as a teacher?”. All of the questions seem rather simple and easy to answer. However, I feel as if these questions are rather difficult to answer. Even though I have an idea as to what my answers would be to those specific questions, they still require a significant amount of thought. I am a first-year student at Indiana University East, and my journey in the education program has just begun. Since my journey as a pre-service teacher has just begun, there is much room for me to grow both personally and professionally. Until then, I am unable to answer those particular questions thoroughly and confidently. Presently, my philosophy of education is a combination of both essentialism and progressivism. I believe that education should be focused on both the curriculum and the child, not just one or the other. To become an effective educator and promote the idea of essentialism and progressivism, I am required to be a reflective scholar, global citizen, and an instructional leader.

Reflective Scholar

Being a reflective scholar is one of the three key elements of becoming a successful educator. A reflective scholar is someone who emphasizes self-awareness. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to focus on the aspects of both teaching and learning. I want to educate my students in a way that will benefit them academically. To do so, I will have to self-reflect on my teaching methods and techniques. Self-reflection is also an essential part of being a successful educator along with being a reflective scholar. After I have finished teaching my students, I may ask myself, “Will my teaching techniques enhance my students’ academic performance and success?”. If the answer to my self-reflection question is no, then I will make specific alterations and adjustments to my teaching methods. I will present the curriculum to my students in a different style than before in hopes of advancing their competency levels. I will not stop until I find the correct teaching techniques and methods that will benefit all of my students.

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Global Citizen

Throughout my journey as a pre-service teacher, I must be a global citizen. It is also important that I display the acts of a global citizen when I am a full-time educator. To be a global citizen, I must take an active role in my community and work with others to improve students both academically and personally. The children that I will be educating are the future of our next generation. My role as a teacher is not only to prepare my students for the grade levels to come, but to also prepare them for the ‘real world’, so they can be successful post grade school. I am majoring in Elementary Education, which means that I will be educating younger students. Although I will be educating younger students, I can still leave a lasting impression on them. To impact my students, I must create a sense of community. I want to create a safe, comfortable, and cooperative learning environment. I can create a safe, comfortable, and cooperative learning environment by working with students and parents. I can also create a safe, comfortable, and cooperative learning environment by building a judgment-free classroom. Building a judgment-free classroom is essential because not all students are the same, both academically and culturally. Likewise, my classroom will be filled with a diverse group of students. As an educator, I can celebrate students’ diversity by implementing multicultural lessons into the curriculum.

Instructional Leader

Being an instructional leader is also an essential element of becoming an effective educator. As a pre-service teacher, I could develop my instructional leader skills before entering the classroom as a teacher. To do this, I must observe instruction inside of the classroom. It is important that I get into the classroom so I can observe and build my capacity to support my future students. While I am observing, I could ask myself questions that could help me become an instructional leader such as, “What could I do as a teacher that would make a difference for students in the classroom?”. Asking myself questions challenges me to deeply understand the different types of approaches to teaching and the different types of curriculum and activities that I could present to my students.

It is important that I present my students with the most effective curriculum and activities that will benefit them, which will provide a pathway to advance students from one grade level to another. However, deciding which type of curriculum and activities work best for my students will be extremely difficult. Not all students learn the same, nor do they have the same learning abilities. For example, some students might excel in a certain subject while others struggle with that subject. It is my responsibility as both an instructional leader and as an educator to determine my students’ strengths and weaknesses. Once I recognize each of my students’ strengths and weaknesses, I will be able to determine what curriculum and activities are most effective to present to my students. As an instructional leader, I will also record my students' growth, and if I notice that the curriculum and activities, I am presenting my students is not allowing them to grow academically, then I will find a new method that will enhance their academic success.

Philosophy of Education

My philosophy of education is a combination of essentialism and progressivism. Essentialists believe that students should be presented with essential knowledge. “This essential knowledge includes the skills of literacy (reading and writing), computation (arithmetic), and the subjects of history, mathematics, science, languages, and literature” (Ornstein, 2016). Progressivists believe that the children should be prioritized over the curriculum. Progressivists center their curriculum based on the students’ needs, interests, and abilities. Even though these theories contradict each other and demonstrate different practices in the classroom, I think both the curriculum and the children are important. I will provide my students with the essential knowledge that will lead them to success in life while also prioritizing the well-being of my students.

I believe both the formal and the hidden curriculum are important to present to students. The formal curriculum consists of courses, lessons, and activities that students should participate in, in order to advance academically. Courses, lessons, and activities should include history, mathematics, science, languages, and literature. These essential subjects will prepare them for the rest of their academic career, and potentially their careers outside of the classroom. Conversely, the hidden curriculum does not focus on the core subjects; it focuses on the ‘unwritten’. Through the hidden curriculum, students are able to discover who they are as an individual. As a teacher, I will introduce my students to the qualities that could potentially identify them as an individual. For example, I will introduce my students to responsibility, integrity, honesty, generosity, and creativity. All of these qualities are just as important to introduce to students as the core subjects.

My role as a teacher is to prepare my students for their academic future, but I also want to be more than just a teacher to my students. I want to build personal relationships with each of my students. Building personal relationships with students creates a positive learning environment, and it assists in building a classroom community. Providing my students with a safe and ‘community’ type of environment will allow them to feel comfortable. They will not be afraid to ask questions, share their ideas, or ‘fail’. Asking questions, sharing ideas, and even failing will allow them to grow as a student, and it could potentially increase their academic performance. As a teacher, I will also believe that every student has the potential and ability to become successful, not just as a student, but as an individual. I will always push my students to be the best they can be.

Currently, my philosophy of education is a combination of essentialism and progressivism, but I will always keep an open mind. I will not be opposed to change. However, I do believe that some of my beliefs about education will remain the same. I will always want what is best for my students, and I know that in order to be a successful teacher, I must be a reflective scholar, global citizen, and an instructional leader. As a pre-service teacher, I do not know who I will be as a teacher in the future. I still have a significant amount of room to grow both personally and professionally. After I finish my journey as a pre-service teacher, I will be able to face and discover the answer to the question, “Who do you want to be as a teacher?”. Until then, that question will be left unanswered.

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Statement of Educational Philosophy. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“Statement of Educational Philosophy.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
Statement of Educational Philosophy. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jun. 2024].
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