“Philosophy pervades all aspects of education. It is the underlying basis for everything we do in the classroom.” – Arthur Ellis, Philosophical Perspectives
As educators, we each develop our own pedagogical philosophies, driven by our general beliefs of what a fulfilling life may entail. Arthur Ellis (n.d.) presents five educational philosophies in his article titled Philosophical Perspectives; these five philosophies are perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, reconstructionism, and existentialism. I agree with Ellis, “No one philosophy is right for all people” (p. 4). Moreover, these five philosophies could very well be inherited in duplication. Perhaps an educator possesses some essentialist traits but may also inherit some existentialist ones as well. Teachers may prefer the classroom to be under their influence and control, yet may also embrace more self-guided, nondirective methods of pedagogy.
Reflecting on the information presented in this article, I’ve found that my educational philosophy continues to evolve, embracing all five of the educational philosophies presented by Ellis. I’ve come to appreciate traditional schools of thought yet I also experiment with more contemporary models of educational philosophy in the classroom. As knowledge and information continue to metamorphosize in a changing society, our methods of pedagogy should also be flexible enough to bend with this change. Beliefs should therefore be flexible enough to evolve with knowledge, noting the irony that this philosophy is experimentalist, therefore making my personal philosophy one of pragmatism. In closing on this post, I also agree “as you grow and develop both as a teacher and as an individual, you will need to study philosophy in more depth” (Ellis, n.d., p. 1).
Ellis, A. (n. d.) Philosophical Perspectives. Personal Collection of (Ellis, A.), Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA.