Building Roots by Branching Out


By: Kaelin C. Shuck

Giving Tree

In some way shape or form every person has values and beliefs of some sort or a code by which they live their lives. These beliefs are molded by many factors throughout a person’s life and often changing linearly or exponentially based on life experiences. Being human we try to rationalize what it is that makes us tick and try to understand who we are so that we can better understand the world around us. Knowing who you are is determined by beliefs and values that direct your life and your interactions with others. An educator’s duty is to spread/bring light or truth to his students and thereby influencing his/her community and life.


Personal/Educator View

In chapter 3 of the sourcebook there was an emphasis on philosophy that really changed my perspective of how there is an underline chain of principles and beliefs built up in a classroom. In a classroom nothing trumps knowledge for an educator, and in a profession based on wisdom there are few things as important.  Digging deeper with a focus on philosophical values allowed me to look closer at my own roots that were laid in philosophy. Each philosophical school of thought has its use in and out of a classroom, whether it be idealism or axiology the use and applications are limitless. Studying these values and ideas brings in new ways to access and measure students in different methods. Philosophy is not only a way to view the way you go about work as an educator but a way to self access and adjust your focus.

Why is Philosophy Important?

Philosophy Matters

In a classroom I can see myself being pragmatic (pragmatism) and constantly changing an bettering myself to ultimately better my students. The world and education are constantly changing in so many aspects; so I by example must be the one to show that change is necessary and achievable in my classroom. In many ways some courses for example Science are based around the idea of epistemology and building a scientific inquiry. In science every theory is always tested and tried to be made something as close to truth as we can get, and same is for the students in class upon learning new concepts.


In the Class

Upon reading for this course there was no greater philosophy than “Existentialism” and its importance to a classroom. We (teachers) are being put in a situation everyday to judge and monitor the importance of students work, behavior, ethics, and moral code. We don’t grade, fail, or access students on their personal lives outside of school but we that doesn’t mean that those experiences aren’t everything. I see a way in which I can build curriculum and find a hook with students that I didn’t before, and a way that I can use their lives to strengthen the classroom.


There have been times in the classroom in past years where having this tool in my bag would’ve made the difference to both the individual student and the classroom. I’m not going to say that I’d be able to relate with every philosophy we’ve covered but having a deeper understanding of them now it definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities and opportunities I have to make a difference.


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