My philosophy of education is somewhat broad since I think of it in terms of an institution rather than an individual teacher.
All of life is a learning experience. Formalized education exists to equip individuals to maximize this experience to the benefit of themselves and others.
All of life is a learning experience. Educational institutions are unique only in that they make learning accessible or teach individuals how to make the most of the process of learning through life. Thus, the more closely the learning environment relates to real life, the more easily a student will be able to apply the concepts of the classroom in a personal way.
I believe that the best teacher of every student is the student. However, the students need to recognize and learn how to access this ability. That is where my role as a teacher begins. I can create an environment for students to develop the skill of learning and give them access to an expanding selection of resources and tools to begin teaching themselves through life. The primary way in which I will do this is through demonstrating the best practices of learning. The second way in which I will do this is by guiding students to an understanding of the context of learning.
The context of learning that will underlie every action I take as a teacher includes the identity of the individual, methods of knowing, the world as understood by humanity, methods of organization and expression for self and community, and finally, personalized integration and application of this context by the individual student.
In this last step, though it has been ongoing since the beginning, the student should discover how he or she is wired to engage with the surrounding world effectively and begin to specialize in a specific field most suited to his or her individual and contextual identity. Ideally, the steps have built upon each other progressively and various content areas have been used to practice and discover the context of learning. Whenever a student has reached the final step, the experience of education should change from one of primarily receiving to one of primarily contributing.
Teachers continue to mentor students through this process, but the function of the school changes. Instead of helping students discover what is, the school becomes the context of beginning to pursue dreams both individually and collectively. The students begin to create what will be.
The seemingly impossible goal of the educator is to make this entire process accessible to the student in terms of time, process, and individualization. The function of the institution is to connect the individual teachers and learners with strategy and resources to break down this goal and make its achievement accessible and sustainable for any member of the learning community.