by Connie Cave

Connie Cave's Secondary Education Portfolio

Philosophy Statement

Philosophy of Education

My Philosophy of Education is Rooted in the Greek Masters


I fall back on the Greek masters for the description of the purpose of education. From Isocrates, I note the purpose of education is to prepare clear thinking, rational, and truthful citizens. From Aristotle I borrow the concept that the purpose of education is to secure the well-being and the well-doing of a community. I see the student as a rational being who exercises his enlightenment on the behalf of himself and others.


The goal of education is to prepare people to contribute to their society.  The school environment I believe that is most effective to this end, is that as described by the pragmatist, John Dewey.  The pragmatist philosophers teach that learning revolves around problem solving and a student’s interaction with his environment.  In this setting the student brings his innate curiosity and the teacher acts as a facilitator. The teacher urges his students to explore and above all else, to question. The pragmatist believes that the best way to explore the problem is through the application of the scientific method which should be applied across all settings.  The ongoing inquiry leads ultimately to action. Jane Addams, 1860-1935, was an inspiring example of a pragmatist. Jane worked tirelessly throughout her career for education for all and for social uplift. Jane studied the problems of her community and determined to bring about change through her own actions and through the motivation of others in the community.  Jane Addams established her settlement house, the first kindergarten in Chicago, day care, English as a second language class, all to address the needs of her community.

In the teacher’s role as the facilitator there are many teaching strategies that I plan to use in my social science classroom.  The lessons I choose to present will be based on the need to construct environments of discovery.  Through the completion of these activities the student will grow in his understanding of the world he lives in.  As the teacher, I will assist that discovery process through the careful use of inquiry.  I shall also work to construct the lessons with careful consideration to their relevance to the student’s world and time.  It is crucial that the students find answers to real concerns through their questioning and discovery process. Careful selection of relevant topics to explore might well include input from the students. I see the classroom as a place where student involvement is not only encouraged, but where it is essential.  I will have no qualms about using examples from the past, but the main focus will be on their relevance to today’s world.  I look forward to interacting with the extended community of my fellow teachers, staff, and community leaders.  I would encourage parents and other adults within our community to consider a partnership with our class.  Enrichment of experience is always an effective instructional process.  Everyone benefits.

I would consider my efforts as a teacher to be a success if I could help to instill the habit of question and problem solving in my students. To someday witness my students applying their skills of questioning and problem solving to real world problems has been and continues to be my motivation to become a teacher.  I approach the prospect with eager optimism.  I will stand on the wisdom of those who have gone before.