Hi all, my name is Angelina VanderMeulen, but most people know me as Angie, and this is my week to blog about our Education300 class! One thing I have learned in my 20 years of life is that it is much easier to understand a person when you know a bit about them and where they are coming from. In light of this I would like to take a few moments to write a bit about myself before continuing onto the purpose of this blog, which you know by now to be a discussion on the contents of our philosophy of education class.
I was born 20 years and 2 weeks ago in a bustling city in the lower mainland of British Columbia. I moved north to the beautiful Salmon Arm during middle school where my immediate family still lives. I am the oldest of three children, having a brother and sister whom I half-raised. I am not even pulling an oldest sibling card by saying this, as many people think I am, but my mother has struggled with depression as long as I can remember and my dad isn’t a workaholic but does work a lot to support our family, so I have found myself stepping up above childhood roles many times in my childhood. I grew up in a very supportive, christian family and was involved in many volunteer opportunities – bible camp for three whole summers, missions trips, leading a girls group in our church, sunday school, babysitting, and a few more impacting things. I played basketball until my school took it away from me and replaced it with volleyball and ultimate frisbee (an actual competitive league in my high school believe it or not!). I took part in three big drama productions and loved learning to play flute, guitar, piano, and vocals. Now I am in my third year of my BA at King’s and loving every minute of this new and challenging time in my life. This is a brief overview of a few things which has made me who I am today.
I loved school growing up – both inside and outside of classroom activities. Grade One I decided that I was going to be a teacher and this was my career path from then until this past March when I realized teaching may not be for me. I am still very passionate about education however, as I find myself dedicated and passionate (is this the right word?) in the lives of youth and I see how important and impactful education/ school is in their critical time of growth into adults.
In this way, my educational philosophy view I have found to be existentialism and progressivism. Education for me is to be for the student, shaping them into who they are, and allowing them to take part in that. The student is more important to me than the course content. Education is ‘successful’ in my eyes when the students are taken as individuals and are treated as important tools in their own learning. If they grasp a sense of who they are, and are more knowledgeable for it, then the education system has been successful. This is what I have come to believe so far; we will see through this course, in looking at many philosophers views of education, if my view changes or is (and it is the hope that it will be) developed deeper.
So far in our education class we have discussed the philosophers Plato and Aristotle. Neither of these philosophers have really struck me as “Yes! They get my view of the right philosophy of education!” Plato has had his moments; when he discussed education as breaking the learner free from their chains, I agreed with him as I think education is freeing, however, I believe everyone has a right to be educated and Plato would not agree with me on this point. Aristotle has three different levels for knowledge (contemplative, practical, and technical) but even in Aristotle I have not found peace on a philosophy of education. Good thing we are not done looking at philosophers yet! These ancient Greeks are just the beginning.
For tomorrows class we are reading a document by St. Augustine, his Homily 2 on the First Epistle of John as well as a Dedicatory Letter by Comenius – Stay tuned later this week for my thoughts on these writings as well as some tidbits from class!