This is the benchmark assignment. It is a statement of your personal philosophy of education. As an academic paper, it is to be supported by the body of knowledge in the field which is to include references to the literature from educational philosophy, psychology, curriculum, and learning theory. Write 6–7 pages, use current APA format, and include a minimum of 6 scholarly references. Submit the paper in both Blackboard and A grade will not be assigned unless the paper is submitted in both locations.

Headings: There is a grading rubric that will be used in grading (see below). To ensure that your paper meets the requirements of the rubric, the following elements must be clearly identified with headings and are to be placed in the same order in your paper as they appear in the outline below.

1.      Title Page

Title: Consider the title of your paper to be your motto, slogan, or bumper-sticker version of your philosophy. It must be clear Personal Philosophy of Education Guidelines

a.      enough to give the reader some idea of what you believe about education. Avoid statements that sound vague or flippant.

b.      APA Style: Make sure your title page is formatted in current APA style, including a running header.

c.       Other Information on Title Page

·         Student Name

·         Student ID#

·         Course# and Section

·         Professor’s Name

2.      Abstract

·         Write this paragraph last but place it after the title page and before the introduction to the paper.

·         This must be what you would write on an employment application or what you would say verbally in an interview if asked directly about your philosophy of education.

·         Consider this an abridged version of your full philosophy statement. Some call it a vision or mission statement.

3.      Introduction

·         In this section, you will introduce your thesis statement that will be developed throughout the paper.

·         It’s always best to place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. This serves as a transition into the rest of the paper, which supports the thesis statement.

4.      Worldview abd Philosophy of Life: This is what you KNOW and BELIEVE about the world and life. This section must flow smoothly into and be consistent with your thoughts about schools and learning (The questions listed here are to provoke thought and to help you know how to focus your writing. Do NOT write your paper as a list of direct answers to these questions, but you do need to include each element in your paper with transitions to make it flow smoothly). How would you describe your view of life in general? How will your worldview influence your practice as a teacher?

·         Metaphysics: What is ultimately real or true? What gives life purpose or meaning?

·         Axiology

o   What do you most value?

o   What do you want your students to value most?

o   What ethical principles will guide you?

o   If appropriate to your content area, what principles of beauty do you hope to instill in your students?

5.      Philosophy of Schools and Learning

·         Epistemology: How do learners come to know truth? What causes learning to occur?

·         This is what you KNOW and BELIEVE about schools and learning. It must connect with the previous section and flow smoothly into the next section about instructional practice. Avoid the common error of fragmenting your paper into sections that do not relate to one another. Each section must build on previous ones and support the others.

·         Identify key theories from your courses that will impact your teaching. In this section, describe the theories and, in the next section, discuss how you would practice the theory in your instructional methods.

·         How will professional knowledge guide your practice?

·         Refer to the knowledge base in teacher education that includes educational psychology, philosophy, and learning theory. Do not try to cover everything; just identify two or three key theories you espouse.

·         From what specific professional knowledge will you draw in your practice? Whose theories, ideas, etc. are meaningful to you? Be cautious about assigning to yourself a label that you do not fully understand. This could be potentially embarrassing once you discover everything the label entails.

6.      Instructional Practice

·         This is what you will IMPLEMENT in the classroom.

·         This section must flow smoothly from the previous one. In the previous section, you must have identified and briefly discussed what theories you plan to implement. In this section, you will explain how you will put those theories into instructional practice.

·         What pedagogical practices or methods will you tend to use most frequently? Why?

·         What instructional strategies will you value and implement?

·         What do you hope to accomplish by using these strategies?

7.      Teacher-Learner Relationships (Remember that the questions listed in this guide are only to stimulate thought. You are not required to answer them systematically. That might make your paper too rigid.)

·         What is the role of the learner?

·         What is the role of the teacher?

·         How should they relate to each other and why?

8.      Diversity

  • What diversity factors need to be taken into account by the teacher?
  • How will you effectively meet the needs of all of your students in the classroom?
  • How should teachers differentiate for English Language Learners, students with disabilities, gifted learners, and various learning styles?
  • How should teachers integrate multicultural connections into their classrooms?
  • How do factors of student diversity impact instruction?

9.      Your Choice of Headings (optional)

·         You may insert optional headings here to address issues that are important to your philosophy of education.

·         Here are some ideas you might want to consider:

o   My calling

o   Classroom management philosophy

o   Content/subject-area philosophy

o   Assessment philosophy

o   Parent role and relationship with teacher

o   Current critical issues in education

o   Etc.

10.  Conclusion

·         Your conclusion must tie in with the introduction somehow so that your paper displays coherence.

·         If your introduction included a metaphor, quote, theme, etc., it would be appropriate to tie back into that.


Q: I would like to use a paper or parts of a paper I wrote for another class. Is this okay?

A: No, this should be an original philosophy of education written for EDUC 305. You can use ideas from previous papers/courses, but any prior information should be revised to fit the requirements for this paper.

Q: I feel called to teach in a public school, so should I not mention anything religious in my paper? I’m afraid that a principal will see it in my portfolio and won’t hire me if it contains religious content.

A: This paper will be viewed only by LU personnel and those to whom you choose to show it.

Yes, you will include the paper in your student teaching portfolio. However, that portfolio is for your student teaching only. If a potential employer wants to see a digital portfolio, we recommend that you click COPY in LiveText and edit the copied portfolio to market yourself to the school where you are applying. The LiveText visitor code you provide to your prospective employer will be to your copied and edited portfolio only. Therefore, the employer will not see the paper you write for this class.

Most principals want to see only the abstract of your paper anyway, so you should target the abstract toward either a public or Christian school. Some students choose to write two abstracts so they are ready with a philosophy statement in case they choose to apply both to public and Christian schools. Whether you choose to write two abstracts is up to you.

It might help to consider your paper in three major parts as illustrated in the graphic below:

Miscellaneous Tips

·         This is an ACADEMIC paper, not a free-writing journal of emotions and feelings. Consider it a mission or vision statement on the PURPOSE OF SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION that you might publish in an academic journal to persuade other educators to conduct their practice for the same purpose and in the same manner you would.

·         State where you agree or disagree with some of the leading theories and theorists.

·         Develop your own ideas about theorists and their ideas and how they seem to fit or not fit with your personal views and with a biblical view.

·         State any assumptions that you are operating under as you write your view.

·         Because this paper is made up of your personal views, it will be graded on how well you followed the rubric, supported your ideas, and presented them in a clear, consistent manner. You may disagree with the instructor without any penalty.

·         Make sure you are careful in your use of grammar and sentence structure. Check your spelling. Have someone read your paper for content and correctness.

·         Avoid passive tense verbs.

·         Ensure that your pronouns and antecedents agree in number.

·         Do NOT dwell too much on biographical or testimonial information. How you came to believe what you do is not as important as what you believe and your rationale for it.


You may use a variety of sources, such as…

·         Your class textbooks for this course;

·         Your methods and psychology textbooks ;

·         The Bible (APA permits you to cite the Bible in the body of the paper, but it is not to be listed on the reference page. So ensure that you have the correct number of sources listed on the reference page, which cannot include the Bible);

·         Educational journals;

·         Books you have read that have influenced your worldview or educational philosophy;

·         Do NOT use as a source in an academic paper. Because it is an open environment, the information is constantly being changed by registered users and is not always reliable.;

·         Include at least 6 references (you may use the Bible in the body of your paper as long as you cite it according to APA, but it cannot be listed on the reference page); and

·         A variety of resources should be represented: books, journals, online, Christian, secular, etc.

Point of View

Because this is a PERSONAL Philosophy of Education paper, you may use first person pronouns such as “I” and “me”, but please do not overuse them. For example, try not to overuse “I believe…” or “I think…” This is a position paper; therefore, it is assumed that the entire contents contain your beliefs and thoughts. Do NOT use “I feel…” (despite a popular notion, the APA manual does permit first person. Anytime third person would confuse the reader or anytime the purpose of the paper is appropriate to first person, it may be implemented).

Pronoun Usage

Two problems our candidates have in their writing tend to be (1) pronoun-antecedent agreement and (2) the gender issue of “he or she.”

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement: Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents. It is incorrect to write, “Each teacher [singular] should manage their [plural] own classroom.”

Gender Issue: It is considered sexist if you repeatedly use singular antecedents and follow them up with masculine pronouns. For example, “Each teacher should his own classroom.” It is also problematic if you redundantly use “he or she” and “his or her” (Please don’t use “he/she” or “his/her”). Some writers solve this by stating to the reader that, for simplicity’s sake, the pronouns will be masculine or will rotate periodically between masculine and feminine. This can be awkward and cumbersome. But there is a better solution!

To assist in avoiding both of these problems, I recommend that you write in plurals as consistently as you can. For instance, use students, principals, teachers, parents, schools, etc., instead of their singular counterparts. Follow these antecedents up with “they” or “their.” This avoids the gender issue altogether. When you find that you must use a singular, you may periodically use “he or she” or simply restructure the sentence to avoid the “he or she” if possible. Rare use of it is fine.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarized papers will be rejected. Every paper will be evaluated for originality by SafeAssign, which reports to the instructor the degree to which your paper is suspected of plagiarism. The following tips will help you avoid any problems with plagiarism:

Direct Quotes: No more than 15% of your paper must be made up of direct quotes. Short quotes must be in quotation marks and longer quotes must be indented (see APA). If you do not set off direct quotes in this manner and/or do not cite them, it is plagiarism.

Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact is not your own, you must cite its source. When not directly quoting, summarize or analyze the idea in your own words.

See the rubric below for more details.

Educational Philosophy (Benchmark)