A teacher's personal philosophy of education is a critical element in his or her approach to guiding their students along the path of enlightenment. Hence, there are five key educational philosophies recognized in the field of education. These include, Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Existentialism, and Behaviorism (382-83). Each carries both positive and negative tenets, at least in my opinion.   Therefore, I prefer an eclectic discernment in my quest of an educational philosophy because my idea of the perfect teacher is one, who inspires learning in addition to just relating the required facts.   A certain amount of creativity, enthusiasm, and motivation is required of the teacher. Certainly, this is a tall order for anyone in a profession on a daily basis. However, considering that are our future, the effort is worth it!
The three major philosophies that correspond, at least in part, to my ideals are Essentialism, Progressivism and Behaviorism. The first, the teacher serves as an intellectual and moral role model for the students and the academic program is rigorous for both slow and fast learners. In addition, it is hoped that when the student leaves school, they will possess not only basic skills and an extensive body of knowledge, but disciplined and practical minds as well. However, the rigor of this program, by itself, does not always allow for the interest of the student and that is where tenets of the progressive philosophy come into focus.
Progressivism has a respect for individuality. It is believed that people are social animals who learn well through active interplay with others and that our learning increases when we are engaged in activities that have meaning for us (p. 372). In a progressivist classroom, teachers plan lessons to arouse curiosity and push the student to a higher level of knowledge. The students are encouraged to learn by doing and to interact with one another. This develops social virtues such as cooperation and tolerance...