Roger Hiemstra's Personal Philosophy of Education
I draw eclectically on several systems. However, the humanism model provides the foundation upon which rests most of what I do as a teacher or facilitator. I also try very hard to be consistent with the tenants of this foundation not only in what I do as a professional but also in my role as spouse, parent, friend, and community member.
I believe that intellect is what distinguishes humans from animals and that we have the potential to expand that intellect throughout life. I also believe that there are a large number of concrete facts basic to our being able to perform as capable educational professionals.
The reality that I embrace rests on an assumption that all humans are basically good and have potential for continuous growth and development as individuals. This growth can include such features as intellectual improvement, enhanced interrelationship abilities, and expanding civic literacy skills.
I adhere to basic humanistic notions that the dignity of each human being must be respected. I also respect each person's desire for autonomy and independence but recognize that such desire is in a constant state of fluctuation.
I believe that educational aims should center around helping adults reach their maximum potential in any learning setting. This should include the development of personal intellect, the ability to think critically, and the translation of new knowledge into practical skills and behaviors.
I encourage considerable self-direction and learner involvement in all aspects of a learning experience. I also use learning contracts as a means for an individual to plan a personal route through a learning experience.
I provide learners with some basic parameters of what the learning experience should involve or cover in order to meet professional expectations regarding the mastery of the subject matter. However, because there are so many ways of achieving mastery, learners are involved in some needs assessment activities at the beginning of the learning experience to help them plan their specific routes through the content and to provide me with some input to help in my preparation of or focus for curricular material, learning activities, and learning experiences for the remainder of the course.