Teaching Philosophy Is Perennialism: An Opinion Essay

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A philosophy provides a "framework for thinking and guides professional practice," (p. 219). My teaching philosophy is perennialism, and it will help me to address the lack of motivation to learn beyond the boundaries of the rote methods that these students have been trained to work with, due in large part to No Child Left Behind. As a perennialist, I believe in "time-honored absolutes" when it comes to my instructional methods and approach (p. 219). It is not the fault of these students that they have not been taught how to think critically and creatively about history. They have been taught that their whole life in education depends on their test scores, which is why they simply want to know the right answer and the wrong answer on the test. As important as the tests are to their educational record, as well as to my own and my school's record, I will not give up on helping these students learn how to think as well as what to think. When students ask, "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" I can tell them exactly this. They have to learn this stuff because yes, it will be on the test. But I can also show them why it is on the test by drawing parallels between each historical lesson or personage and applying that lesson to current events. One of the reasons we study history, after all, is because history is cyclical. People and societies tend to behave in predictable ways. We might evolve a little bit over time, growing slightly wiser and more humanitarian in our approach to

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