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Published:February 3rd, 2008 06:02 EST
My Philosophy of Education

My Philosophy of Education

By Glenn Brandon Burke (Mentor/Speaker)


Philosophies, educational or otherwise, vary from person to person, and I, too, have mine. Statistically speaking, I should not be an educator, let alone have lived past the age of 22. I was a high school dropout who made drastic life changes to put myself in a position to live the life I desire.

One of those life changes included, at the age of 28, to begin college and receive a bachelor`s degree. During the pursuit of my degree, I, like the other students, had many teachers. However, I was fortunate to have had a few very special teachers who passionately touched my life and whom I`ll never forget. It was those few teachers whose teaching styles I admired and respected, and, now that I have become an educator myself, realized it was their philosophy. " Philosophies, actually parts thereof, I have incorporated into my own.

My philosophy of education is that learning should be fun! I teach because I love giving back what was once bestowed upon me. I do not teach for a living, but was an adjunct instructor at a community college. I taught communications/speech/business presentations (AKA: Public Speaking). When teaching, I incorporate the following styles/beliefs which encompass my philosophy: have fun, teach with passion, show you truly care and, motivate and inspire the students.

My classroom environment is controlled (by me), yet fun. I use humor, sarcasm, and seriousness. When students see the passion I have for teaching and realize I truly care about their education, they become motivated to learn. Students also become motivated and inspired by my personal history to succeed with their own education, life and careers.

Between 2000 and 2005, in a post-secondary setting, I conducted a study with 28 classes between two different teaching styles and studied what it takes to improve student retention, class work and tests scores. Style one: Motivational, " based on my teaching philosophy. Style two: GttM " (Going through the Motions), based on everything opposite of my philosophy, hence, going through the motions.

In my study, I took (subject 1) 14 classes and made learning fun, taught with passion, true caring (identifying troubled students and working with them one-on-one), motivation, inspiration, and with firm control of the class, thus gaining the students respect. With the other (subject 2) 14 classes, I simply taught by going through the motions. The results are as follows:

Subject one: Never exceeded an 8% drop-rate. 100% improved class work. And 100% pass rate on tests (mid term and final exam). Subject two: 20% - 32% drop-rate. 80% improved class work. And 80% pass rate on tests (mid term and final exam).

Based on the results of my study, I believe if a teacher has passion for what they teach, truly show they care, is motivational, inspirational, and has respect for their students, more students WILL rise to the occasion and succeed. Sadly, there are far too many teachers whom, for whatever reason (available for another paper or article), simply go through the motions when teaching and cannot reach the students, and probably do not care.

If you`re a teacher who touches the lives of your students in a positive manner, I applaud you! If you`re a teacher who just goes through the motions for a paycheck, you either need to be re-energized, or you need to find a new career!

Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed. Motivational Speaker, Author, Columnist, Educator, and Mentor. For educational programs offered by Glenn Brandon Burke, please see his online press kit at OR