Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Self-Awareness of One’s Educational Philosophy Can Optimize Vocational Success

      Seventy percent of the time, people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQ (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009).  Emotional intelligence (EI) seems to be a critical factor explaining this anomaly.  EI is comprised of four core skills paired under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.  Personal competence includes one’s self-awareness and self-management skills. Highly developed self-awareness skills allow accurate perception of your emotions and the ability to remain aware of them as they happen. Since emotional reactions to events occur before rational thought is able to engage, developing emotional intelligence, especially increasing self-awareness skills, results in more effective interaction between the rational and emotional areas of one’s brain. 

            Freedom is a blessed inalienable right! Yet, that right never ensures equity in fairness. At best, participants within a defined system can look to the system’s mission statement to determine whether that system OR its leader walks the walk or simply talks the talk in relation to its mission. 

            Often, when a teacher is unaware of his or her educational philosophy and how it may fit with a defined system, the result is the teacher becomes more like a struggling tenant farmer than a successful entrepreneur. The love of sowing seeds of knowledge inspires the novice teacher’s hope for a bountiful yield. Yet, results often depend on a combination of forces beyond the teacher’s full control. One variable is the philosophical underpinning of the system in which the novice teacher can endeavor to promote the learning for all mission. Self-awareness of one’s educational philosophy increases understanding of the potential for a successful fit within the defined system.

            Early in their professional development, teacher candidates are encouraged to name and claim their philosophy of education. While most candidates view the first-year task of naming and claiming their personal educational philosophy a burdensome assignment, this early connection to one or more schools of educational philosophy can help the candidate later match her passions and beliefs with a system that will nurture rather than corrupt these passions and beliefs. When this connection is encouraged through explicit mentorship, the experienced educator passes on a great gift: Freedom for the teacher candidate to act like an entrepreneur and wisely choose the best system for utilizing and implementing the passions and beliefs that promote best practices!   

            ‎An effective educator/mentor within an innovative teacher preparation program seeks to own this wonderful opportunity. The lessons presented during a program of professional development facilitated by such effective educators then fan the flames of freedom rather than the mere pursuit of licensure and acceptance of any available job. Thus, by actively encouraging ownership of one's educational philosophy the teacher preparation program ensures the teacher candidate’s philosophical foundation girds other leading indicators of success. There is then greater likelihood that the trailing indicator of success will shift from the number of candidates earning licensure to the quality of teachers empowered to promote the learning for all mission within a system that will invite the novice teacher’s success!


To Cite:

Anderson, C.J. (May 31, 2017) Self-Awareness of One’s Educational Philosophy Can Optimize
                Vocational Success. [Web log post] Retrieved from



 Bradberry, T. R, & Greaves, J., (2009) Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA.
                TalentSmart. ISBN: 1441842233

Cohen, L.M. (1999) Educational philosophies self-assessment. Retrieved from:

Cohen, L.M. (1999) Educational philosophies self-assessment scoring guide. Retrieved from

 Reform Support network (2015) Leading indicators for school improvement. Retrieved

US Department of Education (2016) Improving teacher preparation: Building on innovation.
                Retrieved from: