This week I want you to write out your philosophy of the world and learning in particular. What is? What can we know? How can we know it? How do people learn? What is your evidence? Is it anecdotal from your experience and others or research-based? Effectively, what is your personal theory of teaching and learning? Next week, you’ll extend that to include your personal philosophy and theory of how and why to integrate technology into teaching and learning processes.
My personal philosophy of the world is one of an evolving nature. As I look back on my life I think that it has changed many times. Through childhood and adolescence, it was based on influences of the family, what I was taught and studied in school, and my interactions with friends. I think much of my maturing occurred while I was in the military, where during a regimented life I was able to discover what my talents and skills were. After serving in the military, I met my wife which was a challenge to my philosophy of the world at that time. Now I was responsible to/for another person. When we had children, I the shift in my philosophy took a significant turn as now it was my responsibility to provide for the family – financially, socially, and security. In addition to the focus of my career, my spiritual growth and church life provided a significant underpinning in my overall world philosophy. I think that through the various stages of my life, there were many instances that the challenges refined and reshaped an matured my philosophy of life.
The basis for knowing about my world philosophy is when I compare my current life’s experiences with what I have learned throughout my life. This comparison process is where I look at what is occurring (experiencing every day), and comparing that experience with what I know. It’s these ongoing comparisons that either support of refute my current beliefs, so there is this constant course correction process.
My philosophy of the world is still a work in progress. I think that the human activities associated with action and behavior fit well with my world philosophy. Here “mere behavior is what happens inside our bodies and actions are what we do” (Rosenberg, 2016, p. 35). Albeit social science does not focus on behavior as much as on human activity, both of these aspects are interdependent factors. I liken the common sense theory, where “it is a theory we use every day to form our expectations about the behavior of others and to explain to others our own behavior (Rosenberg, 2016, p. 36).
My world philosophy approach related to teaching and learning flows form the sum total of what I have learned and experienced in life. Since I have been studying the different aspects of Learning Technologies for both my Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, I currently focus on a particular philosophical approach. I have a non-positivist and constructivist view/approach to my teaching and learning pursuits. Much of my teaching and learning has focused on engineering and technical content. Since I work in an industrial environment, I have a focus to improve the overall effectiveness of the learner’s outcomes as demonstrated on the job.
I have taught electronics courses for over twelve years. Electronics is primarily a mathematics focused discipline, as all of electronics is theoretically modeled and problems solved using mathematical equations. While I was teaching these courses, I would redirect and refine how I taught the class in order to improve the student outcomes. Now that I work in a production environment, I focus on using these concepts and skills across different disciplines (electrical, mechanical, finishes, computing, and data analytics).
Rosenberg, A, (2016). Philosophy of Social Science, Westview Press, Boulder Colorado