Philosophical Foundations of Education
The study of philosophical foundations of education is an interdisciplinary subject that involves humanities, sociology, philosophy and the history of educational trends. Educational policy and its methods are the main facets of a degree program. Students are prepared for future roles as education administrators and sociologists.
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The study of philosophical foundations of education is typically offered as a master's degree program. The main goal of a program in philosophical foundations of education is to prepare students for administrative roles in an education environment and prepare them for potential future study in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program. The discipline looks at social policy involving schools and curriculum, the various ways students learn subjects, how to set up a teaching environment that stimulates critical thought and the importance of solid curricula.
A large component of a degree program in philosophical foundations of education is the idea of social justice. Since education administrators typically create and control education policy, there is opportunity to change demographic inequities. In their coursework, students of these graduate programs are encouraged to focus on a specific demographic that may be underrepresented, according to factors such as gender, race or socioeconomic class. Degree coursework may include classes in education psychology, education philosophy, cultural foundations of education and education history in certain political societies.
A core course in the philosophical foundations of education may examine the various historical periods and philosophies that have influenced the modern American system. In a course, students are challenged to critically analyze how different philosophies have left an imprint on the education system as a social institution. Besides education administrator, other potential career options in this field include university professor, researcher, school board member or chairperson.
Education administrators include principals, school district superintendents and college deans. They are responsible for supervising the methods of their teachers and for determining the direction of the school or academic department. State licensure may be required for some administrator positions and a master's degree is typically the minimum education requirement.
According to the research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov), employment for education administrators was expected to grow by eight percent from 2008-2018. Elementary and secondary school administrators in the 50% median earned $86,970 in May 2010. Postsecondary administrators in the 50% median earned $83,710, according to the BLS.
Prospective education administrators and educators need to be self-directed, creative and persuasive. They should have a desire for continuous improvement and be goal-oriented. Prior experience in the education system as a teacher is highly recommended.
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The decision to pursue a degree in education should be made by those who have the desire to shape policy and a vision for change. Education-portal.com contains a variety of articles and resources regarding potential career paths and degrees.
A master's degree may be required prior to being accepted to a Doctorate of Education program. Other requirements vary by institution.
Leadership roles in the field of education require individuals to be idea-oriented, practical and knowledgeable about research methods. Some may choose to continue teaching while taking on administrative duties, while others simply teach at a higher learning level.
Distance Learning Options
While certificate programs in education administration may be completed online, most degree programs require some type of in-person or classroom experience. In order to qualify for most state licensures, direct experience with teaching students is needed. Some online courses may prepare students to take licensure examinations.
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