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A Personal Philosophy of Education

I have recently thoroughly revised and updated my IAE-pedia document, Free Math Software (Moursund, 7/15/2016). This site includes my current philosophy of education that emphasizes current and future roles of computers.

My Philosophy of Education

Note: This entire section is quoted from (Moursund, 7/15/2016).

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” (Samuel Johnson; British author and father of the English dictionary; 1709-1784.)

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” (Thomas H. Huxley; English writer; 1825-1895.)

“Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.” (René Descartes, French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer; 1596-1650.)

Each of has our own, personally developed, philosophy about education. The three quotes given above capture quite a bit of my philosophy. I enjoy having both breadth and depth of knowledge and skills. I enjoy being overwhelmed by the progress that is occurring in expanding human knowledge. I enjoy being both a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher.

The third quote is particularly poignant, especially with a little modification. I believe that:

Each problem that we humans learn to solve becomes a building block or tool that subsequently serves all of us who have the knowledge and skills to build on this accomplishment. Computers have opened up a vast vista for representing, storing, and helping to use knowledge and skill in solving problems and accomplishing tasks.

We are living at a time of exceedingly rapid growth in the totality of human knowledge and in our abilities to access and to disseminate (share) this knowledge. A modern, forward-looking educational system "understands" and builds on the ideas of the three quotations. Such a system is rooted in past, present, and reasonable forecasts of future change. However, it is not bound by all of the aspects of education that have served us well in the past. Some of these will continue to serve us well, but others are outmoded and need to give way to ideas and processes that will better serve us in the future.

This IAE-pedia document is about computer tools for the representation and solution of math problems. You know quite a bit of math, since it is a required component of the K-12 curriculum as well as a routine part of your everyday life. For example, do you know what day it is, what time it is, your weight, where you are currently located, how old you are, and the cost of items that you frequently purchase? All of your answers involve math.

Final Remarks

Computer technology is changing every area of academic study. However, it is changing some areas much more than others. That is because, in some disciplines, computers can solve or help to solve a larger percentage of the problems that the discipline studies. Quoting from the Final Remarks section of the Free Math Software IAE-pedia document:

Here is an addition to my personal philosophy of education. A good education helps a student to pose questions, seek answers, and understand the answers to problems and tasks of two major types:

  1. Problems and tasks of personal interest.
  2. Problems and tasks that others (such as one's children, students, friends, teachers, employers, and so on) might pose.

Achieving and using a good education is a lifelong endeavor. Formal schooling is helpful, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual learner. One of the ways that I do this for myself is to build and maintain online collections of resources I will want to use in the future and that I want to share with other people. [For an example, see my Digital Filing Cabinet/Overview document (Moursund, 2013).]

What You Can Do

As you consider your personal lifelong education quest and the education of others, keep in mind that informal and formal education helps us to become better at solving problems and accomplishing tasks. Be consciously aware of the rapid progress that is occurring in the use of computers to help solve problems and accomplish tasks. Take personal advantage of this ongoing aid and share your insights with others.

References and Resources

Moursund, D. (7/15/2016). Free math software. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

Moursund, D. (2016). Free educational videos. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

Moursund, D. (2016). Free science education videos. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

Moursund, D. (2016). Open source and open content educational materials. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

Moursund, D. (2016). Open source software packages. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

Moursund, D. (2016). What the future is bringing us. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

Moursund, D. (2013). Digital filing cabinet/Overview. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/15/2016 from

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