Academic journal article Adult Learning

One's Philosophy: How Can You Know You're Doing It, If You Don't Know What "It" Is?

Academic journal article Adult Learning

One's Philosophy: How Can You Know You're Doing It, If You Don't Know What "It" Is?

Article excerpt

Whenever I encounter the term philosophy, my mind immediately goes to the classes I had to take in college that were part of my general education but you could not figure out what they had to do with preparing me for a career or life. When I imagine entering into a discussion about philosophy, the image that pops into my head is that of a late night discussion with a group of fellow college students about "What is the meaning of life?" or "Why are we here?"

Yet one's professional philosophy is one of those things that we, as adult educators, probably don't think enough about nor discuss sufficiently when we gather together. For those of you who have had the opportunity to participate in Covey's "Seven Habits" training, you know that the first task you complete is to form a personal philosophy Most college students, in preparation for their eventual career, develop a personal philosophy that will guide them as they form a place in their profession. Usually that takes on the flavor of the philosophy held by a mentor or influential faculty member, but nonetheless, it becomes their philosophy.

Since most adult educators do not start out on a career path to become an adult educator, nor do we have undergraduate training in adult education that helps to set a philosophy, our professional philosophy looks like an eclectic mix of many philosophies. …

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