Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Philosophy of Teaching

Strategies for Writing Better Teaching Philosophy Statements

Teaching philosophy statements are now prepared for a variety of reasons: as part of a job application process; to be included in a promotion and tenure dossier; for a teaching award; or to foster reflection about how and why you teach. Regardless of purpose, the goal ought to be preparation of statements that reveal those beliefs and practices characteristic of an individual teacher. Writing teaching philosophy statements that accurately describe the instructional self isn’t easy, given that so many of us begin teaching careers with little training and continue them with episodic professional development. A set of resources can do much to assist the process and an impressive collection appears in the article referenced below.

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Preparing Teaching Philosophy Statements

Although they are a fairly recent innovation, most faculty are familiar with teaching philosophy statements. Many have prepared them for job interviews, for promotion and tenure dossiers, for teaching awards, or for personal benefit.

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Examples and Tips on How to Write a Teaching Philosophy Statement

Writing a philosophy of teaching statement can make even the most experienced educator feel intimidated. Motivate students? No problem. Juggle an endless list of responsibilities? Check. Make course content come alive? Done. But when it comes to putting their teaching philosophy to paper, it’s hard to even know where to start.

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Philosophy of Teaching Statement Focuses on Student Learning

My philosophy of teaching can better be described as a philosophy of learning. In order to be an effective instructor, I must focus on student learning and adjust my teaching strategies in response to the pace and depth of student understanding. I view teaching as an interaction between an instructor and a student; thus, the impact of this interaction on learning, rather than my activities as an instructor, is of primary importance.

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My Philosophy of Teaching

I believe a good teacher, first, has a powerful faith in the future. Like the forester planting an oak seedling knowing he or she will

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