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.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
teaching philosophy statement
What should faculty reviewers look for in a teaching philosophy statement of a candidate? Correspondingly, what should those applying for academic positions put in a teaching philosophy statement? The author of this article suggests models of teaching and learning. Of learning, he writes, “Candidates should demonstrate knowledge of models of how students learn, how best to encourage learning, and how to assess whether learning has occurred.” (p. 336)
I believe that success – whether personal or professional – is generated from three critical building blocks: knowledge, critical thinking, and curiosity. These building blocks have an enduring, cyclical relationship; knowledge helps us to understand the world around us as well as ourselves, critical thinking gives us the ability to incorporate knowledge and apply it endlessly, and curiosity, which is the result of realizing the limitations of current knowledge, drives us to acquire additional knowledge.
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.