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Crafting a Statement of Teaching Philosophy

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  1. Crafting a Statement of Teaching Philosophy Dr. Jennifer Clary-Lemon Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications

  2. What is a Statement of Teaching Philosophy (or Teaching Statement)? • a way to document and frame your teaching practices • a central part of a teaching portfolio (teaching dossier)

  3. Secrets?

  4. What is a Statement of Teaching Philosophy (or Teaching Statement)? • allows you to reflect on and articulate your beliefs and practices as a teacher • identifies sophisticated goals for teaching and describes varied methods for meeting teaching goals • considers the relationship between teaching content (disciplinary knowledge) and teaching skills (i.e., “critical thinking”) • demonstrates an understanding of student learning • helps provide a focus for your teaching • may provide an outlet for professional dialogue, growth, and development

  5. A Strong Statement • identifies goals for student learning • What knowledge, skills, and attitudes are important for student success in your discipline? • describes teaching methods that enact and meet learning goals for students • What teaching methods do you use? Why are these methods appropriate for your discipline? • describes measurement of student learning (how assessments meet learning goals) • How do you know your goals for students are being met? What sorts of assessment tools do you use and why? • considers needs of a diverse student body • How do your own and your students’ identities, backgrounds, experiences, and levels of privilege affect the classroom? How do you take into account diverse learning styles? • is well written in terms of structure, rhetoric, and language

  6. The details/getting started/revising what you’ve got: Lang (2010) suggests: • Beginning with the end • In what ways are students changed by my classes at the end of term? • Making Distinctions • How are your teaching objectives different in service courses? Upper-division courses? • Being Specific • Offer detailed descriptions of teaching strategies • Citing your Sources • Explain how and why you think the way you do about teaching (scholars, mentors, your own experience at school?)

  7. “I’m a fabulous teacher, but haven’t given it much thought otherwise” • Scholarly books and articles • Teaching Perspectives Inventory • Questions about teaching beliefs, intentions and actions • Teaching Goals Inventory • Identifies teaching goals you feel are important The things you learn

  8. How to Connect Teaching Goals with Methods and Philosophy • Organizational Matrix (Dawson-Munoz, 1994) • Teaching claim • Narrative example • Theoretical support (if warranted) • Supporting data in dossier (for tenure/promotion. Connects philosophy to items in your portfolio, such as assignments, in-class activities, student comments)

  9. Pair up and share • One teaching claim (useful to frame as a student learning goal); i.e. “I am attentive to diverse learning styles” • One narrative example (think about the ways in which you can prove the claim); i.e. “I vary class formats to honour visual, textual, tactile learners by doing XXXX”

  10. Workshop Teaching Statements • Read the Statement of Teaching Philosophy (number assigned) • Discuss with your group members your evaluation of the statement, based on the rubric: • Goals • Enactment of goals • Assessment of goals • An inclusive learning environment

  11. To take: • Packet of 5 multidisciplinary statements • Rubric for composing and evaluating a statement of teaching philosophy • Organizational Matrix • References (Writing the Statement, Sources on Pedagogy) • Contact? j.clary-lemon@uwinnipeg.ca