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Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement

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  1. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Bill Burke Associate Director Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) Adjunct Faculty, Biology

  2. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement What is a teaching philosophy statement? A reflective essay on your conception of teaching and learning and how you operationalize those beliefs Why write one?

  3. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Formative Reasons • Reflective practice – a continual examination and enhancement of your teaching • Part of a personal portfolio • These statements are – • Private • Diagnostic • Ongoing • Feedback for your improvement • Used to make personal decisions

  4. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Summative Reasons • Needed for an academic job application • Part of a tenure and promotion dossier • Documentation for a teaching award • Often part of a teaching portfolio • These statements are – • Public • Sources of documentation • Used for personnel decisions

  5. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Should show – Who and what you teach Your teaching goals Student learning outcomes How you teach and assess your students Why you teach that way Specific examples of implementation

  6. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Developing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement (Chism, 1998) • A good philosophy statement contains – • Your conceptualization of learning and teaching • How do you see yourself as a teacher? • What role do you play in the classroom? • How do you think students learn best in your discipline? • Goals for your students • What learning outcomes do you want for your students? • Implementation of your philosophy • How do you put your philosophy into practice? • Professional growth plan • Do you show evidence that you reflect on your teaching, learn from it, and are open to making changes?

  7. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Characteristics • No one set format • Generally 1 – 2 pages in length • Use present tense and first person • Write with the audience in mind • Who is going to read this and for what purpose? • Use technical terms and jargon judiciously

  8. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Link your philosophy to your practice • Provide a few specific examples • Let the reader "see" you in the classroom Make it reflective and personal Make it memorable and unique What sets your philosophy and practice apart? Own your philosophy These are yourbeliefs about teaching and learning

  9. Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Two Good Resources These two web sites are particularly good for giving advice, providing examples, and linking to other resources The Ohio State University University Center for the Advancement of Teaching http://ucat.osu.edu/read/teaching-portfolio/philosophy University of Michigan Center for Research in Learning and Teaching http://www.crlt.umich.edu/tstrategies/tstpts.php