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A brief examination of the steps for writing a Teaching Philosophy

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Student Population, Context, Subject Matter, the Organization, the Teaching Situation, Accountability


Examine the Setting

Process of a Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Values, Motivation, Expectations, Explained Through Experiences


Consider the Big Questions

Weave Instructional Challenges with Professional Development and Commitment to Learning-Centered Teaching


Instructional Challenges

A critical self-reflection that includes research, students, self, and peers.


Examine Assumptions

All catchphrases should be defined with personal experiences in the classroom.


Define the Jargon

Define Student Success with Concrete Classroom Experiences.


Student Success

References Eierman, R. (2008). The teaching philosophy statement: Purposes and organizational structure, Journal of Chemical Education, 85(3), 336- 339. Goodyear, G. E., & Allchin, D. (1998). Statements of teaching philosophy. In M. Kaplan & D. Lieberman (Eds.), To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development, Vol. 17 (pp. 103-122). Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. Accessed through https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1403&context=podimproveacad Hegarty, N. C. & Silliman, B. R. (2016). How to approach teaching philosophy statements as career mission statements. Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, 6(1), 103-114. Homes, G. & Abington-Cooper, M. (2000). Pedagogy vs. andragogy: A false dichotomy? Journal of Technology Studies, 26(2), https://doi.org/10.21061/jots.v26i2.a.8. Lewis, J. M. & Benson, D. E. (1998). Course evaluations. Tips for Teaching Introductory Sociology. Wadsworth. Meizlish, D. & Kaplan, M. (2008) Valuing and evaluating teaching in academic hiring: A multidisciplinary, cross-institutional study, The Journal of Higher Education, 79(5), 489-512, DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2008.11772114 O’Neal, C., Meizlish, D. & Kaplan, M. (2007) Writing a statement of teaching philosophy for the academic job search. CRLT Occasional Papers: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. The University of Michigan. Yager, S. (2013). Writing a teaching philosophy statement, Iowa State University Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, [Video], retrieved from https://youtu.be/tbqS25mHCiM.

Hegarty and Silliman's Teaching Philosophy Continuum Process Adapted from Hegarty, N. C. & Silliman, B. R. (2016). How to approach teaching philosophy statements as career mission statements. Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, 6(1), 103-114.

Two sources directly related to the Big Questions Statements of Teaching Philosophy Valuing and Evaluating Teaching in Academic Hiring: A Multidisciplinary, Cross-Institutional Study

Image found on Josie Holford's Education Blog You may know what Project-Based Learning is and may have tried the Flipped Classroom, but there is no guarantee that everyone who reads your philosophy will know. Sometimes words change, meanings change, and sometimes words have a different meaning in different locations. Rather than make assumptions, define any word that might be considered Jargon or a Buzz Word. I attended a conference this year wherein a professor of many years was describing their experience with properly matching the evaluation of their course objectives in relation to their assessments and how they did it. I listened attentively to the professor describe Backwards Design without ever using the words. They had never heard of it. At first, I found myself annoyed that it had taken so many years for them to come to that point. Then I had the epiphany moment, this was a content professor and had no educational training. I had lucked out that my degree included educational training and theory. It was wrong of me to judge that professor in that way, first because they were improving themselves, and second because they may never have been exposed to the idea. Explaining the jargon and attaching it to actual experiences not only helps other people understand what you mean, but it may also teach someone something they didn't previously know.

In a recently overheard conversation, the person behind me said to another person at their table, "If you never face a challenge, you never grow". When trying to find who said that originally, there were so many quotes and so many attributions that it becomes impossible to sort it out. It doesn't matter, it is clear that challenge is part of growth. When discussing challenges that you faced, the point is to establish what you learned, how you changed, and the impact on later experiences of a similar nature. Make sure you include what happens next. How the mistakes, the challenges, have led to new growth opportunities. Notice I didn't actually use the phrase Growth Mindset? I was attempting to avoid jargon. I was introduced to the Mistakes Happen: Confessions about Teaching by College Professors video series in the Re-Imagine Cohort workshops, and I am sharing the link to the playlist of the videos for you to enjoy. Image found on James Anderson's Blog on Growth Mindset.

  • What are the important knowledge, skills, and attitudes in your course
  • What are the learning outcomes?
  • What different types of assessments are used?
  • How well do the assessments match the learning outcomes?
  • How well do the assessments support the priorities and context of your course?
  • How do your assessments contribute to student learning?
  • What is the guiding question?
  • How will you recognize success?