What is a Teaching Philosophy Statement?
A teaching philosophy statement is a narrative that includes:
- your conception of teaching and learning
- a description of how you teach
- justification for why you teach that way
The statement can:
- demonstrate that you have been reflective and purposeful about your teaching
- communicate your goals as an instructor and your corresponding actions in the classroom
- point to and tie together the other sections of your portfolio
What is the purpose of a Teaching Philosophy Statement?
You generally need a teaching statement to apply for an academic position. A teaching statement:
- conveys your teaching values, beliefs, and goals to a broader audience
- provides a set of criteria and/or standards to judge the quality of your teaching
- provides evidence of your teaching effectiveness
Components of a Teaching Philosophy Statement
- educational purpose and learning goals for students
- your teaching methods
- methods for assessing students’ learning
- assessment of teaching
You also may include:
- a list of courses you have taught
- samples of course syllabi
- teaching evaluations
- letters of recommendation
- a video of a class you have taught (asked for by some universities)
Teaching values, beliefs, and goals
- content mastery
- engaged citizenry
- individual fulfillment
- critical thinking
- problem solving
- discovery and knowledge generation
- self-directed learning
- experiential learning
What criteria are used to judge your teaching?
How do you provide evidence of your teaching effectiveness?
“Own” your philosophy
Teaching Philosophy Statement dos and don’ts:
Answer these questions to get started:
More information on Teaching Philosophy Statements
An excellent guide for writing your Teaching Philosophy Statement:
“Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy for the Academic Job Search,” from the University of Michigan: http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/CRLT_no23.pdf
Sites that Host Electronic Portfolios
Help at the Center for Teaching Excellence
Course about Teaching Portfolios
The course ALS 6015, “The Practice of Teaching in Higher Education” teaches graduate students how to prepare teaching portfolios.
You may schedule a one-on-one appointment for help in preparing your Teaching Philosophy Statement.
Graduate Teaching Certificate Programs
For graduate TAs considering academic positions in higher education, these programs prepare you to become an excellent teacher. You learn the art and science of teaching through coursework, mentorship, research, and electronic portfolio development. You’ll receive a small stipend and a certificate after completing program requirements. See: http://cte.cornell.edu/programs-services/grads-future-educators-tas/teaching-and-research-fellowships.html