Statement of Teaching Philosophy

This statement is based on guidelines in O’Neal, Meizlish, and Kaplan's Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy for the Academic Job Search (2007). It's only an outline for now and will continue to evolve over time.

Reflecting on the “big questions” can help to articulate a personal phisolophy1)

  • What motivates me as a lecturer? Every day (OK, maybe not every day, but most days) I go into work thinking about how I can be a better teacher so that I can help our students become the best physio's they can be.
  • What do I expect to be the outcomes of my teaching? I try not focus on teaching students how to be a better physio but also how to be a better person. I don't think physio is about learning how to be something, it's becoming something.
  • How do I know when I’ve taught successfully? When a student asks a question about something that's extended from what I've just taught i.e. they've taken in what I've been talking about, thought it through and then asked a question that's a natural extension of the concept.

Sometimes it's also useful to approach the specific subject matter in a more concrete way:

  • Why do you teach?
  • What do you believe or value about teaching and student learning?
  • If you had to choose a metaphor for teaching/learning, what would it be?
  • How do your research and disciplinary context influence your teaching?
  • How do your identity/background and your students’ identities/backgrounds affect teaching and learning in your classes?
  • How do you take into account differences in student learning styles in your teaching?
  • What is your approach to evaluating and assessing students?

It can be useful to see examples of the statements of others (note variations in content, style, format, etc.

The following guidelines may be helpful:2)

  • Keep it brief (1-2 pages)
  • Use a narrative, first person approach
  • Make it reflective and personal
  • Discuss your goals for your students, the methods you use to achieve those goals, and the assessments you use to find out if students have met your expectations
  • Explain your specific disciplinary context and use specific examples of your practice
  • Showcase your strengths and accomplishments

What constitutes a “good” statement?3)

  • It offers evidence of practice
  • It conveys reflectiveness
  • It communicates that teaching is valued
  • It is student- or learning-centred
  • It is well-written, clear and readable
1) 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
2) Chism, N. V. N. (1998). Developing a philosophy of teaching statement. Essays on Teaching Excellence 9(3). Athens, GA: Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education
3) Meizlish, D., & Kaplan, M. (in press). Valuing and evaluating teaching in academic hiring: A multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional study. Journal of Higher Education
statement_of_teaching_philosophy.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/07 14:11 by Michael Rowe