Teaching Philosophy

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    -Teaching portfolio is a collection of material over an extended period of time that demonstrate the full range of your ability as a college teacher. It contains the factual description of a professor’s teaching strengths and accomplishments, materials that collectively suggest the scope and quality of performance. (combining the definitions by Urbach, 1992, Murray, 1994, and Seldin, 1997)

    -Teaching Philosopy is one component of the Teaching Portfolio to Document Teaching Effectiveness. According to CTL, it depicts what teaching means to you in your own professional development, and what your learning and developmental objectives are in relationship to the students in your class.

    -A few reflection cues for writing teaching philosophy:

    · Why do I teach the way I do?

    · Why am I a teacher?

    · What motivated me?

    · What’s my personal definition and what experience formed that?

    · What do I believe?

    · What do I want my students to gain?

    · Why do I use the methods/assignments I use?

    · What synonym for teacher would accurately describe what I believe myself to be, or what I would like to be, for students?

    -Documentation options:

    · A description of materials that have helped to form your beliefs about teaching and learning.

    · Materials that demonstrate your growth and change in your thinking about teaching and learning.

    From “4 steps to a memorable teaching philosophy” by James M. Lang

    · The basics & generic: What we’ve learnt and discussed so far (in addition to the love of teaching)

    · Step 1: Begin with the end.

    • What have the student learnt? How they’ve changed since they first entered your classroom?
      • Knowledge, skills, etc.
    • Phase objective at the same time

    · Step 2: Make distinctions

    • Research/major courses: more content oriented
    • Core courses: more skill oriented
    • Common objectives: ex, in a core writing course and a major specific writing component course
      • Though the common objectives may become too abstract and generic

    · Step 3: Be specific:

    • Offer stories, detailed descriptions, creative strategies used, etc. , instead of explanations of concepts
      • “creative non-fiction”, innovative ideas, etc.
      • Full paragraph in detail.

    · Step 4: Cite your sources:

    • where did the philosophies come from?
      • Reflects “how” and “why” of development
      • A good opening
      • What reviewers like:
        • Acknowledgement of mentor and demonstrate willingness to learn
        • Acknowledge worthy sources

    · Most importantly: Take time and effort to work on it


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