Criminal Justice field. I will add all the courses I am certified to teach.
Answer questions at the bottom in the statement
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
letters of recommendation
a video of a class you have taught (asked for by some universities)
Teaching values, beliefs, and goals
You should consider what you believe is the end goal or purpose of education:
discovery and knowledge generation
Where can you find your teaching philosophy?
a syllabus (assignments, format, content, expectations, texts, assignments, grading and assessment)
in-classroom environment (diversity of methods, level of interaction, quality of feedback, intercultural sensitivity)
connection to institutional mission and disciplinary trends
What criteria are used to judge your teaching?
student-teaching roles and responsibilities
assessment of teaching
assessment of learning
How do you provide evidence of your teaching effectiveness?
There is no required content, set format, or right or wrong way to write a teaching statement. That is why writing one can be challenging.
Make the length suit the context. Generally, they are one to two pages.
Use present tense and the first person, in most cases.
Avoid technical terms and use broadly understood language and concepts, in most cases. Write with the audience in mind. Have someone from your field guide you on discipline-specific jargon and issues to include or exclude.
Include teaching strategies and methods to help people “see” you in the classroom. Include specific examples of your teaching strategies, assignments, discussions, etc. Help them to visualize the learning environment you create and the exchanges between you and your students.
Make it memorable and unique. The search committee is seeing many of these documents—What is going to set you apart? What will they remember? Your teaching philosophy will come to life if you create a vivid portrait of yourself as a person who is intentional about teaching practices and committed to your career.
“Own” your philosophy
Don’t make general statements such as “students don’t learn through lecture” or “the only way to teach is with class discussion.” These could be detrimental, appearing as if you have all of the answers. Instead, write about your experiences and your beliefs. You “own” those statements and appear more open to new and different ideas about teaching. Even in your own experience, you make choices about the best teaching methods for different courses and content: sometimes lecture is most appropriate; other times you may use service-learning, for example.
Teaching philosophy statement dos and don’ts:
Don’t give idyllic BUT empty concepts
Don’t repeat your CV
Do research on the teaching institution and disciplinary trends
Do keep it short (one to two pages)
Do provide concrete examples and evidence of usefulness of teaching concepts
Do discuss impact of methods, lessons learned, challenges, and innovations—how did students learn?
Do discuss connections between teaching, research, and service
Answer these questions to get started:
The purpose of education is to________.
Why do you want to teach your subject?
Students learn best by______________.
When you are teaching your subject, what are your goals?
The most effective methods for teaching are___________.
I know this because__________________.
The most important aspects of my teaching are______________.
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