Exploring Your Own Conceptions of Teaching and Learning/Exercise 3

Please bear in mind that any individual teacher is likely to need several versions of their teaching philosophy statement each of which will be put to a different use. Three common uses for a teaching philosophy statement are:

  1. As part of an application for promotion
  2. As part of an application for a job
  3. As a page on one's professional website.


In our opinion, however, the most important use is as a vehicle for critical reflection.


Each version will have its own structure, for the purpose of this exercise, we recommend that you use the following which is based on the work of Nancy Chism – see http://ucat.osu.edu/...


Exercise 3

Write a complete teaching philosophy statement using the following headings:
  1. Your conception of learning
    In this section you explain what you understand happens in a learning situation.
  2. Your conception of teaching
    Chism suggests that personal teaching beliefs on how a teacher facilitates the learning process would be appropriate for this section. Furthermore, you may talk about how you as a teacher have come to these conclusions (e.g., through past experience as a student or teacher, or as a result of literature reading or taking classes).
  3. The goals you set for your students and the expectations you have of them.
    This section should explain what skills / knowledge you expect your students to obtain as the result of learning. You may address such issues as what goals you set for your classes, what the rationale behind them is, what kind of activities you try to implement in class in order to reach these goals, and how the goals have changed over time as you learn more about teaching and learning. For instance, you can describe how you have expected students to learn not only the content, but also skills such as critical thinking, writing, and problem solving, followed by elaboration on how you have designed/planned individual sessions towards accomplishing the goals.
  4. How you implement your philosophy
    In this section you need to show how your concepts of learning and teaching and the goals you set for your students are transformed into classroom activities. You might want to reflect on how you present yourself and why you use the course materials and activities you do. You might also comment on how you interact with students in and outside class, and the consequences.
  5. Your professional development plan
    Chism suggests that writing this section can help you think about how your perspectives and actions have changed over time.

In summary, these are the main questions Chism suggests are answered in a teaching philosophy statement:

  • How do people learn?
  • How do I facilitate that learning?
  • What goals do I have for my students?
  • Why do I teach the way that I do?
  • What do I do to implement these ideas about teaching and learning in the classroom?
  • Are these things working? Do my student meet the goals?
  • How do I know they are working?
  • What are my future goals for growth as a teacher?

Enter your complete teaching philosophy statement below:



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