A statement of teaching philosophy is a central component of a teaching dossier and is often required in applications for academic positions. Faculty often view developing and writing their statements of teaching philosophy as onerous and perplexing. One of the reasons for this is that faculty are not clearly aware of their own guiding philosophy or are confused by the notion of a philosophy determining their everyday activities. Therefore, it is important that in developing a statement of teaching philosophy that faculty realize that the aim is to reveal an underlying philosophy rather than trying to create one.
To accomplish this we therefore need to understand what a statement of teaching philosophy is for, some general guidelines of how it can structured and presented, but in particular, how we can reflect upon our teaching and discover our own guiding philosophy.
In developing a statement of teaching philosophy, however, there are also a few points to keep in mind:
A statement of teaching philosophy must distinctively and authentically convey the individuality of the author.
- The development and writing of a statement of teaching philosophy will require a few drafts and reviewing as with any other piece of writing. Similarly, the final version must be impeccable in terms of spelling and grammar. Therefore, some time (but not a lot) will need to be devoted to this process as well as creativity and thought.
- The final statement should be only one to three pages in length, be written in plain language avoiding excessive jargon. However, it is important to keep in mind who will read the statement and for what purpose. As these statements become part of career decision-making procedures, it is important for statement authors to present their most authentic and best selves.