An explanation of your conceptualization of learning

Statement of Teaching Philosophy Template

Based upon (Chism, 1998), “Developing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement,”

See for additional guidance: http://ucat.osu.edu/read/teaching-portfolio/philosophy/guidance

Title

Your name

  1. Conceptualization of learning

Ask yourself such questions as “What do we mean by learning?” and “What happens in a learning situation?” Think of your answers to these questions based on your personal experience. Chism (1998) points out that some teachers have tried to express and explain their understanding of learning through the use of metaphors because drawing comparisons with known entities can stimulate thinking, whether or not the metaphor is actually used in the statement. On the other hand, most instructors tend to take a more direct approach in conceptualizing learning, i.e., they describe what they think occurs during a learning episode, based on their observation and experience or based on current literature on teaching and learning.

  1. Conceptualization of teaching

Ask yourself questions such as “What do we mean by teaching?” and “How do I facilitate this process as a teacher?” Chism (1998) suggests that personal teaching beliefs as to how the instructor facilitates the learning process would be appropriate for this section. Again, the metaphor format can be used, but a common practice is a more direct description of the nature of a teacher with respect to motivating and facilitating learning. Along with the questions above, you may also address such issues as how to challenge students intellectually and support them academically and how the teacher can respond to different learning styles, help students who are frustrated, and accommodate different abilities. 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 reading the literature or taking classes).

  1. Goals for students

This section should entail the description of what skills you, as the teacher, 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 toward accomplishing the goals.

  1. Implementation of the philosophy

An important component of the statement of a teaching philosophy should be the illustration of how your concepts about teaching and learning and goals for students are transformed into classroom activities. Ask yourself, “How do I operationalize my philosophy of teaching in the classroom?” and “What personal characteristics in myself or my students influence the way in which I approach teaching?” To answer these questions, you may reflect on how you present yourself and course materials; what activities, assignments, and projects you implement in the teaching-learning process; how you interact with students in and outside class; and the consequences.

  1. Professional growth plan

It is important for teachers to continue professional growth; and to do so, teachers need to set clear goals and means to accomplish these goals. Think about questions such as “What goals have I set for myself as a teacher?” and “How do I accomplish these goals?” You can elaborate this plan in your statement of teaching philosophy. For instance, you can illustrate how you have professionally grown over the years, what challenges exist at the present, what long-term development goals you have projected, and what you will do to reach these goals. Chism (1998) suggests that writing this section can help you think about how your perspectives and actions have changed over time. Consider professional conferences that might help your growth.

References

© 2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 8

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