Teaching philosophy

Reflecting on your philosophy of teaching is a good start for designing your course and will be an important component of the process when your teaching is being assessed.  A statement of teaching philosophy is a short summary of the instructor’s beliefs, approaches, and methods related to teaching and learning in the university environment.  Such a statement may be built using the following guidelines. 

Personal thoughts and opinions about teaching and learning, teacher and learner:

  • Why do I teach?
  • What is the student’s role in learning process?
  • What is the teacher’s role?

Preferred teaching methods and approaches (teaching style):

  • What kind of classes do I use most (lectures, discussions, tutorials, labs) and why?
  • Which teaching aids and techniques do I prefer (use of technology in classroom, group work, class discussion...) and why?

Preferred testing and grading formats:

  • What types of tests and assignments do I use and why?

For a more extensive coverage of teaching philosophy statement structure, please refer to the article by Ellen Carusetta: Your Teaching Philosophy Statement. While this article was originally written for persons in full-time positions, it provides some information that contract academic instructors might find useful.