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STATING YOUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY Danielle Mihram, Director Center for Excellence in Teaching University of Southern California.

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Presentation on theme: "STATING YOUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY Danielle Mihram, Director Center for Excellence in Teaching University of Southern California."— Presentation transcript:

1 STATING YOUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY Danielle Mihram, Director Center for Excellence in Teaching University of Southern California

2 Introduction zWhat is a “teaching philosophy”? zWhat does it include? zWhat is a good teaching philosophy statement?

3 What is a “teaching philosophy”? zAn expression of individual values about teaching ( a personal portrait of the writer’s view of teaching). Answers the question: “Why do I teach?” yWhat motivates me to learn about this subject? yWhat do I expect to be the outcomes of my teaching? yWhat is the student-teacher relationship I strive to achieve? yHow do I know when I have taught successfully? yWhat habits, attitudes, or methods mark my most successful teaching achievements? yWhat values do I impart to my students? yWhat code of ethics guides me? yWhat theme(s) pervade(s) my teaching?

4 Why should I bother to write one? zTo document and showcase your reflective teaching -- Indicates that you have taken time to reflect about your teaching within the contents of your own discipline and within the context of your particular classes. zTo gain an advantage over other applicants for a teaching position

5 Contents of Statements of Teaching Philosophy zIntegration of responsibilities (teaching, research, service) and how you view yourself supporting the educational mission of the university zExpertise and modes of teaching and learning in the context of your discipline, your department, or your university zThe relationships you create and maintain with your students, your TAs, other faculty in the department zWhat environments do you create that are favorable to learning? zWhat values do you impart? zWhat teaching tips, strategies, techniques do you use to enhance your teaching? zHow do you measure your students’ learning outcomes?

6 Questions to help you frame your statement z1. How does your statement demonstrate to the reader your pedagogical initiative? z2. Does your approach to teaching show good judgement: careful planning or flexibility when appropriate? z3. How does your statement articulate openness to different perspectives? And how will you demonstrate this? z4. Does your statement show awareness of disciplinary conventions/expectations? z5. How are these ideas consistent with the way you have constructed your courses? xHanna Rodriguez-Farrar, 18 Aug. 2000 z

7 Teaching as an expression of one’s values Values regarding the goals of teaching may vary from individual to individual – Ensure content knowledge – Develop critical thinking skills – Develop group skills and cooperation – Develop individual skills and encourage independence of thought A mix of those values (a diversified approach) can be viewed as a strength

8 What is a good teaching philosophy statement? zA well-articulated teaching philosophy defines the standards for the individual -- It sets the benchmark for measuring: The appropriateness of one’s methods The scope of one’s activities The effectiveness of one’s teaching The achievement of student learning

9 Writing a teaching philosophy statement zWhat are my objectives as a teacher? zWhat method(s) should I use to achieve (work) toward those objectives? zHow shall I measure my effectiveness? zHow do I justify my values?

10 What are my objectives as a teacher? zWhat are my teaching goals? ySee handout: “Questions to ask about student learning outcomes”

11 What is Effective Teaching? zSix components that work: y1. Cultivating and maintaining enthusiasm y2. Preparation and content Identifying objectives and deciding course content Designing learning activities Classroom policies and procedures A syllabus’s silent message Communicating structure

12 What is Effective Teaching? (Cont’d) y3. Stimulating student thought and interest xYour questions: Do they make your students think? xDiscussions, group work, collaborative learning xTeaching to stimulate and motivate y4. Explaining clearly xHow to know when you are not clear and they don’t understand xMaking the content relevant xExamples: The case in point that makes it clear

13 What is Effective Teaching? (Cont’d) y5. Knowledge and love of content xIs “more better” when it comes to content? x“I know it, therefore I can teach it”: How do you convey knowledge? y6. Assessing their learning and your teaching xAssessing their learning: exams, written work, projects, presentations, and performances xEffective grading xAssessing your teaching: Communication and feedback: from your students and your colleagues Sherman, T. M., et al. (1986). “The Quest for Excellence in University Teaching”. Journal of Higher Education 48(1): 66-84.

14 What methods should I use? zVarious teaching techniques, strategies, exercises. zHow do I make decisions about content, resources, and methods?

15 How do I justify my values? zWhat, to you, are the rewards of teaching? zWhat ideals keep you motivated and inspire your students? zHow do you want to make a difference in the lives of your students?

16 How shall measure my effectiveness? zClassroom assessment techniques (Angelo and Cross) -- usually provide relevant feedback from students -- can serve to effect change and re-evaluation zSummarize key points you want your reader to remember

17 Questions your reader will ask about your statement zWhat words reveal your teaching values? zWhat is your teaching style? zHow does your teaching experience help you understand how and why you teach? zDoes your statement gain your reader’s confidence and respect? What makes him/her distrust your writing? zIs the content of your statement relevant to the discipline? The department? The university? zAre you knowledgeable without coming across as opinionated and dogmatic? zWhat will your reader remember the most about your teaching philosophy statement?

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