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Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy Dr. Ciara O’Farrell Trinity College Dublin.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy Dr. Ciara O’Farrell Trinity College Dublin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy Dr. Ciara O’Farrell Trinity College Dublin

2 Workshop aims In this session we'll help you identify and articulate your teaching philosophy, provide examples of teaching philosophy statements, and spend time drafting your statement.

3 Learner Outcomes After this workshop you should be able to: Recognise some of the purposes of teaching of philosophy statements Apply a structure to your statement Have a rough draft of your own philosophy of teaching statement

4 Free writing and Discussion 5 minutes writing & 5 minutes discussion: Who is the best teacher you have ever known? What qualities made this person a great teacher? Do any of this teacher’s qualities appear in your own teaching? What specifically?

5 What is a Statement of Teaching Philosophy? Codifies your thinking at a particular time Gives you a starting point to examine your teaching practices Allows you monitor your development as a teacher A personal document that should reflect and represent you as an individual

6 Purposes Personal Professional Pedagogical Reflective

7 Written for: You Administrators Faculty Students

8 Freewriting Activity Write for five minutes: What do I believe about teaching?

9 Some guiding questions What do I believe about teaching? · What do I believe about learning? Why? How is that played out in my classroom? · What do I still struggle with in terms of teaching and student learning? · What motivates me to learn about this subject? · What are the opportunities and constraints under which I learn and others learn? · What do I expect to be the outcomes of my teaching? · What is the student-teacher relationship I strive to achieve? · How do I know when I have taught successfully? · What habits, attitudes, or methods mark my most successful teaching achievements? What values do I impart to my students?

10 Some more guiding questions Has my approach to teaching changed? What role do my students play in the classroom (listeners? Co- discoverers? Peer teachers?) What have I learned about myself as a teacher? What excites me about my discipline? How has my research influenced my teaching? What does teaching mean to me (coaching, leading, guiding, telling, showing, mentoring. Modelling?) What teaching practices do I use and prefer (lecture, lead discussions, guide problem solving, provide demonstrations?) What are my plans for developing or improving my teaching? (learn new skills, try our new approaches?)

11 Freewriting activity Write for five minutes. What do I believe about learning?

12 Dos and Don’ts Don’t Rehash your curriculum vitae Make empty statements “I run a learner centred classroom” Overload with information

13 Do Keep it short Be relatively humble in tone (“My student evaluations are consistently high” rather than “My students say I’m the best teacher”) Be reflective: Talk about your mistakes and describe what you’ve learned from them to become better teachers Mention how students have reacted to your teaching innovations

14 Freewriting Activity What is a personal best achievement for you as a teacher during the past two years?

15 Remember It will be read by others so make it lively and interesting Keep your statement updated – it’s ever-evolving

16 What it’s not: Not a utopian vision but an expression of a desired performance in the light of contextual reality

17 Freewriting Activity Write for ten minutes: Think of an activity that bombed in your classroom. Why do you think it didn’t work? How would/did you change that activity?

18 Freewriting Activity Think of an activity you used in class: write a paragraph or two, answering the following questions: What did I want my students to learn from this activity? How well did it work? How do I know how well it worked? What would I change next time and why?

19 Instructional Goals What goals do you have for your learners? What can a student get out of your course? Why are these goals important?

20 Three levels of educational goals What goals do you have for students as learners in the specific subject matter What goals do you have for students as learners in your area What goals to you have for students as learners in the general educational framework?

21 Activity Group work: Handout: Read and comment on the handout – “Goals samples”

22 Activity 2: Goals Focus on one episode in teaching that epitomizes your goals and equally reflects your teaching. Describe what is special about that episode and why or how it is representative of your other teaching

23 Activity 3: Goals See handout: Teaching Goals Self-scorable version available at:

24 Design and Implementation: How do you intend to establish these goals? (Teaching methods etc.) Alignment important – design and implementation should reflect and be informed by your goals.

25 Activity Group work Read and comment on the sample statements in the Instructional Design and Implementation handout

26 Assessment and Evaluation Should measure how well you have achieved your goals. Achieve congruence between your instructional goals, instructional methods, and your assessment program. What types of assessment do you use and how are they effective for you?

27 Documentation and Reflection –A running commentary –What have you learnt about student learning and how have you fed that back into your instructional practices? –Demonstrate your desire to grow as a professional teacher

28 Documentation and Reflection Do you have a live portfolio? Gather documentation over time that gives evidence of your goals, methods and assessments Build a case for the strategies you use Identify targets for improving your work.

29 Activity Group work: Read and discuss the document and reflection examples.

30 Structure 1-2 pages long A personal narrative Evidence of your sincerely-held beliefs Representative of your experience and practice A showcase for your strengths A place that points to directions in your future growth An effective abstract for your teaching portfolio

31 Various structural possibilities: Title / Quote (optional) / Thesis statements/ Narrative Or Theoretic framework / goals / design / implementation / assessment / evaluation… Or

32 Structural possibilities Descriptive: What you do when you teach, types of activities you use when you are teaching Analytical: Why you teach in the way you do, how your thinking about teaching has changed over time Empirical: Experiences or observations of student learning on which your decisions about teaching are based

33 Editing Are your teaching objectives clear, attainable and realistic? Are your teaching methods explicit? How do you measure effectiveness?

34 Editing… Should you work for greater clarity, by giving examples? What words reveal your teaching values? Are you knowledgeable without coming across as opinionated and dogmatic? What will a reader remember the most about this teaching philosophy statement?

35 To do: Build your literacy about learning and teaching Read some sample teaching statements Share and critique Edit for content, accuracy and style

36 Remember: Do not attempt to be perfect Include the future Write in a personal way

37 Final writing activity: Write for five minutes: What do I have to do to finish this Teaching of Philosophy Statement?

38 You might… Take the Teaching Goals Inventory Online: db=tgi.data_.fp5&- db=tgi.data_.fp5&- Take the teaching perspectives Inventory nglish_v1.htm

39 Further Reading “Statements of Teaching Philosophy”: Teaching portfolios/ describing your teaching philosophy Sample statements: See the Teaching of Philosophy Page on the CAPSL website.

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