Statement of Teaching Philosophy - Questions to Consider

  • What are the learning goals for my students? What kinds of specific intellectual work (research, reasoning, interpretation) from my discipline do I want to teach them to be able to do? Are there specific intellectual challenges or preconceptions about the course material that I can build on or have to unsettle?
  • How do I believe students learn this course material best? Do students accumulate facts by memorization and understand arguments through repetition? How do my students work with these ideas by reasoning about them, making connections and integrating them into broader fields of knowledge?
  • How do I organize the class time to enable students to be actively involved in reaching those goals? What kinds of student interaction and written work are entailed?
  • How does the work I assign to be done out of class help students make progress toward those goals?
  • How do I know if students are making progress toward the learning goals? What evidence do I have of their learning in assessment and course evaluations? How do I provide feedback to students and offer individual meetings?
  • How do I address the range of learning styles among students in my classes? How do I make the course engaging and interesting throughout the semester?
  • How does my discipline and class contribute to my students’ liberal arts education? How do I help students understand the implications or significance of what they're learning in my classes?
  • What have I learned about teaching in my discipline? What teaching formats have I not had the opportunity to practice (e.g. lecturing) and how would I undertake them? Are there styles of teaching activities that I would like to try out as my career advances?