Teaching Philosophy

Writing teaching philosophies has become a common practice among educators, as these documents can be useful—and are often recommended or required—in job applications for faculty positions and in the promotion and tenure review process.

Instructors also find the writing process instrumental in making their own teaching more deliberate and intentional:  We often teach without ever really thinking about long-term goals, but the process of writing a teaching philosophy encourages the kind of consideration and reflection that can ultimately improve our effectiveness in the classroom.

Before you start writing,

  • Review current research on the scholarship of teaching and learning in your field
  • Reflect on the situational factors that have influenced your teaching
  • Ask yourself general questions about your teaching as you seek to characterize your particular style
  • Consider creating several versions (e.g., a paragraph-long version and another that’s closer to a page in length, or perhaps separate teaching philosophies for each course)

Though you might find it helpful to read others’ teaching philosophies, recognize that your philosophy is unique to you and your specific teaching situation, so there is no one-size-fits-all model.  Contact CETL if you would like help devising a teaching philosophy of your own.