You’ve made a stab at writing your statement of teaching philosophy for your job application, but have no idea of how effective it is. Now is the time to start asking yourself questions that can help you begin to evaluate what you have written.
Vicki Daiello,Professor of Art Education at the University of Cincinnati, has adapted a series of questions originally developed by the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota that will help you to do this, and I am reproducing them here with her permission:
Evaluating the Teaching Philosophy: Questions to Consider
Purpose & Audience
Is there a clear focus or theme(s)?
Are the language and tone appropriate for the intended audience without
relying on trite phrases, clichés, or lofty jargon?
Would it hold a reader’s attention?
Is it “authentic” – do you have an idea of who this person is as a teacher (or
who they aspire to be)?
Does the teacher reveal self and personal/political/pedagogical
Is enthusiasm for teaching evident?
Does it sound as though the teacher cares about the beliefs expressed and
the arguments being made?
Would you like to take a course taught by this teacher?
Beliefs/Arguments/Claims & Illustrative Support
Does it convey what the teacher believes in a way that is engaging, specific,
and easy to understand?
Does it express why these beliefs are held?
Does it tell how these beliefs came to be held?
Does it communicate the teacher’s goals for and expectations of learners?
Are the beliefs/arguments/claims grounded in the teacher’s discipline?
Does the organization/structure support the arguments/claims being made?
Are the beliefs/arguments/claims backed up by evidence, examples,
Are there specific examples of strategies, methods, or theories used to achieve
teaching and learning goals and to help students meet or exceed
Are headings, transitions, and paragraph design appropriate to the content?
Are length and thematic structure appropriate to the content?
Are there any distracting grammatical, typographical, or spelling errors?
Next up: A checklist that can also help you assess the quality of your statement of teaching philosophy.