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Your teaching philosophy

Before you teach, you should know the following:

  • You have a philosophy of how people learn.
  • How you want to teach is based on how you were taught.
  • Teaching is a small part of your life as an academic.
  • Good teaching is not a random act, but a purposely thought out project.
  • The principles of good teaching parallel the principles of good research.
  • There really is science behind teaching.

What is a teaching philosophy?

A teaching philosophy is your belief of the role of teaching and the teacher. It stems from your beliefs about how people learn and the roles of the teacher and student in learning.

Why should I know what my teaching philosophy is?

Simple, your teaching philosophy will influence everything you teach.  Just like you decided to be a quantitative or qualitative researcher, you will eventually gravitate to your teaching philosophy.  Knowing your philosophy up front will help decrease years of struggle and frustration.

How do I know what my teaching philosophy is?

You might try reflecting on and then writing your philosophy. Or, there is an online test, The Teaching Perspectives Inventory, which will help you understand your teaching philosophy.

The Teaching Perspectives Inventory can help you collect your thoughts and summarize your ideas about teaching. It can be useful in examining your own teaching as well as helping clarify the teaching views of other people. The TPI is quick to complete - it usually takes no more than 10-15 minutes to answer all the questions and to automatically score your results. You may also choose to print out your profile sheet to help you visualize and interpret your scores.

Find the TPI here: http://www.teachingperspectives.com/html/tpi_frames.htm

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 06/20/2013
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