Writing Your "Teaching Philosophy"

Constructing this half page can be the most difficult part of putting together a teaching dossier. Although no general prescription can be given for its construction, we reproduce below the advice iven in several Canadian guides for dossier construction, and follow it with some examples written by various faculty members across the country. (Note that some of these examples are more lengthy than that suggested in the UWO dossier guidelines.) See also the sample dossiers suggested.

Dalhousie's Guide to the Teaching Dossier suggests that in the statement "you will reflect upon such questions as what you intend to accomplish through your various teaching activities (both short-term and long-term teaching goals), why you consider these goals to be important, and how your teaching practices promote student learning."

According to the Guide for Preparation and Use of the Professional Teaching Dossier published by Western's Faculty of Medicine, the statement of teaching philosophy "may include, but not be limited to, discussion in each of the following:

  • your personal theory of learning (e.g., what happens inside students when they learn)
  • the goals for instruction (what should be learned)
  • the role(s) and responsibility(ies) of the student in this process
  • the role(s) of the instructor in this process
  • a description of the variables which promote learning