Personal Teaching Philosophy


Based on your experiences in learning and teaching, both from your own career as a student and teacher and from our discussions in Principles of College Teaching, you are to think about and write your own personal philosophy of teaching.

The philosophy must reflect your viewpoint, your basic theories about learning and teaching. You may certainly borrow and adapt ideas from others ... just be sure to credit them when that seems appropriate.  Take your time with this.  You will be submitting three different versions during several weeks during the semester.  I'll "grade" this assignment only when you have completed all three versions ... but we will evaluate your work as you complete the three stages.

For yourself: (Due: September 23) You will  begin with an introspective teaching philosophy -- by outlining (or storyboarding or listing or whatever) the general ideas and concepts you want to include in your own teaching philosophy. At this stage, it's best to include more ideas than you may actually use in a version written for others to read.  In other words, don't begin by limiting yourself.  I'll give you some written feedback, ask questions, make suggestions ... which you may decide to incorporate or not.  This is your personal teaching philosophy, not mine.    

For colleagues: (Due: October 9) The second version is prepared for your professional colleagues.  This statement of your personal teaching philosophy should be a more polished document that you might share as part of a job application, for example. I'll ask you to share your philosophies with each other and provide each other with pertinent feedback. You'll have a chance to read what others write in their personal teaching philosophies and will have the benefit of reactions from your peers. You may decide to incorporate others' feedback or not. You may be using groups within K-State Online to provide feedback to each other.

For students: (Due: November 4)  The third version is one that could be shared with students on a course web site or a course syllabus. This version has to be in language that students will understand, and it probably will be different in emphasis from the colleague version. It may also be a lot shorter. Students will not spend much time reading your teaching philosophy, even if they'd learn a lot about you as a teacher if they did. You'll also get feedback from your classmates about this version and have the opportunity to revise.

Class Discussion:  Finally we'll spend some time in class considering what you have learned from writing all of these versions of you own teaching philosophy.