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Teaching Portfolio Assignment: Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Create a portfolio on teaching philosophies. Include the following sections:

1. Conceptualization of learning
Ask yourself such questions as "What do we mean by learning?" and "What happens in a learning situation?" Think of your answers to these questions based on your personal experience. Chism (1998) points out that some teachers have tried to express and explain their understanding of learning through the use of metaphors because drawing comparisons with known entities can stimulate thinking, whether or not the metaphor is actually used in the statement. On the other hand, most instructors tend to take a more direct approach in conceptualizing learning, i.e., they describe what they think occurs during a learning episode, based on their observation and experience or based on current literature on teaching and learning.

2. Conceptualization of teaching
Ask yourself questions such as "What do we mean by teaching?" and "How do I facilitate this process as a teacher?" Chism (1998) suggests that personal teaching beliefs as to how the instructor facilitates the learning process would be appropriate for this section. Again, the metaphor format can be used, but a common practice is a more direct description of the nature of a teacher with respect to motivating and facilitating learning. Along with the questions above, you may also address such issues as how to challenge students intellectually and support them academically and how the teacher can respond to different learning styles, help students who are frustrated, and accommodate different abilities. Furthermore, you may talk about how you, as a teacher, have come to these conclusions (e.g., through past experience as a student or teacher, or as a result of reading the literature or taking classes).

3. Goals for students
This section should entail the description of what skills you, as the teacher, expect your students to obtain as the result of learning. You may address such issues as what goals you set for your classes, what the rationale behind them is, what kind of activities you try to implement in class in order to reach these goals, and how the goals have changed over time as you learn more about teaching and learning. For instance, you can describe how you have expected students to learn not only the content but also skills such as critical thinking, writing, and problem solving, followed by elaboration on how you have designed/planned individual sessions toward accomplishing the goals.

4. Implementation of the philosophy
An important component of the statement of a teaching philosophy should be the illustration of how your concepts about teaching and learning and goals for students are transformed into classroom activities. Ask yourself, "How do I operationalize my philosophy of teaching in the classroom?" and "What personal characteristics in myself or my students influence the way in which I approach teaching?" To answer these questions, you may reflect on how you present yourself and course materials; what activities, assignments, and projects you implement in the teaching-learning process; how you interact with students in and outside class; and the consequences.

5. Professional growth plan
It is important for teachers to continue professional growth; and to do so, teachers need to set clear goals and means to accomplish these goals. Think about questions such as "What goals have I set for myself as a teacher?" and "How do I accomplish these goals?" You can elaborate this plan in your statement of teaching philosophy. For instance, you can illustrate how you have professionally grown over the years, what challenges exist at the present, what long-term development goals you have projected, and what you will do to reach these goals. Chism (1998) suggests that writing this section can help you think about how your perspectives and actions have changed over time. Consider professional conferences that might help your growth.

Based upon (Chism, 1998), "Developing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement,"
See for additional guidance: http://ucat.osu.edu/read/teaching-portfolio/philosophy/guidance

Solution Preview

1. Conceptualization of learning
Teaching is about working to develop the whole child. This means that, as a teacher, I strive to help students not only understand academic knowledge, but I also work to develop social and personal development skills as well. Over time, this has developed into me adopting a teaching methodology that is largely based upon cooperative learning activities that encourage interaction with other individuals from a variety of backgrounds. At the same time, I have really studied Howard Gardner's work on the multiple intelligences and strive to adapt that into the classroom. I learned long ago that I cannot reach everyone, nor should that be considered a realistic goal. At the same time, as a teacher, I feel that I have the responsibility to do my best to provide the tools and resources that will help maximize opportunities for success on the part of each student in my classroom. This means that I must work to adapt activities to certain students, even if such learning activities are outside of my own comfort zone. At the risk of sounding trite, this does mean that I have a student centered classroom, because I should not be dictating the style of learning that my students perform best under. If I truly want to be successful as a teacher, I feel that I must work to better understand them and their needs

2. Conceptualization of teaching
The reason I teach is multi-faceted. First, I teach because others first taught me and I now see the value in that. If it were not for teachers, then progress in the world would certainly be difficult to come by. While not everyone in the world can teacher, for obvious reasons, I have discovered that my particular talents and abilities lie in this area. For many of the same reasons that my previous teachers entered the profession, I find myself doing the same. I want to ...

Solution Summary

This solution creates a portfolio on teaching philosophies.

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