“My philosophy on teaching is that by anchoring disciplinary education in human-centered skills and addressing psychological needs in the classroom, the learning process becomes inherently more meaningful for students. This, in turn, fosters higher engagement, authentic exploration, and ultimately academic success.”— Jonathan Aragon
Jonathan Aragon’s Annotated TPS Worksheet
Brain dump. Here you will get an idea of what you care about as a facilitator of teaching and learning and what labels you might be able to stamp on those feelings.
1. Reflect on your experience as a student and how you imagine your approach to teaching.
a. What do you care about?
b. Why do you think you feel that way?
c. What convenient labels can you apply to these feelings?
Here you will provide a clear and direct statement of your teaching philosophy so the reader knows what your position is. Literally use the words “My teaching Philosophy is…” Avoid dancing around the idea with phrases like “ My teaching Philosophy is based on…” “ My teaching Philosophy is grounded in…” Be direct, clear, and concise.
1. What is my Teaching Philosophy ?
a. In one to two sentences what exactly is my Philosophy about teaching and learning?
b. What are my disciplinary goals (what I want to achieve in teaching my subject area)?
c. Beyond subject mastery, what skills and capacities do I want my students to achieve that will help them succeed and flourish in their futures?
Here you will provide some personal experiences that both provides the reader with a glimpse of who you are as a person, as well as why you might feel the way you do about teaching and learning. Personal stories humanize the statement and make you more relatable. We higher people, not machines, so show who you are as a person, so the reader gets and idea of your fit.
2. What is my WHY? Why do I have this philosophy ?
a. What values and beliefs inform my teaching philosophy?
b. What do I believe are the most critically needed changes in my discipline in order to honor and embrace diversity and to design teaching in inclusive, equity-minded ways?
c. Why is this mission important in the larger current and future global contexts into which my students will enter?
Here you will provide some examples of what you do with your classes. You want to be specific. It is better to talk about fewer things and go deep with it then to try and cover a lot of ground. The reader does not need to know about everything you do in your class, they just want to see 1 to 3 examples.
3. HOW do I approach teaching?
a. If I had to give my pedagogical approach a name – what would I call it? Write a short descriptive paragraph about it.
b. What are my top three overarching pedagogical principles?
c. Why have I chosen these – Why are they important?
d. How do they support me in and teaching in inclusive, equity-minded ways?
e. How do learning sciences support these principles?
some specific examples of how you apply (or will apply – if you are not yet
teaching) these principles. Consider curriculum content and resources,
designing course syllabi and LMS, creating community and empowering learning
environments, and facilitating engagement and deep learning in class.
4. What is my assessment philosophy and practice?
a. What is the purpose of assessment in promoting learning?
b. What does assessment look like in my classes? How do I eliminate or reduce learning anxiety when it comes to assessment? What inclusive and equity-minded principles and strategies support my students in formative assessment toward growth?
5. How do I assess my teaching to continue to grow as an educator?
a. How do I stretch to expand my knowledge and practice of equity-minded teaching – i.e., what are my own formative assessments to continue growing as an educator?
b. How do I reflect and self-assess as part of teaching – in documenting and reflecting on my teaching, and engaging formal/informal methods for student feedback and ideas?
How do I
engage with other educators within and beyond my discipline, and seek out
informal and formal development of knowledge and practice?
6. Write a short elevator pitch or summary of your teaching philosophy, stating what it is overall and the outcomes or impact that teaching in this way would have for your students. Imagine that you have been asked at an interview what your teaching philosophy is and you have just a few moments to communicate it. This elevator pitch is also something you can add to your professional website.
Sample List of Core Values
- How do I define the concepts of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in education?
- What changes in education do I see as important as we address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion in striving for justice in teaching and learning?
- What must change in how my discipline is taught? Where are the barriers, exclusions, or oppressions of learners and learning that we must change?
- What must change in our legacy teaching methods? How do current methods exclude many learners or block optimum learning? What do you know from learning science that supports your perspectives?
- How do some of my own experiences inform my stance on diversity, inclusion, and equity in education? How did I come to be aware of my positionality (privileges, oppressions, opportunities, barriers)?
- How do I practice justice in education in my approach to designing curricula, learning environments, and processes in teaching my discipline?
- What are my guiding values and principles?
- What specific strategies do I use to ensure all voices are invited, honored, and supported in my curricula materials and class engagement?
- How do I engage with DEI work beyond the classroom at campus level as well as in scholarly or professional spaces?
- How and why do I engage formally and informally with campus resources and initiatives that support DEI?
- In what ways am I an ally to students and an advocate for greater inclusion and equity on campus?
- What are some issues with respect to DEI in my discipline with regard to research/scholarship and in teaching?
- As an educator in my discipline, how do I keep myself informed of conversations about and professional development in ethical teaching innovations?
- As a scholar and researcher, how do I engage DEI principles in methods and in representing broader populations and ways of knowing and articulating scholarship?
- Write a short elevator pitch or summary of your stance in addressing issues of Diversity, inclusion, and Equity as an ethical educator. Imagine that you have been asked at an interview what your position is about diversity, inclusion, and equity and you have just a few moments to communicate it. This elevator pitch is also something you can add to your syllabus and to your professional website