WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY?
Every living and well-meaning Organisation or Institution drives on its mission and vision statements.
Mission Statement defines the company's core business, its objectives and its approach to reach those objectives. A Vision Statement describes the desired future position of the company. This is a lens through which the Business views its future.
Elements of Mission and Vision Statements provide a statement of the company’s purposes, goals and values.
Like the corporate organisation, a teacher must also have a defined binding principle. This will therefore becomes the teacher's Teaching Philosophy from which one can deduce his or her Teaching Philosophy Statement.
To paint a clearer picture, permit me first of all to remind you (readers) in widespread but in simple terms what Philosophy is.
Philosophy is a set of ideals, standards or beliefs used to describe behaviour and thought.
Or a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.
So, from that simple point of perspective, and Teaching Philosophy is your ideas, beliefs, thoughts and standards that define you as a Teacher and also become your guiding principles in teaching and learning.
Teaching Philosophy Statement
Just like no organisation can operate without knowing its business or purpose of existence, you cannot be a successful and a good Teacher without a Teaching Philosophy Statement. It is your steering wheel that will guide you to stay on path and focus.
A teaching philosophy statement is a narrative that includes:
- your conception and understanding of teaching and learning
- a description of how you teach
- justification for why you teach that way
Teaching philosophy statement should reflect the personal values and beliefs of the teacher and his or her teaching strategies. It is a statement that describes both what you believe and provides concrete examples of what you do in the classroom to support those beliefs. It is not and should not be just a mere statement but it must paint a real image of you so that anyone who reads it will have no doubt of what you do or are going to do in the classroom.
Teaching Philosophy Statement is a continuous in process. Better still it is always a work in progress and subject to review as and when you accumulate more experiences in the field since teaching is both art and science.
In a broader stance, a teaching philosophy statement:
- conveys your teaching values, beliefs, and goals to a broader audience
- provides a set of criteria and/or standards to judge the quality of your teaching
- provides evidence of your teaching effectiveness
In conclusion, every 21st-century teacher needs a Teaching Philosophy Statement because it is a good model of Self-evaluation. It is a must have!!!
In my next write up, I will outline some guiding principles of writing a teaching philosophy statement and also give some examples.
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Livingstone Sefadzi Ahadzro