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Your teaching philosophy is a self-reflective statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning. It's a one to two page narrative that conveys your core ideas about being an effective teacher in the context of your discipline. It develops these ideas with specific, concrete examples of what the teacher and learners will do to achieve those goals. Importantly, your teaching philosophy statement also explains why you choose these options.

+ Getting Started

Your reasons for writing a teaching philosophy may vary. You might be writing it as an exercise in concisely documenting your beliefs so that you can easily articulate them to your students, peers, or a search committee. It might serve as the introduction to your teaching portfolio. Or, it can serve as a means of professional growth as it requires you to give examples of how you enact your philosophy, thus requiring you to consider the degree to which your teaching is congruent with your beliefs.

Generating ideas

Teaching philosophies express your values and beliefs about teaching. They are personal statements that introduce you, as a teacher, to your reader. As such, they are written in the first person and convey a confident, professional tone. When writing a teaching philosophy, use specific examples to illustrate your points. You should also discuss how your values and beliefs about teaching fit into the context of your discipline.

Below are categories you might address with prompts to help you begin generating ideas. Work through each category, spending time thinking about the prompts and writing your ideas down. These notes will comprise the material you’ll use to write the first draft of your teaching philosophy statement. It will help if you include both general ideas (‘I endeavor to create lifelong learners’) as well as specifics about how you will enact those goals. A teaching philosophy template is also available to help you get started.

Questions to prompt your thinking

Your concept of learning.

What do you mean by learning? What happens in a successful learning situation? Note what constitutes "learning" or "mastery" in your discipline.

Your concept of teaching

What are your values, beliefs, and aspirations as a teacher? Do you wish to encourage mastery, competency, transformational learning, lifelong learning, general transference of skills, critical thinking? What does a perfect teaching situation look like to you and why? How are the values and beliefs realized in classroom activities? You may discuss course materials, lesson plans, activities, assignments, and assessment instruments.

Your goals for students

What skills should students obtain as a result of your teaching? Think about your ideal student and what the outcomes of your teaching would be in terms of this student's knowledge or behavior. Address the goals you have for specific classes or curricula and that rational behind them (i.e., critical thinking, writing, or problem solving).

Your teaching methods

What methods will you consider to reach these goals and objectives? What are your beliefs regarding learning theory and specific strategies you would use, such as case studies, group work, simulations, interactive lectures? You might also want to include any new ideas or strategies you want to try.

Your interaction with students

What are you attitudes towards advising and mentoring students? How would an observer see you interact with students? Why do you want to work with students?

Assessing learning

How will you assess student growth and learning? What are your beliefs about grading? Do you grade students on a percentage scale (criterion referenced) or on a curve (norm referenced)? What different types of assessment will you use (i.e. traditional tests, projects, portfolios,  presentations) and why?

Professional growth

How will you continue growing as a teacher? What goals do you have for yourself and how will you reach them? How have your attitudes towards teaching and learning changed over time? How will you use student evaluations to improve your teaching? How might you learn new skills? How do you know when you've taught effectively?

+ Creating a Draft

Two ways of organizing your draft.

Now that you've written down your values, attitudes, and beliefs about teaching and learning, it's time to organize those thoughts into a coherent form. Perhaps the easiest way of organizing this material would be to write a paragraph covering each of the seven prompts you answered in the Getting Started section. These would then become the seven major sections of your teaching philosophy.

Another way of knitting your reflections together—and one that is more personal—is to read through your notes and underscore ideas or observations that come up more than once. Think of these as "themes" that might point you toward an organizational structure for the essay. For example, you read through your notes and realize that you spend a good deal of time writing about your interest in mentoring students. This might become one of the three or four major foci of your teaching philosophy. You should then discuss what it says about your attitudes toward teaching, learning, and what's important in your discipline.

No matter which style you choose, make sure to keep your writing succinct. Aim for two double-spaced pages. And don't forget to start with a "hook." Your job is to make your readers want to read more; their level of engagement is highest when they read your opening line. Hook your readers by beginning with a question, a statement, or even an event from your past.

Using specific examples

Remember to provide concrete examples from your teaching practice to illustrate the general claims you make in your teaching philosophy. The following general statements about teaching are intended as prompts to help you come up with examples to illustrate your claims about teaching. For each statement, how would you describe what happens in your classroom? Is your description specific enough to bring the scene to life in a teaching philosophy?

"I value helping my students understand difficult information. I am an expert, and my role is to model for them complex ways of thinking so that they can develop the same habits of mind as professionals in the medical field."
"I enjoy lecturing, and I'm good at it. I always make an effort to engage and motivate my students when I lecture."
"It is crucial for students of geology to learn the techniques of field research. An important part of my job as a professor of geology is to provide these opportunities."
"I believe that beginning physics students should be introduced to the principles of hypothesis generation, experimentation, data collection, and analysis. By learning the scientific method, they develop critical thinking skills they can apply to other areas of their lives. Small group work is a crucial tool for teaching the scientific method."
"As a teacher of writing, I am committed to using peer review in my classes. By reading and commenting on other students' work in small cooperative groups, my students learn to find their voice, to understand the important connection between writer and audience, and to hone their editing skills. Small group work is indispensible in the writing classroom."

Go back to the notes you made when getting started and underline the general statements you’ve made about teaching and learning. As you start drafting, make sure to note the specific approaches, methods, or products you use to realize those goals.

+ Assessing Your Draft

Assessing your draft teaching philosophy.

According to a survey of search committee chairs by the University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, there are five elements that are shared by strong teaching philosophy statements:

Now that you’ve completed an initial draft, ask whether your statement captures these elements and how well you articulate them.

You might find it useful to compare your draft to other teaching philosophies in your discipline. It can also be useful to have a colleague review your draft and offer recommendations for revision. Consider printing out a teaching philosophy rubric from our “Rubrics and Samples” tab to provide your reviewer with guidelines to assess your draft. These exercises will give you the critical distance necessary to see your teaching philosophy objectively and revise it accordingly.

+ Rubrics and Samples

Rubrics and sample teaching philosophies.

Here are links to three teaching philosophy rubrics to help you assess your statement. We have included four different rubrics for you to choose from. These rubrics cover similar elements, and one is not necessarily better than the other. Your choice of which to use should be guided by how comfortable you feel with the particular instrument and how usable you find it. 

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my personal educational philosophy essay

My Own Philosophy of Education

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my personal educational philosophy essay

4 Teaching Philosophy Statement Examples

Develop Your Own Teaching Philosophy

ThoughtCo / J.R. Bee

An educational philosophy statement or teaching philosophy statement is a brief essay that all nearly prospective teachers are required to write. Vanderbilt University explains:

"A teaching (philosophy) statement is a purposeful and reflective essay about the author’s teaching beliefs and practices. It is an individual narrative that includes not only one’s beliefs about the teaching and learning process but also concrete examples of the ways in which he or she enacts these beliefs in the classroom."

A well-crafted teaching statement gives a clear and unique portrait of the author as a teacher. Ohio State University's Center for the Advancement of Teaching further explains that a teaching philosophy statement is important because a clear philosophy of teaching can lead to a change in teaching behavior and foster professional and personal growth.

Examples of Teaching Philosophy Statements

This passage is an example of a strong statement of teaching philosophy because it puts students where they belong in education: at the front and center of a teacher's focus. An author who writes such as a statement is likely to continuously examine and verify this philosophy by always ensuring that student needs are the primary focus of all lessons and schoolwork.

"My philosophy of education is that all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. It is my desire to create this type of atmosphere where students can meet their full potential. I will provide a safe environment where students are invited to share their ideas and take risks.
"I believe that there are five essential elements that are conducive to learning. (1) The teacher's role is to act as a guide. (2) Students must have access to hands-on activities. (3) Students should be able to have choices and let their curiosity direct their learning. (4) Students need the opportunity to practice skills in a safe environment. (5) Technology must be incorporated into the school day."

The following statement is a good example of a teaching philosophy because the author emphasizes that all classrooms, and indeed all students, are unique and have specific learning needs and styles. A teacher with such a philosophy is likely to ensure that she spends time helping each student achieve her highest potential.

"I believe that all children are unique and have something special that they can bring to their own education. I will assist my students to express themselves and accept themselves for who they are, as well embrace the differences of others.
"Every classroom has its own unique community; my role as the teacher will be to assist each child in developing their own potential and learning styles. I will present a curriculum that will incorporate each different learning style, as well as make the content relevant to the students' lives. I will incorporate hands-on learning, cooperative learning, projects, themes, and individual work that engage and activate students learning." 

This statement provides a solid example because the author emphasizes the moral objective of teaching: that she will hold each student to the highest expectations and ensure that each one is diligent in her studies. Implied in this statement is that the teacher will not give up on even a single recalcitrant student.

"I believe that a teacher is morally obligated to enter the classroom with only the highest of expectations for each and every one of her students. Thus, the teacher maximizes the positive benefits that naturally come along with any self-fulfilling prophecy. With dedication, perseverance, and hard work, her students will rise to the occasion."
"I aim to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and high expectations to the classroom each day. I believe that I owe it to my students, as well as the community, to bring consistency, diligence, and warmth to my job in the hope that I can ultimately inspire and encourage such traits in the children as well."

The following statement takes a slightly different tack: Classrooms should be warm and caring communities. Unlike the previous statements, this one minimizes the individuality of students and emphasizes that, essentially, it take a village to foster truly community-based learning. All teaching strategies then, such as morning meetings and community problem solving, follow this philosophy.

"I believe that a classroom should be a safe, caring community where children are free to speak their mind and blossom and grow. I will use strategies to ensure our classroom community will flourish, like the morning meeting, positive vs. negative discipline, classroom jobs, and problem-solving skills.
"Teaching is a process of learning from your students, colleagues, parents, and the community. This is a lifelong process where you learn new strategies, new ideas, and new philosophies. Over time, my educational philosophy may change, and that's okay. That just means that I have grown and learned new things."

Components of a Teaching Philosophy Statement

A teaching philosophy statement should include an introduction, body, and conclusion—just as you would expect of your students if they were writing a paper. But there are specific components that you need to include in any such statement:

Introduction: This should be your thesis statement where you discuss your general belief about education (such as: "I believe all students have a right to learn") as well as your ideals in relation to teaching. You should "begin with the end," says James M. Lang in an Aug. 29, 2010, article titled, " 4 Steps to a Memorable Teaching Philosophy " published in "The Chronicle of Higher Education." Lang says you should consider what the students will have learned once they depart your class, after having been guided by your teaching philosophy and strategies.

Body: ​In this part of the statement, discuss what you see as the ideal classroom environment and how it makes you a better teacher, addresses student needs, and facilitates parent/child interactions. Discuss how you would facilitate age-appropriate learning , and how you involve students in the assessment process . Explain how you would put your educational ​​ideals into practice.

Lang says that you should clearly state your goals and objectives for students. Layout specifically what you hope your teaching will help students to accomplish. Be specific by telling a story or offering "a detailed description of an innovative or interesting teaching strategy you have used," says Lang. Doing so, helps your reader understand how your teaching philosophy would play out in the classroom.

Conclusion : In this section, talk about your goals as a teacher, how you have been able to meet them in the past, and how you can build on these to meet future challenges. Focus on your personal approach to pedagogy and classroom management, as well as what makes you unique as an educator, and how you wish to advance your career to further support education.

Lang notes that, while you don't need to use official citation style, you should cite your sources. Explain where your teaching philosophy originated—for example, from your experiences as an undergraduate, from a faculty mentor you worked with during your teacher-training program, or perhaps from books or articles on teaching that had a particular influence on you.

Formatting Your Statement

In addition to considering the type of teaching philosophy to write, Ohio State University offers some general formatting suggestions. The Ohio State University Center for the Advancement of Teaching states:

Statement Format

"There is no required content or set format. There is no right or wrong way to write a philosophy statement, which is why it is so challenging for most people to write one. You may decide to write in prose, use famous quotes, create visuals, use a question/answer format, etc."

There are, however, some general rules to follow when writing a teaching philosophy statement, says the university's teacher-training department:

Keep it brief. The statement should be no more than one to two pages, according to the Ohio State University Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Use present tense , and write the statement in the first person, as the previous examples illustrate.

Avoid jargon. Use common, everyday language, not "technical terms," the university advises.

Create a "vivid portrait" that includes "strategies and methods ... (to help) your reader take a mental 'peek' into your classroom," adds the Ohio State University Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Additionally, make sure you talk about " your  experiences and  your  beliefs" and ensure your statement is original and truly describes the methods and philosophy you would employ in teaching, the university adds.

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My Personal Philosophy of Education

My Personal Philosophy of Education

I believe that every child is special and deserves to be taught to the best of my abilities. In order for them to develop and grow into mature responsible adults, they must be able to use their own knowledge and reasoning. As a teacher I am entrusted in shaping the minds of the students that I teach. I have to do this not only through academics, but also personally and ethically.. By providing the best education possible to each child my classroom, I hope to equip every child with the skills necessary to become a successful and productive citizen in society.

Going to school every day is about more than scholarly work, school helps build a child’s character also. I want to help students develop a love for themselves, others, and their surroundings through open dialog. Classroom meetings are a great way to have an open dialogue between the students and the teacher. This way the students feel more comfortable with sharing their ideas and thoughts. When students can freely express themselves, they are better able to resolve conflicts on their own, through dialog. Learning this skill in school can help them for a lifetime as an adult.

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Learning in an academic setting must begin with inspiration from me as the teacher and the students’ motivation to do the necessary work. Teaching and learning go hand in hand for not only the students but for me as well as the teacher. To achieve active learning within my classroom, I must show my students that I believe in their success. Using constructivist methods in my classroom will allow my students the opportunity to take an active role in their own education. They will do this by making choices and taking ownership of their means to inquiry. When each student can make choices regarding what and how they want to learn, it is easy to differentiate lessons because they will be geared towards that student’s educational goals.

I also believe that in a cooperative learning group, students can learn social-emotional skills and how to work with others. This goes along with the pragmatic philosophy that children learn by actively exploring their environments and constructing their own concept of reality based on their experiences. It is my goal to create a classroom where students are motivated by their own interests and engaged in purposeful conversation and activities. At the same time, I myself am still learning and will do my best to guide my students in the right direction.

Epistemology is the area of philosophy that closely resembles my own. Idealists believe that to know something means we have reached a conscious understanding of one or more ideas. As the teacher, I ask the students questions that require them to think deeply on a subject or idea to activate their prior knowledge that is lodged in their subconscious mind. By allowing students to shape their own experiences, they can construct flexible conceptions about a changing reality. That experience may change both the person and the environment.

The pragmatic axiology is also culturally relative. We all know that classrooms can be made up of many ethnicities and cultures and through this philosophy we can see and appreciate different cultures and values. Pragmatists dismiss the idealists and realists’ theories that values are universal and absolute. Anything that contributes to a person’s personal growth is valuable. Values can change by testing them and redefining them through our experiences.

When teaching students of other cultures and ethnicities, it is always important to incorporate their culture somehow into the lesson. This way the student feels that their way of doing things is also important. It allows for an opportunity for the other students in the class to learn firsthand about cultures that they may have otherwise known nothing about. They can see how in some ways their cultures may be similar or different and learn to respect those differences.

As the teacher, it is my job to facilitate these learning experiences with my students. Through interdisciplinary education, you can take one situation and its outcome and apply it to similar situations. I view school as a community of diverse learners, where we can learn and teach one another. A pragmatic classroom is one that provides experiences that encourage students of other cultures to appreciate cultures other than their own.

For me, I get great joy from watching my students learn new things day by day. Watching a student’s face light up when they are having fun while learning new and exciting things are my rewards as a teacher. Knowing that I was a part of that new discovery as well, makes me feel like my purpose as a teacher is complete. Children need a strong, and compassionate educator to help pave the way for their success and I will always strive for my best in doing just that.

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How to write your philosophy of education statement

person writing in a notebook

The Philosophy of Education Statement is an important piece in your educator portfolio. It may be requested by hiring personnel at schools to be included with a cover letter and resume. Your teaching philosophy should be thoughtful, organized and well written. The summary should be between 1-2 pages and should document and support your core educational principles.

Some Important Considerations

Your core values and beliefs.

The statement should reflect your core values and beliefs in terms of teaching. Consider your thoughts regarding the nature of students, the purpose of education and how people learn, and the role of teacher. As you develop your educational philosophy, think about completing the following statements: 

Why You Teach

Whom You Teach

How and What You Teach

Where You Teach

Completing the Application 

Don't cut corners! As you are completing your applications, keep in mind that they are as important to your job search as your resume, letter of interest, and other documents in your application packet. You are encouraged not to rush through completing your applications. Regional applications may be required instead of or in addition to the employer's individual application.


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  1. Writing a Philosophy of Education

    Your teaching philosophy should be 2-3 pages in length and written in first person and in present tense. It should state your goal of education and several ideas you have about how to reach that goal. You will want to include examples and descriptions so your reader can "see" you in your classroom—these may be specific teaching strategies ...

  2. Writing Your Teaching Philosophy

    Writing Your Teaching Philosophy. Your teaching philosophy is a self-reflective statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning. It's a one to two page narrative that conveys your core ideas about being an effective teacher in the context of your discipline. It develops these ideas with specific, concrete examples of what the teacher and ...

  3. My Personal Philosophy Of Education: [Essay Example], 1432 words

    My philosophy of education. My philosophy of education is that every child should have the right to learn and get great quality of education. In my educational experiences, I have seen a wide collection of teachers and teaching styles. I have been in classes that have largely impacted my life and others that have left a simple dent of influence ...

  4. Essay on My Educational Philosophy

    2. Cite This Essay. Download. The center quote I chose to represent my teaching philosophy is "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve" (Roger Lewin). This shows my belief that learning is not centered around testing and statistics, but rather the heart and mind of each student.

  5. Philosophy of Education: Essay Example

    My personal philosophy of education believes that certain goals should be incorporated in the curriculum. A curriculum should be based on basic needs, social aspects, cultural factors, individual talents, intellectual, moral, religious and tradition. The main aim of the curriculum should be to deliver information and develop the elementary ...

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    My educational philosophy is that I believe all students are capable of learning. They all do not learn at the same rate, but with different methods and strategies it is possible. Students should not be thought of as mindless individuals just waiting to be filled with knowledge by their teachers. Quite the opposite; students should be viewed as

  7. My Personal Philosophy of Education Essay examples

    My personal philosophy of education is that children learn from different ways. Children learn by watching, listening, and hands-on activities. Different learning styles are implied in an inclusive classroom. For example, children best learn by doing and experiencing things on their own.

  8. My Personal Philosophy of Education Essay

    681 Words. 3 Pages. Open Document. Philosophy of Education Education is the process of learning that can take place anywhere and at any time. I believe that creativity and activity as well as books and lessons are essential to the learning process. As a teacher, I hope to instill in the children a sense of knowledge and self-worth that will ...

  9. 4 Teaching Philosophy Statement Examples

    Examples of Teaching Philosophy Statements. Sample 1. This passage is an example of a strong statement of teaching philosophy because it puts students where they belong in education: at the front and center of a teacher's focus. An author who writes such as a statement is likely to continuously examine and verify this philosophy by always ...

  10. ⇉My Personal Philosophy of Education Essay Example

    I believe that every child is special and deserves to be taught to the best of my abilities. In order for them to develop and grow into mature responsible adults, they must be able to use their own knowledge and reasoning. As a teacher I am entrusted in shaping the minds of the students that I teach. I have to do this not only through academics ...

  11. My personal philosopgy of education

    A teacher's philosophy of education is a decisive building block in her or his move toward children future learning. Therefore, there are five key educational philosophies used in my personal education philosophy. These include Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Existentialism, and Behaviorism (Sadker & Sadker, 1994, p.382).

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    The first step is to create "an inspiring vision of the future." In this step of the process, it is the job of the leader to come up with the big goal they want everyone to share. Order custom essay I Am Who I Am: My Personal Philosophy with free plagiarism report. The next step is to "motivate people to buy into and deliver the message."

  13. How to write your philosophy of education statement

    The Philosophy of Education Statement is an important piece in your educator portfolio. It may be requested by hiring personnel at schools to be included with a cover letter and resume. Your teaching philosophy should be thoughtful, organized and well written. The summary should be between 1-2 pages and should document and support your core ...

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