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Teaching Philosophy Statement Example #1
I love teaching when the learning in my classroom is palpable: When I can sense it in the
quickening pace of a roundtable discussion or a student’s visible delight in using newly learned
jargon; when I can hear the excitement in students’ testimonials about mastering skills that
“made a difference” or theories that transformed practices and perspectives. I count these as
teaching successes and make it a habit to reflect on their origins so that I can recreate the
conditions for their occurrence again and again. My philosophy of teaching is informed by the
material I teach, relevant scholarship, and the lessons I have learned from personal teaching
successes and failures.
I believe that learner-oriented teaching promotes learning that is both purposeful and
enduring. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to know who my learners are, what kinds of
knowledge and experience they bring to the group, and what they want to achieve so that I can
tailor a curriculum that fits their needs and yet leaves enough room to accommodate topics that
emerge from group discovery. By assessing where my learners are with respect to our mutual
learning goals, I can provide the scaffolding they need to build connections between what they
already know and the new understandings they seek to create. I embrace case based teaching
and other active learning activities because they stimulate intellectual camaraderie,
argumentation, and cooperative problem solving and lay the groundwork for life-long
I believe that teachers who demonstrate curiosity and passion about a subject area
motivate students to learn and so choose to co-teach with colleagues whose scholarship and
expertise are complementary to mine. Collaborating with faculty who are enthusiastic about
using instructional methods rooted in social constructivist principles models how scholarship,
teaching, and learning are enhanced by diversity and teamwork. It is also great fun.
I believe that W.B. Yeats captured the exhilaration of teaching when he wrote:
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” My goal as a ‘teacher of
teachers’ is to ignite in my learners a passion to create an institutional teaching and learning
environment that fosters a conflagration of educational experimentation and innovation at this
academic health sciences center.
Teaching Philosophy Statement Example #2
My role as an educator in graduate medical education has much in common with my
hobby of raising orchids. I dabbled in both until greater “collections” befell me-- in one case,
several dozen orchid plants bequeathed by an acquaintance, in the other, the opportunity to direct
the residency program in Rehabilitation Medicine. Raising orchids means having the right media,
creating the right growing conditions for individual plants, and vigilance against weeds and
slugs. I keep records and set goals and evaluate my collection. There are many parallels in
teaching and evaluating residents and in the administration of a residency training program.
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