Center for Educational Innovation

Academic Affairs and Provost

Assessing Your Teaching Philosophy Draft

Check Your Draft

Now that you've completed an initial draft, you should compare it to other teaching philosophies by instructors in your discipline. Ask a colleague to review your draft and offer recommendations for revision. (Consider printing out a teaching philosophy rubric 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.

To begin, look at the following guidelines to assess your draft for tone and content. In particular, pay attention to whether you've included relevant examples to support your points and whether you've adequately situated your draft in the context of your discipline.

Teaching Philosophy Checklist

Purpose & Audience

Given the intended audience and purpose that the writer has shared with you:

  • Is there a clear focus or theme(s)?
  • Are the language and tone appropriate without relying on trite phrases or jargon?
  • Would it hold the audience's attention?

Voice

  • Is it "authentic" - focused on the writer and personal? Do you have an idea of who this person is as a teacher (or aspires to be)?
  • Does the writer reveal self and personal/political/pedagogical commitments?
  • Is enthusiasm for teaching evident?
  • Does it sound as though the writer cares about the beliefs expressed and the arguments being made?
  • Would you like to take a course taught by the writer?

Beliefs/Arguments/Claims & Illustrative Support

  • Does it detail what the writer believes in a way that is engaging, specific, and easy to understand?
  • Does it detail why these beliefs are held?
  • Does it detail how these beliefs came to be held?
  • Does it define the writer's goals for and expectations of learners?
  • Are the beliefs/arguments/claims grounded in the writer's discipline?
  • Is the relationship between the writer's discipline and beliefs about teaching and learning made clear?
  • Does the organization/structure support the arguments/claims being made?
  • Are the beliefs/arguments/claims supported by evidence, examples, anecdotes, etc.?
  • Are there specific examples of strategies, methods, or theories used to achieve teaching and learning goals and to help students meet or exceed expectations?

Conventions

  • Are headings, transitions, and paragraph design appropriate to the content?
  • Are length and thematic structure appropriate to the content?
  • Are the elements presented in a parallel style and format across and within sections/paragraphs?
  • Are there any distracting grammatical, typographical, or spelling errors?

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