Key Elements of a Teaching Philosophy

Overall, the teaching philosophy is a document that is meant to be both self-reflective and goal-oriented in nature

and it should provide readers with a clear picture of your teaching values and practices.

Let's breakdown the various sections of a teaching philosophy statement.


Most statements include the following key elements:


Your Ideas About the Purpose of Teaching

How You View the Role of the Teacher

How You View the Role of the Student


Your Description of Your Teaching Methods & Expectations for Learning

How You Evaluate and Assess Learning

State your beliefs regarding the concepts of teaching, learning, and higher education. You can also discuss these beliefs and values in reference to your discipline.


Formulate ideas based on your experiences and the major education philosophies (an overview of the philosophies can be found on the next pages).

Discuss the characteristics that define an effective teacher.


State your goals for teaching. These can be specific to your discipline or more general in nature (or you can outline goals for both).



State your goals for your students.


Describe the relationship between you and your students and the ways that you foster positive interactions.



Describe how you implement the educational ideas and philosophies that you subscribe to within your course. Provide specific anecdotes, examples, or metaphors that demonstrate your teaching methodology.


Outline your instructional strategy; how you go about achieving student learning goals. Give the reader an idea of what it is like to be in your course.



Discuss the methods of assessment that you use to evaluate student learning and comprehension.


State how these methods align with your goals and concepts for teaching to form your philosophy.