Section 2: Teaching

2.1 Teaching Philosophy

Generally speaking, your statement of teaching philosophy outlines your fundamental teaching and learning values, beliefs, and intentions, why these are important to you, and how you translate them into teaching strategies, instructional approaches, and activities within your courses. According to Kenny, Jeffs, and Berenson (2015), “teaching philosophy statements clearly communicate what our beliefs are about teaching and learning, why we hold these beliefs, and how we translate our beliefs into practice. They provide a foundation that informs our teaching practice” (p. 1). They are evidence-driven and communicate a commitment to active reflection and educational and professional development. There are many approaches to creating a teaching philosophy. Some examples are provided here for your reference.

Jenkins, C. (2011). Authenticity through reflexivity: Connecting teaching philosophy and practice. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 51, 72-89.

Kearns, K. D. and Sullivan, C. S. (2011). Resources and practices to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows write statements of teaching philosophy. Advances in Physiology Education, 35 (1), 136-145.

Weimer, M. (2012). Strategies for writing better teaching philosophy statements. Faculty Focus: Higher Ed Teaching Strategies from Magna Publications

2.2 Description of Your Teaching

Write a short narrative to describe your teaching and its context, reflecting on how it has evolved over the course of your career. This could include a description of what you have taught, instructional methods, new approaches you have employed, technology you have incorporated, changes to assessments and/or evaluations, videos of your teaching, incorporation of online activities into your classes etc.

Moreover, to contextualize your teaching and learning within Sheridan’s strategic academic priorities, you may wish to reflect on the ways in which you create learning environments within your courses that embrace the diversity of our students, are inclusive and accessible, that embrace international students’ learning experiences, support wellness, embed work integrated learning, and/or embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and learning through relationships with the Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support.

2.3 Student Course Evaluation Data

Using any formative feedback that you have collected throughout your courses and your course evaluation feedback, reflect on the student voice within the context of the learning experiences in your courses and program. Write a short narrative that describes your teaching as shared by your students. Taking this one step further, you may wish to organize this narrative by your teaching beliefs, intentions, and actions. For example, you might have identified in your teaching philosophy that it is important that students feel that they can take risks in your courses, that you are approachable, and that they develop a deeper understanding of themselves. Organizing your narrative around these themes with examples of your instructional techniques that facilitate these experiences, and feedback from students that demonstrate these experiences, can create an integrated, holistic, and evidence-based narrative.

2.4 Professional Development Activities Related to Teaching Knowledge, Skills and Practices

Reflecting on your professional development activities, write a short narrative to describe what you have participated in and how you feel these activities have continued to support the further development of your teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Examples of professional development activities could include but are not limited to:

  • Participation in seminars or professional workshops on topics related to teaching
  • Design of new courses
  • Design of interdisciplinary or collaborative courses or teaching projects
  • Use of new methods of teaching, assessing learning, grading
  • Preparation of a textbook, lab manual, courseware, etc.
  • Description of instructional improvement projects developed or carried out

2.5 Classroom Observation by Faculty Colleagues or Administrators

Invite a faculty colleague or an administrator to attend one of your classes (see Classroom Observation Guidelines for details). In this section summarize your thoughts based on your discussion with that observer and your own personal reflections and insights.

Seldin, P., & Miller, J.E. (2009). The Academic Portfolio; A Practical Guide to Documenting Teaching, Research and Service. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.


Go Backward: Introduction                Go Forward: SRCA