In Search of Opportunity – Knowing Your Teaching Philosophy

The significance of understanding and ‘being one’ with your philosophy on teaching becomes of paramount importance when searching for the right opportunity in academia.  Similar to maintaining an awareness of your career goals in finding the right ‘fit’ in  academic positions, integrating your teaching philosophy within an academic environment will facilitate the transition with academic colleagues.

Throughout one’s career, different variables help to mold and shape one’s approach to classroom effectiveness and teaching and learning.  Colleges and universities employ various approaches to curricular development and delivery, running the continuum from general education infused curricula to problem-based (or case-based) learning models.

As the evolution of developing and implementing “new” curricula continues, oft-times “sub-groups” of learning communities begin to evolve, as students (and faculty) seek out new and different ways of “meshing” their diverse learning and teaching styles.  Faculty positions often play a role in facilitating the evolution of these learner groups. 

It is through these myriad of experiences that a teaching philosophy evolves, typically targeted at nurturing the learner, which includes an awareness of the diversity in learning styles.  One’s approach to teaching or teaching philosophy may sound (look) like this:

achievement of educational objectives includes facilitating the education of compassionate, reflective learners through promoting, developing, and nurturing an ideal; a foundation.  We empower students to be successful, through practice, thoughtfulness, and compassion thereby enabling students to complete their academic careers equipped with a solid foundation of integrity in workmanship and work ethic, humankind minded, and committed to serving fellow man in order to contribute to the betterment of our global society.

As we look to define the ‘tools’ needed to be successful in our academic careers, incorporating our teaching philosophy becomes a key part of our ability to be successful.

John McCarthy is Associate Dean for the College of Education at Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA.

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