Culture Cat has, in her first year practicum syllabus, some recommendations for what must go in the teaching philosophy.
The Teaching Philosophy Statement
When I read a teaching philosophy statement, I want to get answers to these two questions:
1. What specifc skill, more than any other, do you want students to get out of your class?
For writing classes, what kind of writing do you think it’s most important for students
to know how to do? For literature courses, what kind of reading or literary analysis do
you want them to be able to do by semester’s end? Of course we want students to enjoy
writing and to appreciate literature. For a teaching philosophy statement, though,
saying that is a little too easy and obvious. I’m interested in seeing something more
thoughtful and specifc.
2. How do you teach the skill or content you most want students to learn? This part
needs to be a detailed description of an assignment you give students or a classroom
activity you do with students. If it works best to use an anecdote about a particular
student to illustrate your philosophy in practice, give the anecdote with the student’s
I thought that was good advice.
The syllabus for the practicum is also interesting in terms of looking at how grad students are taught to teach.