Helpful Tools for Teaching Philosophies

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Several graduate students and postdocs have asked me to review their teaching philosophies in the past week, and I think some of my colleagues have been providing similar help. Writing a teaching philosophy -- whether we're a grad student, postdoc, or faculty member -- can be a difficult thing, since it's such a personal document and since there's no one set format. In this blog post, I'll provide a quick overview of some resources that can make the job easier:

--If you're like me and learn best by having examples to analyze, check out our compendium of philosophies submitted by Penn State faculty and graduate students. The philosophies are grouped by discipline. I find browsing through the examples to be helpful -- I get to see the many different ways people organize their philosophies. You can find additional examples on the teaching-philosophy sites of the University of Michigan  and Ohio State.

--We've also provided a rubric you can use to evaluate the draft of your teaching philosophy. For a different rubric, see the University of Michigan's site.

--The teaching centers at Vanderbilt University and Ohio State both offer a good overview of the process of writing a teaching philosophy.

--If you'd benefit from some small-group discussion about the process of writing a teaching philosophy, attend the Schreyer Institute's workshop on "Preparing Your Teaching Philosophy for the Job Market," which will be held on March 14 from 11:15 to 12:30. Lauren Kooistra and Andrew Porter, the graduate instructional consultants at SITE, will be leading the workshop.

--And finally, if you'd like some one-on-one feedback, we'd love to schedule a free consultation with you. Just drop us a line at site@psu.edu to set up a time.

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