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Lesson 3: Teaching/Learning/Service Philosophy

What is a teaching/learning/service philosophy?

Your philosophy statement is the heart of your portfolio. It is a declaration of your beliefs about teaching/learning/service. This statement describes why you do what you do in the learning environment. It serves as a justification for why you teach or serve the way you do and it can communicate your goals as an instructor or service provider. It also provides an opportunity to point to and tie together the other sections of your portfolio. Moreover, a philosophy statement demonstrates that you have been reflective and purposeful about your teaching or service.

What are some general guidelines for developing my philosophy statement?

Although there are no hard and fast rules, there are some generally agreed upon guidelines for philosophy statements. While there is no required content or set format, they are generally one to two pages in length and in most cases are written in the present tense (although some very effective statements describe how one's philosophy has evolved over time). Most statements avoid jargon and use language that is easily understood. Finally, it is reflective of what you believe about teaching, learning, and providing academic support and therefore, it is generally written in the first person (i.e., "I believe").

Questions to help you think about your philosophy statement

Sample Philosophy Statement

Lessons: Index, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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