Saturday, April 09, 2005

Beyond the Statement of Teaching Philosopy--A Personal Mission Statement to Improve Teaching

Every teaching portfolio that I know anything about requires a faculty member to draft a statement of teaching philosopy. That's a good idea, since it forces each instructor to think about teaching. However, statements of teaching philosophies that I've read often seem a bit vague, and pardon the expression, grandiose. Can we do better?

I propose that in addition to the statement of teaching philosophy a teaching portfolio also contain a personal mission statement. I love the work that Dee Fink has done to promote effective teaching and learning. The significant learning concept that Professor Fink has conceptualized is quite useful, I think, in terms of creating a personal mission statement. For example, I wonder how many statements of teaching philosophy, when examined closely, go beyond Foundational Knowledge and Application. There are four other kinds of significant learning that can be easily ignored. Unless, that is, they become part of one's personal mission statement.

By reflecting upon and creating a personal mission statement--one that jibes with one's university, college, and department mission statements--finding the appropriate role for technology can be more easily accomplished.

Hmm. I think I'll draft my own personal mission statement as it relates to teaching and post it soon.


Blogger Dr. Tammy said...

How's this for a mission statement:

My mission is to support and serve learners. I will be their facilitator, guide, coach, mentor and cheerleader as they progress towards successfully acheiving their educational goals. I will encourage open dialogue, foster a sense of community, encourage creative collaboration, and model desired behaviors. I will provide learners time to share their experiences, reflect on those experiences, and create meaningful knowledge. I will encourage self-directed, life-long learning as a way of life, which promotes mental growth and internal wisdom. I will do this by building rapport and creating trust.

4:42 PM  

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