Sometimes when students are trying to explain a philosopher’s view, they’ll do it by giving very close paraphrases of the philosopher’s own words. They’ll change some words, omit others, but generally stay very close to the original text. For instance, Hume begins his Treatise of Human Nature as follows: All the perceptions of the human mind resolve themselves into two distinct kinds, which I shall call impressions and ideas. The difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness, with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into our thought or consciousness. Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions; and under this name I comprehend all our sensations, passions, and emotions, as they make their first appearance in the soul. By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning. Here’s an example of how you don’t want to paraphrase: Hume says all perceptions of the mind are resolved into two kinds, impressions and ideas. The difference is in how much force and liveliness they have in our thoughts and consciousness. The perceptions with the most force and violence are impressions. These are sensations, passions, and emotions. Ideas are the faint images of our thinking and reasoning. There are two main problems with paraphrases of this sort. In the first place, it’s done rather mechanically, so it doesn’t show that the author understands the text. In the second place, since the author hasn’t figured out what the text means well enough to express it in his own words, there’s a danger that his paraphrase may inadvertently change the meaning of the text. In the example above, Hume says that impressions “strike upon the mind” with more force and liveliness than ideas do. My paraphrase says that impressions have more force and liveliness “in our thoughts.” It’s not clear whether these are the same thing. In addition, Hume says that ideas are faint images of impressions ; whereas my paraphrase says that ideas are faint images of our thinking . These are not the same. So the author of the paraphrase appears not to have understood what Hume was saying in the original passage.

You may think that since your TA and I already know a lot about this subject, you can leave out a lot of basic explanation and write in a super-sophisticated manner, like one expert talking to another. I guarantee you that this will make your paper incomprehensible.

Then come back to the draft and re-read it. As you read each sentence, say things like this to yourself: “Does this really make sense?” “That’s totally unclear!” “That sounds pretentious.” “What does that mean?” “What’s the connection between these two sentences?” “Am I just repeating myself here?” and so on. Make sure every sentence in your draft does useful work. Get rid of any which don’t. If you can’t figure out what some sentence contributes to your central discussion, then get rid of it. Even if it sounds nice. You should never introduce any points in your paper unless they’re important to your main argument, and you have the room to really explain them.

If your paper sounds as if it were written for a third-grade audience, then you’ve probably achieved the right sort of clarity.

In addition to having a reciprocal relationship with one’s students, it is vitally important for teachers to form partnerships with fellow educators. Solid communication among teachers will promote the sharing of ideas and methods and provide a network of support. By working as an educational team, teachers will continue to develop their craft and give the best education possible to their students.

I believe that all children have the ability to learn and the right to a quality education. All youths, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and capabilities should have the opportunity to learn from professional, well-informed teachers who are sophisticated and knowledgeable, both in their area of expertise and life. Certainly, every child has different learning styles and aptitudes; however, by having a personal relationship with every student, a teacher can give each an equal chance of success. By recognizing every student’s potential and having separate, individual goals for each, a teacher can accommodate personal needs and abilities and encourage the pursuit of academic aspirations.

Philosophy of Education.

In order to accomplish these lofty goals, I think it is important first to establish a mutually respectful, honest rapport with students a relationship in which communication is of the highest priority. Through this relationship, a fair, democratic environment based on trust and caring can be established in the classroom, making it possible to interact confidently and safely in an academic setting. Once this foundation is established, the educator has already accomplished a major goal: the ethical characteristics of equality; open, honest communication; and trust have been emphasized and put into practice without having to preach to students. Demonstrating these ethically correct behaviors in the classroom and expecting students to model them prepares them for adult interaction and survival in the future.

Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride. My classroom will be a caring, safe, and equitable environment where each child can blossom and grow. I will allow children to become responsible members of our classroom community by using strategies such as class meetings, positive discipline, and democratic principles. In showing children how to become responsible for themselves as well as their own learning, I am giving them the tools to become successful in life, to believe in themselves, and to love themselves.

I believe the children are our future. I believe each and every child has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. I will help children to develop their potential by believing in them as capable individuals. I will assist children in discovering who they are, so they can express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas. I have a vision of a world where people learn to respect, accept, and embrace the differences between us, as the core of what makes life so fascinating.

Sample Educational Philosophy Statements.

When the teacher’s role is to guide, providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information, the students’ search for knowledge is met as they learn to find answers to their questions. For students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. Providing students access to hands-on activities and allowing adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lesson being studied creates an opportunity for individual discovery and construction of knowledge to occur.

Candace Alstad-Davies | Email: candoco@telus.net.

Your perception of teaching: Here you describe what teaching means to you, your teaching processes, and how you can facilitate those processes as an educator. Issues such as motivating students, facilitating the learning process, how to challenge students academically, and how to support their learning abilities should be addressed. Your perception of learning: Here you try and describe what learning means to you and what exactly happens in a learning situation. You can either use metaphors to draw comparisons with known philosophies, or you can directly relate what you think happens during a learning session based on your personal experiences as an educator. Your teaching goals: In this section you describe your goals for your students and also list the various talents or skills that you expect your students to acquire through your teaching. In addition to the goals that you have set for your students, you should also provide the rationale behind these goals and how you will keep changing the goals to meet the growing learning needs of your students. Executing your philosophy of education statement: The most important component of your education philosophy statement is your elaboration of the different activities that you will implement to enable your students to achieve their goals. You have to illustrate how your perceptions of teaching and learning will be translated into real time class assignments. Your growth as a teacher: In order to continue growing professionally, teachers need to set goals for themselves and also outline their ways to achieve these goals. The personal goals that you have set for yourself as an educator should thus be mentioned in your philosophy of education statement.

A+ Teachers’ Interview Edge (2nd Edition) contains 152 teacher specific interview questions and potential answers to prepare you for your next education interview. Discover not just what interview questions they’ll ask you at your next interview. but also how to answer those questions to ensure you land your dream job!

If you need help preparing your Philosophy of Education, don’t hesitate to email Candace at A+ Resumes for Teachers by clicking here.

Choose teaching experiences which showcase most clearly your teaching philosophy. If you haven’t had many opportunities for formal instruction, draw on your years of experience as a student and the informal teaching situations that you’ve be a part of: mentoring, leading study groups, community service, tutoring, etc. Explain how these experiences will influence your approach to teaching a college-level course.

Note that a teaching statement is not simply a list of your past teaching experiences or a list of what you can teach at the job you are applying too (these items will find there way into your job market materials through your CV, teaching portfolio, and other documents). It is also not an article on teaching, or a commentary on the general state of teaching today.