I share my knowledge in the classroom as an “open source” platform. I don’t agree with the October 2011 SOPA Legislation (FAQ here). My teaching philosophy is explained below. Following suit, I post all I can about how to create websites here on my page. Feel free to follow the links in the menu bar to learn more about my style sheets, wordpress.org theme, and other technological advances that I’ve come across and tried out. Enjoy! And, please share.
Note: The outline used is heavily influenced by material produced by the University of California – Santa Barbara and can be accessed here – http://oic.id.ucsb.edu/teaching-portfolios/how-write-teaching-philosophy-statement
My teaching philosophy will:
- Articulate a view of learning
- Connect the view of learning to a view of teaching, facilitation, and instruction
- Establish why I teach the way I do
- Explain how I implement these ideas and values about teaching and learning in the classroom
- Mention assessment/grading techniques I use to find out if my teaching strategies are working (i.e. Do my students meet the goals?)
- Describe how I know that my instructional and assessment techniques are effective (i.e. evaluation)
- Discuss my future goals for growth as a teacher
The following outline is influenced by: Chism, N. V. N. (1998). Developing a philosophy of teaching statement. Essays on Teaching Excellence: Toward the Best in the Academy, 9, 1–3.
My Teaching Philosophy Statement
How People Learn
“Teaching consists in the creation of the most favorable atmosphere in which one can learn. ‘Facts’ can have no meaning unless assimilated in a particular frame of reference possessed by the observer of the fact.” (Cantor, 1949)
Methods I Use to Facilitate Learning
“A ‘learning by doing’ approach to teaching… addresses this important issue of linking higher education with the local community. In the wake of major budgetary cutbacks, such a course provides the community with a much underutilized resource – students.” (Takata & Leiting, 1987)
Goals for My Students
Why I Teach the Way I Do
“It is up to us to make sociology come to life for the student and for the common man outside the college campus.” (Katona, 1943)
Lewis Dexter admits that “despite several years of training in sociology and political science, he had never been stimulated to think about teaching problems. Consequently, insofar as he was conscious of his teaching techniques at all, he formulated, or justified, procedures in terms, either of rationalizations about what he liked to do or guesses that what, he thought, had been effective in teaching him would work with his students.” (Dexter, 1946)
Ways to Implement These Ideas
“Few social problems textbooks are concerned with a discussion of the theoretical framework within which social problems arise. And even those few textbooks in social problems that do undertake to present a theoretical framework make no appreciable contribution to the full understanding of social processes or human behavior within the socio-cultural setting. The social problems textbook is usually a compendium of conditions and situations viewed as ‘problems’ by significant sections of a society at a given time.” (Muzumdar, 1951)
To overcome students’ unwillingness to learn sociology due inconspicuous ways to use sociology, Sorenson suggests the presentation of an “analytical problem” as a teaching approach. The “analytical problem” is “a statement regarding the employment of research methodologies toward a verifiable answer to a social problem in dispute, the reliability and validity of which would be analyzed by the student. Its use enables us to test the student’s power of analysis and allow him to develop his criteria of judgment when faced with a purposely designed kind of problem he, himself, might later be involved in, and to develop a discussion about the application of social science methodologies to some policy issue so that the student could decide for himself whether or not a given research technique is superior to the testimonial and whether or not it is properly utilized.” (Sorensen, 1952)
Teaching and Learning in the Classroom
Some Instructional Strategies to Use
“Goldsmid and Wilson… found that the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) is superior to all conventional forms of teaching in fostering content learning, that the computer-based Teaching Information Processing system (TIPS) raised students’ achievement levels in lecture courses, and that discussion classes enhance students’ learning of higher cognitive skills. One of the main advantages of these methods is that they involve active learning, or student-centered instruction.” (Lovell-Troy, 1989)
Are these strategies working?
Do my students meet the goals?
How is students’ learning measured and assessed?
“Reading, thinking, and writing involved in course development can be a form of scholarship.” (Albers, 2003)
“Scholarship can be assessed… if it has: clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique.” (Chin, 2002)
How do I know they are working?
Feedback and Evaluation of Teaching
My Future Goals for Growth as a Teacher
Albers, C. (2003). Using the Syllabus to Document the Scholarship of Teaching. Teaching Sociology, 31(1), 60-72.
Cantor, N. (1949). The Teaching and Learning of Sociology. The American Journal of Sociology, 55(1), 18-24.
Chin, J. (2002). Is There a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Teaching Sociology? A Look at Papers from 1984 to 1999. Teaching Sociology, 30(1), 53-62.
Dexter, L. A. (1946). Teaching Social Science as a Set of Skills. American Sociological Review, 11(2), 146-150.
Katona, A. (1943). The Teaching of Sociology in a Democracy. American Sociological Review, 8(4), 439-449.
Lovell-Troy, L. A. (1989). Teaching Techniques for Instructional Goals: A Partial Review of the Literature. Teaching Sociology, 17(1), 28-37.
Muzumdar, H. T. (1951). The Teaching Sociologist’s Frame of Reference. American Sociological Review, 16(5), 713-718.
Sorensen, R. C. (1952). The Analytical Problem Technique for Teaching Sociology in a Law School. American Sociological Review, 17(2), 229-232.
Takata, S. R., & Leiting, W. (1987). Learning by Doing: The Teaching of Sociological Research Methods. Teaching Sociology, 15(2), 144-150.
Note: Bullet points and model taken from The Teaching Dossier: A Guide to Its Preparation and Use (pp. 14-23) by B. Shore, S. Foster, C. Knapper, G. Nadeau, N. Neill, and V. Sim, 1986, Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Association of University Teachers
Descriptive material on current and recent teaching responsibilities and practices
- List of course titles and numbers, unit values or credits, enrollments with brief elaboration
- List of course materials prepared for students
- Information on professor’s availability to students
- Report on identification of student difficulties and encouragement of student participation in courses or programs
- Description on how films, computers or other non-print materials were used in teaching
- Steps taken to emphasize the interrelatedness and relevance of different kinds of teaching
Description of steps taken to evaluate and improve one’s teaching
- Maintaining a record of the changes resulting from self-evaluation
- Reading journals on improving teaching and attempting to implement acquired ideas
- Reviewing new teaching materials from possible application
- Exchanging course materials with a colleague from another institution
- Conducting research on one’s own teaching or course
- Becoming involved in an association or society concerned with the improvement of teaching and learning
- Attempting instructional innovations and evaluating their effectiveness
- Using general support services such as the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) in improving one’s teaching
This is an assembled list of tools that may be useful to help engage students and further education. Some I have used, others I have not. Some I found, while others were discovered by my peers and students:
- VoiceThread - A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holdsimages, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.
- Make a digital white board using a Wii controller and projector