statement of teaching philosophy

C. J. Fuller cjfuller at
Sun Nov 8 14:47:31 EST 1998

In article <8D74F9588B at>, JFRUGOLI at wrote:

>The statement of teaching philosophy is usually required from applicants
for faculty 
>positions in small to medium institutions and sometimes large research
>However, it's not something most graduate students and postdocs have
thought much about or 
>practiced writing, while grant writing, describing your research goals
and such is usually 
>heavily emphasized all the way through.  Anybody, especially those who've
sat on a search 
>committee before, have any insight on how to approach this?  What's
important to say?  What's 
>important NOT to say?  Anything that's particulalry impressed you in
applications you've 
>read?  Anything that sent a red flag up immediately?  If you've ever
written one, how did you 
>go about assessing your own philosophy and putting it into words?  Any
sources you could 
>suggest for help? 
>Julia Frugoli
>Texas A&M University
>Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
>Crop Biotechnology Center
>MS# 2123
>College Station, TX 77843
>FAX 409-862-4790

Julia-I went to a workshop two years ago where one of our assignments was
to draft a teaching philosophy.  When I was asked during my application
process, I didn't have a particularly coherent one, and I'm not sure my
current one is particularly coherent.  I mentioned that I have high
expectations of my students, I try to use case-based learning and problem
solving rather than rote memorization of facts, and my examinations stress
problem solving and critical thinking (i.e., no multiple guess,
true-false, fill in the blank, or matching questions).  I was also asked
about my philosophy in mentoring graduate students and undergraduate
research assistants (our dept here is big on getting undergrads involved
in research).

My philosophy is currently in analogy form.  As a professor, I consider
myself to be a flashlight in a dark campground.  I illuminate some things,
but the student (i.e., the camper) has to have some background knowledge
and skills to discern between a tree and a grizzly bear.  (As you can
tell, I have yet to teach the basic nutrition course here.)

This may or may not help.


C.J. Fuller
<mailto:cjfuller at>
<mailto:cjfuller at>

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