Developing a Philosophy of Teaching

Some of you know that I have been engaged in an online learning institute this week, which is why I have not been blogging very much. I know I had said I hope to share many of my insights from this institute, but frankly I just haven’t had time to sit and write them down. It’s finally finished and now I am thinking about many things when it comes to learning in an online environment. Most of all I have actually been thinking about my own Philosophy of Teaching.

What does that mean?

I believe a Philosophy of teaching is a statement on your beliefs about how teaching should be done. It resembles your own values and beliefs about what it means to learn, what knowledge is, and why it is important.

What is it?
I am still working on my own philosophy of teaching statement but it is essentially based in student-centered learning. This is the idea that learning and knowledge really begin with where the student is. It can be incredibly difficult to test a student on a given set of skills that they have never been taught or had the chance to fully develop. Starting where the student is also means understanding what capabilities they may have and how those capabilities can be leveraged for their own benefit.

Where does it stem from?
This is inherently personal for every individual in my opinion, and mine mostly stems from my work as a mental health counselor. Part of my theoretical approach was based in the work of Carl Rogers and his client-centered approach. For more information on that click here. It also stems from my own experiences in teaching, but mostly in learning from many years sitting behind a desk as a student. Let’s face it, we have all had many teachers that we would like to emulate and many others we would rather just forget about.

Now as I begin to focus on teaching online, I am caught up in a series of discussions and my own thoughts about what this philosophy of teaching means in a digital environment. I think that much of my budding philosophy will easily transcend both environments, but I also know that just because something works in one area does not mean that it will work in another. I plan to come back to this post in the future as I more fully develop the concepts and ability to articulate my philosophy in a way that people can understand. I would definitely appreciate any input on the matter, so feel free to leave a comment.


About jimmysw
Associate Professor of Social Work with a focus on the Future of Social Media, Social Work Education and all things technology.

2 Responses to Developing a Philosophy of Teaching

  1. I couldnt have said it any better to be honest! keep up the awesome work. You are very talented & I only wish I could write as good as you do 🙂 …
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  2. Pingback: My Philosophy of Teaching… I think?!? | JimmySW

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