How to Write an Educational Philosophy Statement

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An educational philosophy statement is the teachers' view on education. elenaleonova / Getty Images

A philosophy of education statement, sometimes called a teaching statement, should be a staple in every teacher's portfolio. Your statement of educational philosophy is an opportunity to define what teaching means to you as an educator, as well as describe how and why you teach as you do. These examples and tips can help you write an essay of which you can be proud.

Purpose of an Educational Philosophy Statement

If you're a teacher or administrator, you'll need to craft an educational philosophy statement when you're seeking a promotion or tenure. This essay is equally important when you're applying for a new job or seeking your first position after graduating.

The purpose of a teaching philosophy is to articulate how and why you teach, your professional motivations and goals, as well as your approach to educating others so that observers can have a better sense of who you are without observing you in the classroom.

Structure of a Teaching Philosophy

Unlike other kinds of writing, educational statements are frequently written in the first person because these are personal essays on your chosen profession. In general, they should be one to two pages long, though they can be longer if you've had an extensive career. Like other essays, a good educational philosophy should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. A sample structure might look like this:

Introduction: Use this paragraph to describe your views on teaching in a general sense. State your thesis (for example, "My philosophy of education is that every child should have the right to learn and get a quality education.") and discuss your ideals. Be brief; you'll use the following paragraphs to explain the details.

Body: ​Use the following three to five paragraphs (or more, if needed) to elaborate on your introductory statement. For example, you could discuss the ideal classroom environment and how it makes you a better teacher, addresses student needs, and facilitates parent/child interactions.

Build on these ideals in the following paragraphs by discussing how you keep your classes aware and engaged, how you facilitate learning, and how you involve students in the assessment process. Whatever your approach, remember to focus on what you value most as an educator and to cite examples of how you've put these ​​ideals into practice.

Conclusion: Go beyond simply restating your educational philosophy in your closing. Instead, talk about your goals as a teacher, how you have been able to meet them in the past, and how you can build on these to meet future challenges. 

Tips for Writing an Educational Philosophy

As with any writing, take the time to outline your ideas before you begin. The following tips can help you craft your teaching philosophy statement:

  • Brainstorm about your educational philosophy and your views of education, making notes on those principles you value most. This can help you articulate your philosophy as you organize your essay.
  • Demonstrate how you have put your educational philosophy into practice in the classroom by citing specific examples and outcomes with students, parents, or fellow teachers and administrators. 
  • Reflect on your experience over your career. How has your teaching philosophy changed over time? What opportunities and challenges lie ahead, and how do you intend to meet them? 

Finally, don't forget to talk to your peers in the field. How did they craft their essays? Consulting a few sample essays can help you as you begin writing your own.