Educational Philosophy Basics

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An educational philosophy is a personal statement of a teacher's guiding principles about "big picture" education-related issues, such as how student learning and potential are most effectively maximized, as well as the role of educators in the classroom, school, community, and society

Each teacher comes to the classroom with a unique set of principles and ideals that affects student performance. A statement of educational philosophy sums up these tenets for self-reflection, professional growth, and sometimes sharing with the larger school community.

An example of the opening statement for an educational philosophy is, "I believe that a teacher should have the highest of expectations for each of her students. This maximizes the positive benefits that come naturally with any self-fulfilling prophecy. With dedication, perseverance, and hard work, her students will rise to the occasion."

Designing Your Educational Philosophy Statement

Writing an educational philosophy statement is often part of degree courses for teachers. Once you write one, it can be used to guide your answers in job interviews, included in your teaching portfolio, and distributed to your students and their parents. You can modify it over the course of your teaching career.

It begins with an introductory paragraph summarizing the teacher's point of view on education and the teaching style you will use. It can be a vision of your perfect classroom. The statement usually contains two or more paragraphs and a conclusion. The second paragraph can discuss your teaching style and how you will motivate your students to learn. The third paragraph can explain how you plan to assess your students and encourage their progress. The last paragraph summarizes the statement again.

Educational Philosophy Examples

As with your students, you may be able to learn best by seeing samples that can help inspire you. You can modify these examples, using their structure but rewording them to reflect your own viewpoint, teaching style, and ideal classroom.

Using Your Educational Philosophy Statement

An educational philosophy statement is not just a one-and-done exercise. You can use it at many points in your teaching career and you should revisit it annually to review and refresh it.

  • Your Teacher Application and Interview: When you apply for a teaching job, you can expect that one of the questions will be about your teaching philosophy. Review your educational philosophy statement and be prepared to discuss it at the interview or provide it in your job application.
  • Preparing for the New School Year or a Classroom Change: How has your experience in the classroom changed your educational philosophy? Before the start of each year, or when changing classrooms, set aside time to reflect on your philosophy statement. Update it and add it to your portfolio.
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Lewis, Beth. "Educational Philosophy Basics." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Lewis, Beth. (2023, April 5). Educational Philosophy Basics. Retrieved from Lewis, Beth. "Educational Philosophy Basics." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).