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What is a personal philosophy statement?

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Quick Answer

A personal philosophy statement is an essay that describes the author's fundamental beliefs regarding the ideals of education, usually regarding the purpose of school, the best way for students to learn, what subject matter should be taught and the teacher's role in education.

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Typically a personal philosophy statement is required from applicants for teaching jobs in higher education. It is secondarily used as a writing sample demonstrating the applicant's command of proper written English.

In writing a personal philosophy statement, a teacher should reflect on his objectives and goals as a teacher and on the methods he intends to use to achieve these objectives. He should also discuss the outcome measurements he intends to use to assess his own efficacy as a teacher as well as what and how much his students have learned. He should incorporate his own experience as a teacher and as a student, as well as any specific educational philosophies or methods to which he adheres.

A personal philosophy statement is usually about two to three pages long and does not follow any set template. In writing a personal philosophy statement, it is important to avoid using educational jargon or technical language. Teachers should work hard to make sure their personalities come through in their personal philosophy statements, since ultimately the documents are used as part of a job search.

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