For those who come from a teaching background, a personal philosophy of education isn’t something new. Most likely, it was something you wrote about extensively. For those who come from other backgrounds however, being asked to summarise your philosophy of education in an interview can feel like being put on the spot. Here are some guiding questions to help you develop a solid answer.
Why do you want to teach?
What is the purpose of education, and what does it mean for you?
What are your beliefs about teaching and learning methodology?
What is your role as an educator?
Whom are you going to teach? Specifically, how will you reach the wide diversity of kids that you will have in your classroom?
What are your goals for your students?
How and what are you going to teach?
How will these beliefs impact your teaching?
How do you balance the needs of individual learners with the needs of the entire class?
The “how” questions are perhaps most important. It is one thing to say “I want to make children feel successful at language learning,” but you should have an idea of how to achieve the goals laid out in your philosophy.
This is also a time to show your knowledge and reference any former teachers, thinkers, or writers who may have influenced you. This will demonstrate a commitment to broader thinking that goes outside of the classroom.
Once you’ve developed an educational philosophy and practiced it, you can be confident in facing questions about the theory behind your teaching practice.
We hope these guiding questions will help new teachers develop their own teaching philosophies. If you’re a seasoned teacher, we hope that these guiding questions will further develop and polish the teaching philosophies you already have.