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Cornell University

Portfolio

A teaching portfolio usually includes a teaching statement and a selective collection of teaching materials that document evidence of teaching effectiveness.

Why create a teaching portfolio?
How do you create a teaching portfolio?
What is a teaching statement?
How can you articulate a teaching statement?

Why create a teaching portfolio?

A Teaching portfolio allows you to:

  • Clarify and refine teaching practices.
  • Be proactive in providing a learner-centered environment.
  • Define your personal style of teaching.
  • Reflect on your journey as a teacher.
  • Clarify your commitment to teaching and learning.
  • Focus on the learning process and attainment of course goals.
  • Help students learn by example through the instructor’s reflective teaching practice.
  • Involve students in the learning process by providing regular feedback.
  • Justify to yourself and others the reasons why you teach the way you do.

How do you create a teaching portfolio?

  • Start as early as you can to collect teaching-related materials.
  • Regularly sort and select best evidence of your teaching effectiveness.
  • Reflect on the selected documentation.

When developing your teaching portfolio, reflect on these questions:

  • Why do you teach?
  • How do you teach?
  • How do you assess the effectiveness of your teaching?

Developing a Teaching Portfolio

Chapter 2 in The Cornell University Teaching Evaluation Handbook pdf contains more information on portfolio development.

What is a teaching statement?

A teaching statement is a self-reflective essay that articulates your conceptions of teaching and learning in your discipline and how you implement these in your class. Developing your teaching statement can be a beginning step in the creation of a teaching portfolio.

How can you articulate a teaching statement?

  • Identify your teaching goals using the ‘Teaching Goals Inventory’.
  • Summarize your ideas about teaching with the ‘Teaching Perspectives Inventory’.
  • Decide if you want to focus on teaching strategies within your discipline or teaching in general.
  • Remember that your teaching statement should reflect your personal values.
  • Write the statement in the first person.
  • Do not include quotes from others or references.

When developing your teaching statement, consider the following:

  • What are your course objectives?
  • What methods do you use to achieve your course objectives?
  • How do you know that your students are learning?
  • How often should you review and update your teaching statement?
  • How do you incorporate your discipline’s perspectives on teaching?
  • What is challenging about learning what you teach?
  • What implications do those learning challenges have for how you teach your content?
  • What kind of evidence do you need to determine the quality of your students’ learning?
  • Do you have a long-term teaching development plan?

Places to Go Next

Observations
Peer Review of Teaching
Teaching Evaluation Handbook pdf

References

Haggerty, K. (2010) Teaching statements are bunk. Chronicle of Higher Education, Retrieved from: http://chronicle.com/article/Teaching-Statements-Are-Bunk/64152/

Kaplan, M. (1998). The teaching portfolio. Occasional Paper No. 11. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan.

Montell, G. (2012) How to write a statement of teaching philosophy. Chronicle of Higher Education, Retrieved from: http://chronicle.com/article/How-to-Write-a-Statement-of/45133/

Seldin, P. (2004). The teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decision (3rd ed). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing, Inc.

Seldin, P., Miller, J.E., and Seldin, C.A (2010). The teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decisions (4th ed). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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