Jump-Start to Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Program


Peer writing program for writing a teaching philosophy statement.

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Lisa Kuehne, PhD

Assistant Director of Graduate and Postdoc Programs

In 2009, The Center for Teaching and Learning began offering a summer seminar series on writing a teaching philosophy statement. This series is open to advanced-level graduate students and postdocs at WashU who are preparing to apply for faculty positions. To date, more than 175 graduate students and postdocs from more than 24 departments have participated. Currently, this program is being offered in a 4-week format during the fall semester and over the summer.


  • To provide interested graduate students with the opportunity to devote sustained time and thought to the challenging process of writing a teaching philosophy statement, which is required to apply for many academic positions.
  • To create a multi-disciplinary community of graduate students who are dedicated to reflecting and writing about teaching.
  • To help graduate students develop a collegial approach to discussing and learning about teaching.

Major Components

  • Participants meet weekly with small groups to discuss and revise current drafts of teaching statements.
  • Participants prepare and revise three drafts of their teaching statement over the course of the 4-week period.

For information about the program, please contact Lisa Kuehne.

University Research on Teaching Philosophy Statements
Utilizing Composition Pedagogy to Help Graduate Students Write Effective Teaching Philosophy Statements
This study of the Summer Seminar Series was conducted by Beth Fisher, former Director of Academic Services, The Center for Teaching and Learning, with Steve Pijut, Associate Director of the Washington University Writing Center. The study was supported in its first year (2009-2010) by a POD Network Grant from the Professional and Organizational Development in Higher Education Network.