SS Module 4: Teaching Philosophy Exercise


S&S Module 4: Teaching Philosophy Exercise

Intention of Module:

To prepare participants to write their own teaching philosophy by investigating what they are doing in their classes, what they want to do in their classes using the lens of IDEA and cultural competence

Based on the content of Module 3 The 12 Steps to Ballet’s Cultural Reform where we assessed the traditional, historically normative culture of ballet in which all whom have participated are socialized in, and (by default) model and perpetuated in many cases resulting in generational trauma- and has been racially exclusionary specifically anti-Black. As educators we want to begin to reflect on where and how  this cultural socialization lives in us and in our teaching. We need to personalize this work. This is where it gets messy and at times painful because we will be (and have to to be willing to be) confronted with our contribution as gatekeeper of the artform. As a way of both being reflective and forward moving the exercise for crafting our teaching philosophies is a perfect exercise to force reflection, personal assessment, while allowing the space to ask ourselves what is actual and what is aspirational in our teaching practices, and what do we need to do, how do we need to be to make those aspirational aspects ACTUAL? (these are your reflective questions in the exercise).

This exercise is designed to help you begin to craft your teaching philosophy by asking you to reflect upon your teaching style, intention, expectations as an educator. As always you will be asked to do so through the lens of our C2EC lens of IDEA and cultural competence. If we are working to reform the deleterious aspects of ballet culture (specifically training) make certain that you are keeping the 12 steps for Ballet’s Cultural Recovery in mind as you move through this exercise. This is more about investigation than a “FINAL PRODUCT”. It is meant as a tool to help you reach a level of clarity about who you are, and who you want to be as an educator. Please don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good!! Try to be honest, don’t judge yourself and open yourself to the idea that this is a process. Please allow 30 mins to 1 hour to complete this exercise.



This has a more academic focus but most if not all of the concepts can be applied in some capacity.

Support Tools

Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement

  • Components of Your Teaching Philosophy Statement

    A statement of teaching philosophy is a flexible document, and can be successfully constructed in a number of different ways.

    One way is to include descriptions of specific teaching strategies (e.g., a description of a particular assignment of class activity) alongside your teaching beliefs. Some instructors prefer to integrate these strategies into the philosophy statement; others prefer to describe them in a separate document (a “Statement of Teaching Practice”). Other common components of a statement of teaching philosophy include:

    • your definition of good teaching, with an explanation of why you have developed or adopted this particular definition
    • a discussion of your teaching methods: how do you implement your definition of good teaching?
    • a discussion of your evaluation and assessment methods and a description of how they support your definition of good teaching
    • a description of your students, and their most important learning goals and challenges
    • a description of your teaching goals: with what content, skills, or values should students leave your classroom? What are your goals for improving your own teaching?

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