Teaching Philosophy Statement 2013

I have completed my statement for this year, combining a number of research areas and theories.  This is linked to my educational goals map, exploring the relationships between the map’s goals and my practice.  The second page shows my shaping representation, or map, of the QT Model linking with an Enquiry-Based Learning Approach.




[1] Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.  Since the reformation of the MCEECDYA to SCSEEC it can be argued that the Melbourne Declaration has lessened in importance, due to the fact that the 2008-2012 Four Year Action Plan has not been followed by a subsequent plan (nor did a reflective process take place to actualize the ‘action’ part of the plan).

However, the goals of the Declaration remains a guiding force in the scope of the new SCSEEC, as well as the Australian Curriculum, and so remains a worthy guide for individual teachers’ philosophy.


[2] Shape of the Australian Curriculum: English.  “Each strand has its own distinctive goals… Learning programs should balance and integrate all three strands.”

[3] “Philosophy Rediscovered: Exploring the Connections Between Teaching Philosophies, Educational Philosophies, and Philosophy” in Journal of Management Education 2009 33: 99; originally published online 30 November 2007; accessed May 2013 at http://jme.sagepub.com

[5] “Philosophy Rediscovered.”  “Idealism” seeks to provide a broad and unified perspective of enduring values, based on the belief of the “reality of the mind”; “Critical Social Theory” advocates that reality is socially constructed and individuals must critique of the power structures that construct us.

[6] Quality Teaching, NSW Department of Education and Communities.  The diagram below represents my personal application of the QT model to the shape of teaching and learning.  It also includes the further crucial step of reflection.


[7] The Kath Murdoch website (www.kathmurdoch.com.au) lists 6 Phases for an Enquiry-Based unit of work, which can be mapped against my NSW QT diagram: Tuning In To Students, Finding Out, Sorting Out (QT: Significance); Going Further, Acting and Applying (Intellectual Quality); Synthesising and Reflecting.



QT repesentation 2



Drawing on research into educational philosophy and my reading of the Australian Curriculum, including the Shaping paper, I have developed the following map of educational goals and direction:

This can have a duel purpose of shaping and guiding my Teaching Philosophy Statement, as well as acting as a ‘Course Overview’ document for students.

I have deliberately pulled out key phrases of the 2008 Melbourne Educational Declaration, and the key goals of the three strands in AC:E, and presented them in a way that students will be able to understand.  Students should know that English can help them to become active citizens and confident individuals, and how text study achieves this.

The active verbs of the Shaping Paper’s description of the strands should allow a class to focus on the goals of English work: Capacity in the six modes; Developing appropriateness and confidence in using English- and using their language productively; and engaging in texts which expand and enrich their understanding of the world.

If students had such goals at the beginning of each year’s course, they may be motivated to be critically involved in the work that follows- checking if activities in the English classroom let them use language productively and whether they feel the texts studied have great value and the potential to expand their scope.

Or so we can hope….

The ‘Philosophy’ in a Teaching Philosophy Statement

In my research to reconstruct my teaching philosophy statement I came across this article in the Journal of Management Education:


The article extolls teachers to examine and understand the underlying philosophies in their belief system and approach.  While the authors Beatty, Leigh and Dean are addressing higher education teachers and lecturers, there is certainly scope to apply this to all teachers in secondary, primary and even pre-school levels.

The article examines “three elements of pure philosophy and five seminal educational philosophies”.  They reproduce a table from the text Foundations of Education which “emphasise the differences and deemphesize the interconnectedness”, in order to challenge the reader to define themselves within a particular philosophy system.

From this I have decided that my approach is aligned with two educational philosophies, and the dynamic relationship between them creates a scale for my teaching practice.  I’ll expand on this in a later post.


In preparation for revising my teaching philosophy for 2013, I finally began ploughing through the Review of Funding for Schooling Final Report.  

At its opening the report clearly defines its scope:

The panel acknowledges that schools contribute to a much broader range of outcomes for students than those currently measured by governments and which receive the greatest attention in this report

Yet within its list of 26 findings the report acknowledges the issue of outcomes again:

Finding 5

The performance of Australia’s schooling system is about more than just literacy and numeracy results in national and international assessments and Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates. Defining and measuring the broader schooling outcomes is difficult and requires further development and information gathering if Australia wants to be able to gauge the effectiveness of its schooling system as a whole.


A report focused on the dollars and cents of schooling admits that Australia does not have enough information to succinctly define the purpose of education- only that it is more than benchmark results.

In the current political climate and within the discourses about education we are subjected to, I find this a fascinating and completely overlooked element of the Gonski review.  The obvious questions raised:-

What are Australia’s educational outcomes?

Who decides?