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Academic’s institutional capacity building through teaching philosophy development

Friday 5 July: Conference day three, 10:30am – 11:00am parallel session



Room 6 – 303-B05 Sem



Dr Coralie Mccormack
University of Canberra, Australia

Professor Dieter Schönwetter
University of Manitoba, Canada

Robert Kennelly
University of Canberra, Australia

Gesa Ruge
University of Canberra, Australia

Nicole Gareau-Wilson
University of Manitoba, Canada



In today’s changing higher education context, the impacts of a Teaching Philosophy Statement (TPS) beyond individual personal professional development, have received little attention (Arroyo et al., 2015; Schӧnwetter, et al., 2002). Yet, as observed by Fitzmaurice and Coughlan (2007), TPSs are likely to be “increasingly important” when academic work “is being defined in terms of a set of competencies” (p. 40). For universities managing an international and mobile cohort of expert employees, resilience in university teachers has emerged as an important challenge and opportunity for individual and institutional capacity building (McDermid. et al., 2016; Ruge, et al., 2019).

This showcase reports on findings from an international research study bounded by purposive sampling. During in-depth interviews, nine Australian HERDSA Fellows and seven 3M Canadian Fellows, reflected on the question: What is the value of a teaching philosophy for today’s academics and their institutions? Coding and iterative thematic analysis of transcripts identified four elements of TPS capacity building:

  • importance of reflection,
  • engagement with students’ learning,
  • understanding of linkages and gaps between a personal TPS and current institutional processes, and
  • guidance and resilience for the long-term career and learning journey

These research findings were further investigated through the narrative lens of individual TPS journeys. This clarified the potential effectiveness of TPS engagement to enhance individual resilience and institutional capacity building through:

  • Critical reflection through self-questioning to make visible and clarify values and beliefs that underpin a teacher’s sense of
  • Capacity building that increases personal confidence and professional competence
  • Collegial relationships through mentoring and collaborative communities of practice

The showcase presentation offers delegates the opportunity to consider the different purposes for TPSs in today’s context and reflect on the importance of resilience for themselves, their colleagues, their students, their institution, and the practice or discipline of teaching.



Arroyo, A. T., Kidd, A. R., Burns, S. M., Cruz, I. J., & Lawrence-Lamb, J. E. (2015). Increments of transformation from midnight to daylight: How a professor and four undergraduate students experienced an original philosophy of teaching and learning in two online courses. Journal of Transformative Education, 13(4), 341- 365.


Presentation topic

Academics – Academic Development

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