The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) is a series of 45 questions that provide insight into an individual’s view of teaching. It is based on five perspectives of good teaching where typically most individuals will hold one, or sometimes two, dominant perspectives. The TPI results further identify within each perspective if your views are grounded in what you believe, what you intend to accomplish, or what educational actions you undertake in your teaching settings. The Five Perspectives are:
Apprenticeship – Good teachers are highly skilled practitioners of what they teach.
Developmental – Effective teaching must be planned and conducted “from the learner’s point of view.”
Nurturing – Effective teaching assumes that long-term, hard, persistent effort to achieve comes from the heart, not the head.
Social Reform – Effective teaching seeks to change society in substantive ways and from this perspective, the object of teaching is the collective rather than the individual.
Transmission – Effective teaching requires a substantial commitment to the content or subject matter.
I was not surprised by the results of my TPI. My dominant perspective is nurturing which makes sense given my health care background teaching community health workers, families and clients. I tend to teach using a facilitation approach that is supportive, guiding in nature and approachable in the clinical setting.
Apprenticeship and developmental were both secondary perspectives that I obviously view as important. In my view, apprenticeship provides the credibility needed to share practical knowledge. Experience expands our knowledge and provides the means to share, discuss and impart learning in a meaningful way. For example, in a recent presentation on end of life care the ability to provide examples from my own practical experience gave learners a better understanding of what to expect and how to respond. Similarly, developmental is significant in my work as understanding how students think and absorb the content will allow for adjustment on the fly to ensure it makes sense for all students.
My recessive perspective is social reform which makes sense as teaching moral responsibility is not really a significant component of the course objectives I have been involved with.
What I did find interesting was the relationship between the beliefs, intentions and actions for each of these perspectives. For the most part my relationships are fairly flat line which would reflect my lack of formal teaching experience and that I still want to be all things to all students. Interestingly there is a large discrepancy between both belief and actions and my intentions in the domain of transmission. I think this reflects ‘how’ I was taught where all related content was covered in a specific order with the intent that we all learn everything. This program has changed my thinking significantly in this area and I know I want to be a learner focused educator that guides learning rather than delivering learning.
I did try taking the TPI a few times using a different group of students as my focus to answer the questions. My results were fairly similar indicating there is some consistency in my opinion of teaching. I am looking forward to further exploring my teaching philosophy so that by the end of the program I will know exactly what that is.
Pratt, D.D., Collins, J.B. (2014). Teaching Perspectives Inventory. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingperspectives.com/tpi/