Invitation to reflect on your teaching & participate in research (in just 20 min)

Project title: Reflecting on teaching: Evaluating the usefulness of the Teaching Perspectives Inventory for academic librarians

The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) is a free, online, self-report instrument whose purpose is to help teachers reflect on and articulate their teaching approaches, e.g. for teaching evaluations or for the creation of statements of teaching philosophy. It is also seen as helpful in better understanding colleagues’ teaching approaches and in prompting discussion. As of 2010 (the last date for which this data has been reported), more than 100,000 teachers in K-12 and higher education had taken the TPI (Collins & Pratt, 2010).

The purpose of this exploratory study is to evaluate whether the TPI is a useful instrument for reflection in the contexts of academic librarians’ teaching.

If you’re interested, please do the following:

1) Take the TPI at  (approx. 10 minutes). You’ll get your results immediately.

2) Complete an anonymous survey about your results and your reflection on the results (approx. 10 minutes) at Consent is implied by your completion of the survey.

Benefits: You’ll get to reflect on your teaching in a way that may be new to you and contribute to research.

This study has been approved by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board.

More information on the TPI

The TPI is based on phenomenographic research (Pratt,1992; Pratt & Associates, 1998) that examined teachers’ actions, intentions, and beliefs (as reported in interviews and through observation) and found that teachers held five qualitatively different perspectives on teaching. The perspectives are differentiated by the way the relationships between teacher, learners, and content are conceptualized. Each perspective is seen as a valid approach to teaching. The perspectives are also seen as contextual, that is, in different contexts the same individual may hold different perspectives.

The five perspectives are:

  • Transmission — “Effective teaching requires a substantial commitment to the content or subject matter.”
  • 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.”



Collins, J. B., & Pratt, D. D. (2010). The Teaching Perspectives Inventory at 10 years and 100,000 respondents: Reliability and validity of a teacher self-report inventory. Adult Education Quarterly, 61(4), 358–375. doi:10.1177/0741713610392763

Pratt, D. (1992). Conceptions of teaching. Adult Education Quarterly, 42, 203–220. doi:10.1177/074171369204200401

Pratt, D. D., & Associates. (1998). Five perspectives on teaching in adult and higher education. Malabar, FL: Krieger




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