I will be on the job market, again, next year. I am looking for a position that emphasizes teaching. I wrote a new teaching statement each year for the past two years since I just graduated with my Ph.D. last year, and I am relatively new to teaching, my teaching philosphy continually changes.

I am including writing a teaching statement that includes references. My teaching statement usually includes a narration of what I actually do in class, and explanation of assignments I give. Education research also informs how I do things in class, and I would like to justify why I do things with references to education papers.

I am in mathematics, and I notice that a lot of math teaching statements do not include references, which makes me think this is out of the norm.

Will my teaching statement be stronger if I provide references? Or will this be unusual and better be left out of my statement?

  • 2
    Are you looking for primarily teaching-oriented or research-oriented positions? The optimal strategy depends heavily on this.
    – user37208
    May 4, 2016 at 21:05
  • A mostly teaching-oriented position. I'll edit my post to clarify.
    – Felix Y.
    May 4, 2016 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


It is unusual for teaching statements in math to have references, but this is because it is unusual to refer to the education literature. However, I think doing this can strengthen your statement, provided the references are few. It shows that you care enough to seek out good teaching strategies. But you want to show you have your own thoughts and ideas about teaching, which may have been formed in part by others' work, but are should also come your own experiences and experimenting. You also don't want to make it less friendly to read by getting too "technical."

  • That's a good suggestion about not putting only few references. I do want my teaching statement to look friendly, but not like a research paper. I wasn't sure how my statement would be taken if it included references, or if it is the norm in other academic areas.
    – Felix Y.
    May 5, 2016 at 15:47
  • You should cite your sources.
  • It is good you have read the education literature.
  • This will not make a big difference.

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