The Teaching Perspectives Inventory

The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) is based on Kember's (1997) research where he found only four substantively different perspectives of teaching in higher education.  Pratt, Collins and Selinger  (2001) uncovered a fifth perspective and used these perspectives to create the TPI. Perspectives are different then teaching styles or methods. A perspective includes the beliefs and values that drive delivery of instruction.

Over two decades ago, Pratt, Collins and Selinger (2001) developed 45 items representing scales for each perspective:  transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing and social reform.  The scales test whether the participants' perspective is evident as actions, intentions, and/or beliefs.

Some suggested purposes of taking the TPI include: self-reflection on personal beliefs and values as they relate to teaching, anticipation of a teaching evaluation, preparation for observing and evaluating peer and confirmation that there is more then one right way to teach. The TPI is now provided free through a web-based delivery - including an analysis that is emailed to each participant.  Helpful videos demonstrating how to analyze the results are also provided.

When I took the TPI my three highest scores were in apprenticeship, developmental and nurturing.  A high score in social reform is unusual.  One of the most interesting part of the test is to examine differences between beliefs, intentions and actions. For example, in nurturing, my highest score, my beliefs and intentions are equally high but my actions are a little lower.  This could mean that I want to promote a climate of caring and trust but I have more work to do so that I am following through on my intentions.   In apprenticeship I had similar results so I must watch for good intentions, not as much action!  In the developmental category where learning is planned and conducted from the learner's point of view my intentions, beliefs and actions are equal.


Kember, D. (1997). A reconceptualisation of the research into university academics' conceptions of teaching. Learning and instruction, 7(3), 255-275.

Pratt, D. D., Collins, J. B., & Selinger, S. J. (2001, April). Development and use of the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI). In annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle Washington.