So this semester I received some nice comments on my student evaluations. Would it be a good idea to quote a couple of these in my teaching philosophy? On the one hand it could serve as a way to show (rather then tell) what students think of my teaching style, but on the other hand I think most places ask for teaching evaluations so maybe it would be redundant.
If the comments tie-in to and support your core teaching philosophy, then include them. Otherwise, omit. A good teaching statement demonstrates that a candidate has a particular focus, approach, and guiding set of principles to teaching, mentoring, and managing the classroom.
From my experience with my teaching statement and having read many others, sometimes incorporating student comments can cause the statement to read more like "hey, I'm a good teacher - here's proof."
No one ever says "Oh, these candidates are equal but this candidate included 5 comments from students who really enjoyed class, let's interview them". It doesn't matter…. Just be you and do what feels right…
My statement is all written by me with no quotes, however I have asked students to write me a recommendation letter before to include as supplementary material with my teaching portfolio. SCs have often commented explicitly on how that was a nice touch and how a letter says a lot more than evaluations do - something to consider.
I don't think "it doesn't matter" is a fair statement. At a very research-focused department, the teaching philsophy in general might indeed have little bearing on whether or not you are hired. But, I don't think it's fair to say that X or Y "doesn't matter". Overall, with the teaching philosophy statement you are making the case that you are a good teacher. If you can best do that by waxing poetic about your teaching philosophy or your past teaching experience, then do that. If you can do it best by using quotes from students, do that instead. I agree that no one approach guarantees a hire, but I also don't think any one approach means you won't get hired.
Consider also that many teaching-heavy jobs will ask for "evidence of teaching" effectiveness in addition to wanting your philosophy. This is especially where you are expected to provide things such as course evals, letters from students, pull quotes, etc. But, that does suggest that these things are perhaps less important at more research-oriented places.
Only use quotes if they're short, insightful, and really awesome. "X was my best teacher" or "I really loved Y project and the excitement that X brought to the course" aren't worth it.
Instead of using exact quotes, it might make more sense to provide a descriptive summary of the types of comments you get. For example, "In my teaching evaluations, students frequently comment that they appreciate my course assignments, the fairness of my grading, my willingness to go above and beyond with extra help / office hours, and my sense of humor."
Although people do prefer/weigh concrete examples over general ideas, I do see some of the above comments' side of things too. Specific quotes might feel very cherry-picked. Summative information might have more power for psychologists who are used to considering summative data over single datum points.
I will not quote students in my teaching philosophy because I don't think it's the right place for this. Instead, When I submit my actual evaluations I will add at the end a few of the comments I got teaching this class. I scan all my evaluations so I can show comments in its original handwriting. I don't think it makes a big impact but I don't think it hurts.
We request student evaluations and weigh heavily the quantitative evals. We aren't going to read 20 pages of scanned handwritten comments, so it is helpful when there is a summary of general comments…
My *personal* preference is when they are included in the teaching philosophy where you illustrate your techniques through student comments.