Statement of Teaching Philosophy

I believe it is important to first distinguish between learning and being taught. To be taught is to be directed to repeat some previously prescribed information or action. For example, people are taught to read by being told that certain letters arranged in certain ways correspond to a particular word. On the other hand, learning is the growth of one's intellect and skill by trial and error. For example, people are not taught to walk, but learn by trying and falling, gradually improving with practice. The more one is taught, the more one can learn and vice versa. It is my objective as an instructor to move students toward becoming accomplished learners.

Unfortunately, in my experience, too many students think of the process for earning a degree as a necessary hoop to jump through rather than as the process that will help them to develop into accomplished learners. As a result, many students grow tired of higher education because they do not recognize how much of the work that they are expected to do helps them to pursue their goals. In other words, students wait to be taught how to become professionals instead of realizing how they are being given the opportunity to grow as a learner. As a result of this, I try to help students understand how their coursework promotes learning so that they will not only acquire knowledge, but also be able to utilize and create knowledge. To facilitate this, I look at many of the example problems from multiple points of view and encourage students that may have an alternative approach to solving problems.

Finally, as a College Instructor, I have been and must continue to be an authority in my field of study. Thus, I am an accomplished and continuous learner myself. I am sensitive to the development of knowledge in my field and attempt to, whenever possible, contribute to that knowledge. To be a member of the community of learning is a privilege because learning creates opportunities, which results in further privileges. My goal is to help students understand how this is the case and fully take on the opportunity to develop as learners.