Teaching Philosophy

My perspectives on teaching have evolved as I spend time in the classroom. I see my students as inquiring, curious, and demanding. They have high expectations for the quality of instruction, and want to be actively involved in the learning process. In addition, they want to understand how the results of their instruction can be applied to "real life" situations. I also feel it is important that students understand the "global nature" of many of the issues we discuss.

Accordingly, my classes are designed with certain goals in mind. First, scholarship is important. I read current journal articles so that my students can learn the most up-to-date developments in the field, and research papers encourage their independent exploration of the literature. Secondly, questioning and exploration are integral components of my classes. Exploratory questions are posed and discussions are moderated to facilitate class interest and understanding of the material. Group and individual projects are designed to encourage students to conduct research, interpret data, and make presentations. Finally, case studies facilitate problem-solving and application. The use of films, speakers, and the internet serve to highlight important issues from both scientific and global communities.

In summary, I view learning as a facilitated "process", in which both the professor and the student are active participants.

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Created: August 6, 1996
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