My teaching philosophy is based on my faith that people possess an innate capacity to grow, learn and become more of whom they already are (Rogers, 1994). My role as a teacher is a model of an adult learner who continually gains expertise, professes the discipline taught (Neusner 1996) and facilitates learning while demanding academic standards. More specifically, my role is to assist students in their critical thinking, to encourage questioning, thinking, curiosity and communication skills.
I believe that curricula and lesson plans must be developed in such a way that they encourage student responsibility for their own success. I don't give grades; students earn them within the structure and standards that I design guided by the requirements of the academic institution or college.
My teaching philosophy includes my definition of the college in which learning can occur. A college exists to provide a safe, facilitative and supportive environment; a learning community whose activities are shared by administrators, classified employees, faculty and students. The college plans its curricula in response to academic standards and the perceived needs of students who can benefit educationally and economically. That is, the students interact with and affect the function of the college and vice versa; each can influence or change the other. This reciprocally determined relationship is ever-evolving as the college assesses student needs, and anticipates and plans for the future of its diverse student body within its community.
It is also my teaching philosophy that a reciprocal relationship exists between disciplines and that academic colleagues (administrators, staff and faculty) enrich each other and students by interdisciplinary events.
In summary, my teaching philosophy is that an ever-growing, ever-evolving relationship exists between the institution, faculty and students. As we teach and students learn, we as faculty learn from the instructional process itself as well as our students. As long as I can say, daily, "Isn't it wonderful to be able to do this work," my students will join me in this excitement and participate in their own learning.
Rogers, C. Freiberg, H.J. (1994) Freedom to learn. New York: Merrill (Macmillan College Publishing Company).
Neusner, J. (1996) "Grading your professors." In J. Gordon (Ed.). The University in Your Life. Madison: Brown & Benchmark.