I believe learning is a lifelong process; a process that teachers undergo along with their students. Accordingly, my approach to teaching starts from my desire to be instrumental in enabling fellow learners to reach their goals. I believe that every single one of my students is capable of succeeding, and I communicate this belief to my students. Whereas it would be naïve to believe that every student can perform at the highest level, it is not naïve to believe that every student can reach his or her personal learning goals. As a teacher, my role is to encourage the students to set high learning goals for themselves, to instill in them confidence in their capability to reach such goals, and to provide the means for reaching these goals.
To enable students learn the fundamental course content, my role in the classroom is to provide a review of relevant scientific theories, concepts and processes, and - more importantly - to teach students how to evaluate these theories, concepts and processes. That is, in addition to learning the course content, I would like my students to become reflective thinkers who assess evidence critically but openly, who question assumptions and examine alternatives, and who know how to learn and think for themselves.
Because learning is an active collaborative process involving teachers and students, and takes place in a specific societal context, I encourage both individual contributions and peer instruction activities, and I attempt to relate class concepts to issues from the broader communities around us. It is up to me to provide the opportunity for individual contributions to be heard. I believe the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students can provide excellent opportunities for relating class material to the broader business or societal communities, thus enhancing the educational experience. Given the opportunity, it is up to the students to make individual contributions. Peer instruction activities such as group discussions or assignments give students the opportunity to interact with each other and practice interpersonal and communication skills, and also give them more control over the learning process.
I recognize that students learn in different ways and I strive to find innovative ways of teaching that address the diverse needs of all of my students. I provide the opportunity to participate in a mixture of lecture, discussion, group activities, team projects, and individual assignments, and I generally believe that students should decide for themselves how to distribute their course effort and involvement across these particular participation opportunities.
Finally, I respect students as individuals with valuable experiences and worthwhile opinions. I expect students to treat their peers and me with the same respect. I am grateful to have the opportunity to facilitate others' learning, and I will strive to the best of my ability to help them reach their goals.