Teaching Philosophy

My personal teaching philosophy is centered on an active learning style, which attempts to educate the whole person. Rather than compartmentalizing knowledge I prefer to present challenges that require students to draw on their own experiences and incorporate knowledge from other disciplines. Educating the whole person also means that each student is treated as a valued individual. To achieve this end, I employ the Socratic method, constantly asking questions and soliciting feedback, and I make sure to let students know that their input is appreciated.

My primary goal in the classroom is to empower my students and help them find the tools to solve problems for themselves. Demonstrating techniques and presenting information is only part of the picture, and takes a back seat to what I see as my primary role: facilitating. The students are the ones who actually do the work, and I view myself as a mentor who helps them find solutions to the problem in front of them. I accomplish this active learning by constantly presenting problems for students that may not have a clear solution.  By attempting to solve the unsolvable, the process itself provides important lessons and increases resourcefulness and hands-on knowledge. 

This teaching style is a non-linear process for a non-linear practice. Art making is not math, it does not have simple right and wrong answers. The best artists are those who have a thorough knowledge of their materials and can skillfully use the visual to communicate ideas and emotions, and my teaching style is aimed at building artists like this.