Teaching Philosophy

Learning is driven by curiosity, but sometimes we don’t know what questions to ask and what phenomena exist to be questioned and understood. My role as a teacher is to facilitate the exploration of curiosity and inquiry, to present students with analytical and factual subject matter that can then be explored through evaluating, questioning, and creating. It’s not enough to have an idea, we have to explore the idea, challenge it, experiment with it. 

My teaching philosophy is that hands on, project-based experiences solidify understanding. It’s important that students have the experience within the framework of a project that has a tangible beginning, middle and end. Creating is the pinnacle of Bloom’s taxonomy and is what every course should result in. Assignments should have creative elements that solidify the knowledge and understanding gained from the information presented in the classroom. 

All of the courses I teach are project based. The projects have some material and process restrictions with a lot of room for creativity and personalization. I use a mixture of presentation-style lecture with tangible examples and hands-on time in the shop. Through formal and informal critique, students learn to give and take constructive criticism. I believe students need the space to fail safely and succeed humbly. I strive to foster an environment for honest self reflection on the intention, integrity, and outcome of each project. This effort is exemplified by my work developing and operating UNC Asheville’s STEAM Studio.

My goal is to extend project based experiences into the community in which students live, to give them an access point to serve that community with place based and stakeholder centered problem solving