Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is based on my participation in the science education community over the past twenty years.  My philosophy of how students learn can be summarized with  two basic ideas.

1)  Students learn best when they are actively engaged in hands-on  heads-on learning activities.  My courses are designed to provide students with many interactive engagement learning activities that place the student at the center of learning cycle.  Examples of such interactive engagement activities include: laboratory activities; web based use of models, data, and animations; use of an electronic student response system in lecture; and traditional homework problems & thought questions of varying complexity.  As an instructor I can introduce students to key ideas to get them started and help guide them through the learning process when they run into trouble. 

2) Students must understand that they are responsible for their own learning.  Identification of their personal learning styles, and developing study skills and habits are all important aspects of this.  As an instructor I try to help students learn what works best for them by providing them with a variety of learning resources, texts, lectures, online tutorials and animations, writing activities, thought questions, and videos.

3)  Learning key science concepts requires a spiral approach.  At the beginning of the course key concepts will be introduced at a basic level and then these concepts will be revisited throughout the course to not only increase the student's depth and breadth of science content understanding but to also increase the cognitive level of understanding