Statement of Teaching Philosophy

I believe in providing an opportunity for students to actively engage in learning and critical thinking. Institutions of higher learning have a responsibility to instill knowledge and engage students in the learning process. These two beliefs influence how I intend to instruct my classroom. I shall provide instruction based on goals and objectives established by the institution and department. My instruction will be organized to allow me to review ideas, introduce new concepts, give students an opportunity to explore and test their understanding, and finally reinforce the most important ideas.

Biological anthropology students use the laboratory setting to further explore and test the material covered in the lecture. This is the opportunity to experience the material and explore the information in a kinesthetic way. Working individually and in groups will allow students to test their hypotheses about the evolutionary origins of our species. Students shall engage in private learning and in group activities to reinforce concepts and ideas about how the human species and ancestors have changed through time. Students will explore ideas from the lecture with models and exercises designed to test hypotheses. As the instructor, it is my responsibility to encourage students to apply their knowledge and develop their own hypotheses, which can then be analyzed and evaluated by the class.

As an instructor in a classroom, I have the responsibility to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Students engage in university learning, expecting to learn skills and be better prepared for their lives as professionals in various capacities and industries. Higher education is responsible for ensuring that students have an opportunity to learn in a safe setting. My role as an instructor is to facilitate learning in an environment that is challenging, actively engages students and promotes critical thinking.

Teaching Narrative

My role as an educator is to provide students with an opportunity to actively engage in the learning process and meet the learning objectives established for the course, department, and institution. In practice, I intend to follow the principles of backward course design when creating a syllabus and curating a reading list for courses that I am responsible for. In general, most class sessions will follow the following format:

  • mini-lecture
  • group or individual activity or discussion
  • group or individual presentation
  • mini-lecture
  • evaluation

Assigned homework will ask students to generate ideas about the content ahead of class to give students an opportunity to explore the material independently before being exposed to the group. Essays and exams will evaluate how well students can demonstrate their understanding of content as described in the course or assignment objectives. Writing assignments will be accompanied by rubrics, provided at the beginning of the semester along with the syllabus, to inform students about the expectations of the assignment and how it will be graded.

Class activities will be focused on allowing students to test their ideas about the content in a safe space, and student presentations will provide opportunities to excel at effectively communicating ideas.

As the persons responsible for providing the opportunity for student learning, I make myself available to students by offering a variety of times for office hours and responding promptly to all student inquiries.