My philosophy of teaching and learning

Below, I outline my philosophy of teaching, developed after careful study of teaching methods, attendance at several education-focused workshops, and through trial and error while putting the methods into practice!

I see teaching as a conversation between me and my students, the sources of material, and the scientific process.  It is an opportunity to energise both students and teachers with a passion for their work and to facilitate learning through mutual support, development and feedback.  

When I think back to the teaching experiences I enjoyed most as a student, the best ones always had teachers who conveyed enthusiasm, communicating the fun of their ideas and experiences to engage their audience.  By seeming real and approachable, they brought their teaching into a more tractable realm and made learning interactive and enjoyable.  Of course, if I'm not excited about my field, how can I expect my students to be?  

I want my students to leave my classrooms having enjoyed the learning process.  I want them to use this enjoyment to foster continued enthusiasm for science and to apply an inquisitive mindset to their everyday lives.  Rather than just supply students with static facts, I believe that I will serve them best by combining knowledge acquisition with transferable skill development.  I achieve this by trying to consider the scientist beyond the student when designing course curricula (e.g. always providing context, and trying to build scientific skills alongside conceptual knowledge).  To cater to the diversity of my students, I employ a variety of teaching methods with interactive assessment during classes.  For example, I complement lecture and discussion/group learning with technological methods (e.g., live coding) and use one-minute papers to obtain feedback for each session that I then use to inform future classes.

My interest in not just teaching, but teaching well, is exemplified by my attempts to further my professional development in teaching and strive for my own evolution as an innovative and engaging teacher.