Many of the components that comprise my personal teaching philosophy are universal: they are just as appropriate today as they were years ago. Certainly, many of the tools have changed, but the fundamental constructs central to an effective teaching philosophy remain constant.
These include the ongoing identification of how to best teach current skills while preparing students for inevitable future change, ensuring that the curricula provides a solid foundation for the next phase in a student’s life, and creating the optimum classroom environment to achieve these pedagogical goals. Finally, continual improvement is a recognized as a requisite aspect of the teaching philosophy.
While there is certainly a place for pure technical skills in education, the university experience needs to stand apart from such vocational institutions where the curriculum is comprised of pure applications. One important way to distinguish the university education is to realize that learning is ongoing and lifelong. Students are likely to experience major technological paradigm shifts in their careers, therefore, in addition to teaching currently relevant and sought after skills, I endeavor to bring to the classroom the knowledge underlying those skills. The goal is to prepare students for inevitable future changes that will impact the industry: such students will be better positioned to adjust accordingly. The goal here is not only preparing students with the skills necessary to maintain meaningful employment, but also with the ability to boldly lead the next generation in the media sciences. Lessons focus on both the ability to demonstrate that skill with presently available tools, and the building blocks which underlie those specific skills.
Further, students need to be prepared for the next phases in their life, be it in academia with an advanced degree or in professional pursuits. University students should be challenged beyond their present level. In response to this, lectures often include information that will be germane in the workplace and in graduate school. This advanced information may mean little in terms of grade determination in the current class, however astute students will likely have a future appreciation for exposure to these concepts.