teaching philosophy:alternative pedagogy & art.

(essay in progress; more to come...)

Teaching philosophy

“ Because I enjoy thinking, and I love the people with whom I have been privileged to do it…." -- Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich

Learning is a creative act, where the participants, the learner and the teacher, are actively engaged as participants. Learning occurs where there is discovery, and the student is key in shaping that experience. The role of the educator is to help shape and guide that discovery by offering one’s own knowledge and experience. As Paulo Freire says in Pedagogy in Process: The Letters to Guinea-Bissau, “Authentic help means that all who are involved help each other mutually, growing together in the common effort to understand the reality which they seek to transform."

Engaged pedagogy is a commitment to creative and critical thinking. It requires imagining into new ways of thinking, and for allowing for the uniqueness of our individual experiences as essential to that process. When a person is so engaged, they are changed, transformed. Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich says, “A transforming vision of knowledge expresses our realization that humans are natal as well as mortal, that the human condition of plurality is made visible in a free public life, that we need that plurality for knowledge that approaches comprehensiveness…"

There is a reciprocity in engaged pedagogy, a relationship of exchange. It is a shared effort by the learner and the educator to create a learning environment that is meaningful and enriched. This reciprocity aims to create an environment that encourages curiosity, inquiry, and exploration, and which aims to understand and situate one own intimate experience within a larger, more universal context.