TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Arthur Ward - 

Being one of the most prominent thinkers of his age, the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti argues that “there is no end of education,” and that “the whole of life … is a process of learning.” I cannot agree more with this argument. Therefore, I believe it is not important to teach students the right answer to a problem. What matters is having students develop a capacity for self-learning by engaging them in an inclusive, active and collaborative learning environment, in which the students can develop sound approach towards, and reasonable justification of, an answer. My overarching aspiration will be to teach students the importance of questioning evidence and train learners in the skills needed to analyze the logic of assumptions that go into specific models and ideas.

I want my students to leave the classroom not only with the relevant knowledge and skillset, but also with the capacity for self-monitoring and self-generation of new ideas, because learning is a life-long developmental process, and intuition is what will stay with students in the years to come. I will do my best to impart that to my students at every step. This has been traditionally challenging due to the discrepancy between how we learn science and how we teach science. The way most classes are taught these days gives us the impression that the objective of teaching is to have students attend the lectures, finish all assignments, complete reading the recommended books and pass the examinations. In most classrooms and labs, students learn knowledge and carry out experiments by following step by step directions. In such scenarios, it is hard for students to experience the joy of discovery, since every step is dictated. In my classroom, I would like implement research-based, learner-centered curriculum, with the principle that students should learn science by themselves.

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