Differentiation and constructivist learning are vital keys to my teaching philosophy. My commitments to art-making, education, and professional teaching experiences are the foundations of the unique perspective I bring to the role of a visual arts faculty member. This growth and applied experiences allow me to bring my own creative endeavors into meaningful dialogue with my teaching practice in a technical, theoretical, and historical foundation of contemporary art practice. As I continue to learn and be inspired by the creative community, I want this for my students.
Crafting a curriculum that all students can access, I develop courses that invite students with a broad range of interests and from diverse backgrounds. These activities expand on their own educational experience by facilitating exploring other methods and points of view within studio practice and contemporary art as an academic field. Hands-on, personalized choice with assignments that reflect student interest increases retention, engagement, and meaningful content. The instructor serves as a guide through discussions and critiques, encouraging risk-taking with original ideas and support of critical thinking and artistic problem-solving. Students are challenged by an atmosphere that prioritizes inquiry and is supported by a thoughtful construction of positive classroom culture through initial and ongoing team-building activities. A sense of trust is built for students to feel supported in taking risks and potentially expanding their studio practice.
Asking pertinent questions and following the threads of research (which encompass seeing art exhibitions firsthand, site-specific visits, interviews, and films as well as text, to name a few resources) are an invaluable part of my personal art-making process. With this in mind, I actively build foundational structures in the classroom which encourage multiple methodologies and be carried forward into a student’s future core practices. Assignments utilize common essential questions, readings, and structured framework within the syllabus. Still, students have the flexibility to discover new and interesting themes they want to pursue with those over-arching questions in mind, allowing for deeper conversations within the group. Sharing work through critiques, readings, presentations, discussions, and research into art practices drives the curriculum and serves as a peer-support system. Students practice how to speak thoughtfully and articulately about their own work and the work of others in constructive and respectful ongoing dialogues.