Brief Statement of My Teaching Philosophy
As an educator, my primary objectives are threefold. First, I seek to convey to my students the value of a lifelong intellectual curiosity about the world around them. I believe that an understanding of science as inquiry-based is fundamental to quality education. I want my students to understand the fundamental importance of observation and of having questions, and to understand that science is a unique and powerful approach to answering those questions. I enjoy sharing my passion for discovery with my students by incorporating my own interdisciplinary research interests into my teaching, and my experience as a student and researcher has taught me that interdisciplinary approaches to education are invaluable for creating new worldviews. Second, I wish to give my students an opportunity to see the world – and their place in it – in an entirely different way. I have come to see Geoscience as a particularly good vehicle for achieving this goal, since through the study of geology we enjoy a reality that is spatially and temporally beyond our everyday experience. Sharing this alternate worldview with my students is something I enjoy immensely and in turn, I hope to learn from the life experiences each of them brings to the classroom. Finally, I wish to share with my students the importance of critical thinking and problem-solving as skills that extend beyond a college science course. A fundamental goal I have for my teaching is to more directly encourage my students to move beyond the stage of analysis and interpretation, and on to action. That is, I want to help my students realize and implement concrete ways that they can apply their newfound knowledge to make positive changes both locally and globally.
Courses I teach at Boise State:
GEOS 100 – Fundamentals of Geology
GEOS 101 – Global Environmental Science
GEOS 102 – Historical Geology
GEOS 315 – Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
GEOS 482 (002) – Geology Field Camp