Last updated January 2010.
I will not be updating this site regularly.
I believe students should develop their ideas and hone their skills in a climate of academic freedom; without fear of unorthodoxy, and free of interference.
I believe that students learn skills, professional behaviour, and standards of scholarship through the role model of their instructor and classmates.
I believe that students have the right to expect that I will maintain and update my skills and knowledge, and that the most current knowledge and interpretations are being taught.
I believe that students have the right to expect that evaluation and feedback given them is a true and sincere measure of their knowledge and skill level.
I believe students need opportunities to learn from various teaching styles to meet their individual needs. However, any single instructor need not provide all teaching styles to all students on demand. I believe it is sufficient to explain my teaching approach and standards in a clear and explicit manner, and to advice students of the availability of alternative instruction opportunities.
I believe that the duties and responsibilities of professors are different for first-year or first-time students than they are for senior undergraduate and graduate students. My approach is to lecture and hold in-class discussions when class size precludes seminars or individual tutorials.
I believe that the responsibility for learning by senior and graduate students lies primarily with the student. The role of the professor is to guide, to assist, to discuss, to suggest, and to mentor rather than to transfer mere information. My approach with small size classes is a seminar/workshop format or individual tutoring.
I believe that the relationship between students and professors should be a professional one in which each accords the other due respect and consideration with respect to keeping appointments, forms of address, and decorum at all times.
On Preparation and Prerequisites
In general, for essay style answers and term paper assignments, I assign a grade of C or C+ to work that demonstrates average competence and grasp of the material, and which is well presented and well written. I then assess whether the work demonstrates: (1) superior research or analysis; (2) superior writing, structure and presentation; or (3) superior conception or insight. The presence of any of these elements raises the the mark by one letter grade, so that the presence of all three elements will earn an A. Creativity and originality beyond this will merit an A+, which I regarded as a rare grade rather than "highest" grade.
I subscribe to the notion of a minimum "standard" that should be met. Therefore, I do not "mark on a curve"; that is, I do not have a preconceived distribution of grades. Unless the class size is large enough, and the class enrollment procedure leads to a sample for which distribution curve types or shapes are known, I find no justification for any sort of mandatory curve in determining final grades.
|Teaching Philosophy | Course Outlines | Current Research | Publications | Curriculum Vitae | Links|