As an artist, educator, and researcher, I am interested in creating inclusive spaces for expression, at the same time being deeply committed to the value of an artistic education, not only for art itself, but because of the deep connections to other subjects. Math and science have obvious connections through my research, but my focus with teacher-candidates is on how art can be a meaningful part of any classroom space. My teaching philosophy revolves around creating an inclusive, rigorous, and interactive art making environment. The space I create challenges students to experiment and think beyond their own personal experience, while at the same time allowing them to build on their individual strengths. I enjoy teaching both theoretical and practical visual art and design courses, but whatever the course, my teaching philosophy rests on three pillars: 1) inclusivity and student engagement, 2) flexibility within exploration, and 3) the intersection of theory and practice. I believe one reason my teaching reviews have been consistently very positive is because of these guiding principles.
First, all my classes are designed to be interactive, inclusive spaces where students can take ownership over the material we cover. Whether it is a small graduate class, larger undergraduate class, or primary/secondary classes, I encourage students to talk, debate, critically assess the material we are covering, and bring their own world experience into the discussion. Second, I take great pride in designing and implementing courses that both fit and evolve with the particular needs of students and the changing reality of artistic practice. As a multi-disciplinary artist, I encourage students to explore and experiment and find their own ‘voice’, whether it is through supporting research-creation projects or experimenting with different forms of making. I am a flexible teacher in that I am willing to tailor classes to fit the unique mix of each class. While I have very high standards in terms of what I expect students to produce, I am also very sympathetic to their individual needs and experiences. Finally, my goal as a teacher is to have students understand that theory is not something separate from practice, but rather is a way to understand and assess the work artists and craftspersons do and their role in society.