3-D Design Class, Gavilan College
Statement of Teaching Philosophy
I believe that teaching is the most important contribution to society that I can make. I want to help my students discover their strong suits and a path towards their aspirations.
Just as in my own studio practice, I employ the use of many processes and idea development strategies as support for any chosen concept. My courses also emphasize an awareness of contemporary art, art history and the vocabulary of art.
I have observed two prevailing obstacles to student’s learning; being productive and being receptive. The task for me is how to instill confidence in their abilities and heighten their self expectations, without pacifying or rubber-stamping them. I strive to make the studio a genuine, robust working environment, which fosters community and facilitates student work. To lessen the stress of the classroom/studio I encourage collegiality among the students, and between the students and myself. This differs from a friendship as a respected, valued relationship with its own dynamic.
I have worked in many occupations and lived in many places. It is my belief that the essential content of any art studio course, the act of making something, is empowering in and of itself. I’ve discovered that studio art courses have the unique ability to mitigate many of the problems associated with learning disabilities. Moreover, they give ESL, kinesthetic and visual learners an alternative experience to lecture classes. For students in other disciplines as physics, anthropology and nursing, they are opportunities to have hands-on experiences that greatly enhance their curriculums. Studio courses impart to all students an invaluable skill set: confronting a problem, designing a solution, creating the solution, and strategies for doing so in the future.
For me personally, teaching art has been something like revealing an ancient mystery. It is a revelation that is based on the transfiguration of materials from an idea or an impulse to a tangible, engaging object. Yet after each semester, the metamorphosis of student from apprehensive to self-determined individual is evident and is education at its best.