My Teaching Philosophy

As stated by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” My teaching philosophy is based on the belief that design education has the power to make a personal impact on both the student and the communities in which they choose to work.

As the field of design evolves, design education must evolve correspondingly with the needs of society. In the world today many societal problems plague our daily lives: how do we design prescription pill bottles so the elderly can read safely consequently saving their life, how does environmental design affect the safety of a crowded airport and the timeliness of an emergency evacuation?

By working in the field of design today students should be encouraged to think of their role in making these visual communication tools more legible and understandable to all audiences. I believe the student of the future will no longer solely have an end goal of getting a paid position in the design field, but rather to use their talents to make a difference in society.

Whether they focus their work on branding or illustration, I aim to encourage thorough thought in the processes in which they create the end product. Focus is placed on materials and the lifecycle of those materials. The end product and its recyclability is also a key component placed on the research and design phases.

TeachingPage_students1

With the understanding that not all students learn the same way, multiple formats of instruction are incorporated into my daily meetings. The three types of learning are utilized in the classroom to reach all students through auditory, kinesthetic, and visual methods. In class lectures reach the auditory learners through utilization of vocal instruction. Kinesthetic methods of learning come into play when working in the studio to create outside of the computer. From the correct way to use an xacto knife, to the best way to build a portfolio box out of found materials, this tool has proven to be successful in studio to allow for hands on instruction. Visual learning, the easiest style of the three styles to utilize in the art and design field is applied in many ways to my classroom discussions. With the overwhelming accessibility to media today, I encourage students to create mood boards for projects and to maintain a digital journal of online links for future reference.

I educate my students on the importance of creating an applicable online appearance for their future in the design field. Through the use of networking sites in the field such as AIGA and also construction and design of their own professional portfolio website, students are given the utmost attention on professionalism as they work on their design problems. Each week discussions on current events in the field of design are proposed. Through this introduction students are asked to create a conversation about the topic.

I will always challenge my students to get out of a state of disregard and find something they are passionate about. At the early stage of freshman and sophomore years when asked the question “what are you passionate about?” often times little or no response is given by the student. Yet the same students often come back later to thank me for challenging them to find the answer. When my students are able to look at the world and see it as an open palette with motivation to make a difference; I have succeeded as an educator. At the end of the day, the most rewarding part of my profession is to have a student return to share how they made a difference through design.

TeachingPage_students2