Teaching

Philosophy

My teaching philosophy has been most significantly shaped through my undergraduate and graduate training in the field of psychology and my formal and informal interactions with colleagues in other academic disciplines.  From these experiences, I have come to believe that teaching involves a broad set of behaviors that include not only those exhibited in classrooms, but also those associated with less formal and structured learning environments.  These behaviors create conditions in which students and instructors can acquire substantive knowledge, develop professional skills, and strive toward defining themselves as individuals.

From my perspective, students should be actively engaged in the process of professional development.  This is not something to be learned in a particular class or course, but rather develops over time and across different situations.  For example, my assumption is that graduate teaching assistants will observe the attitudes and behaviors I exhibit toward my undergraduate students and classes and will, in turn, incorporate those attitudes and behaviors in their own interactions.  Similarly, it is not enough to tell graduate students that they should be actively engaged in research, but rather they should observe me reading, writing, doing analyses, and submitting manuscripts for publication.  The mixed message created when words and deeds of a teacher are out of synch leads students to feel frustrated and unsure about expectations.

Importantly, classroom experiences are also of paramount importance.  My philosophy of classroom teaching is guided by four primary themes.  First, there is no one best method for conveying information.  Lectures, discussions, and class exercises can all be effective in facilitating student learning.  Most effective learning occurs when core concepts are presented using more than one method such that the material is likely to connect with different individuals.  Further, multiple forms of presentation serve to reinforce key material.  Second, clear performance expectations and performance standards are critical.  When students struggle to understand what is required from them, learning is often sacrificed due to more “administratively-oriented” concerns.  That is, students spend more time trying to figure out how to navigate the course than trying to learn and integrate the material.  Third, students learn best when they take an active role.  Opportunities to apply course material are an essential element.  Students who are challenged to take concepts and apply them to actual problems develop a better working knowledge of the material than those who simply try to remember terms and definitions. Fourth, peer interaction is a critical element in creating a learning environment.  Particularly at the graduate level, students often learn more from their peers than they do from any particular instructor.

Honors

         Tulane President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching (2004)

Courses Taught

        Undergraduate
            Psychological Testing and Measurement 
            Introduction to I/O Psychology 
            Personnel Selection 
            Forensic Psychology

        Graduate
            Research Methods
            Psychometrics
            Multivariate Statistics
            Personnel Selection
            Training
            Occupational Health and Safety
            Graduate Statistics I
            Graduate Statistics II
            Structural Equation Modeling
            Survey Design and Implementation

         MBA
            Training and Development
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