Laura's Teaching Philosophy

I think that learning should be fun, engaging, and challenging.  I am a proponent of the inquiry-based learning model where students are challenged to critically think and find solutions to challenges rather than to merely memorize and regurgitate facts.  I also find that hands-on learning aids students in understanding and remembering concepts.  Particularly with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, students should be encouraged to explore research questions they find interesting and to apply the scientific method in figuring them out.

I have been a Core Member of the Open Science Network in Ethnobiology where I worked with other educators in exploring creative and efficacious approaches to teaching STEM content and in creating standards for ethnobiological lessons, courses, and curricula.  We host free workshops at many of the major conferences of the biological and social sciences and encourage teachers at all levels to join our network.  We support open sharing of teaching materials and methods--teachers can find content on our site that may be of use and are encouraged to likewise share materials they think may be of use to others.   If you are interested in joining our network, please contact me at: