Mr. Duggan's Website

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that all students can reach success with enough time and deliberate practice.  Dr. Ericsson outlined this concept in his book “Peak,” that informs much of my teaching philosophy. (If you would like to hear him talk about his book and findings check out this podcast)  In "Peak", he discusses how everyone can be an expert if they spend enough time engaging in intentional practice.   My primary role as an instructor is not to teach students directly, but to provide opportunities for deliberate practice.  As they practice individually and in groups, I am continually looking for opportunities to instruct, correct, support, and encourage each student as they discover mathematics, and perhaps something about themselves as well.

I center my grading and assessment strategies around mastery learning as outlined by Myron Dueck in his book “Grading Smarter Not Harder.”  Dueck describes mistakes as a necessary part of learning.  As such, students receive many opportunities to make mistakes, reflect, and use these opportunities to grow stronger mathematically.  As mistakes are expected, students are given multiple opportunities to show that they have mastered the material.  This method allows me to be flexible around a student’s learning needs.  With this system I can minimize failures, encourage risk taking, and reward students who are willing to persevere through learning challenges. 

It is my passion to help support students as they mature through learning.  Although math is the lens, my goal is to focus children to grow emotionally and intellectually as we prepare them for life beyond high school.