"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit." - John Steinbeck

Philosophy:

Learners should derive long-term benefits from their time in my classes by continuing to grow and develop as scholars and practitioners. Rather than supply learners with static facts as Friere calls the banking method of education, I believe that I will serve them better by teaching them how to define a problem, how to decide what they need to solve it, how to find and evaluate new information, how to recognize their limits, and how to be prepared both for change and how to promote social change. I involve the learner in a creative thinking process through a Socratic dialogue that fosters critical thinking skills. I believe that learners should be active in the learning process to co-create the educational journey. I use the following pedagogical objectives:

  • to learn the fundamental content of the course
  • to foster critical thinking
  • to acquire life-long learning skills
  • to function effectively in an information economy
  • to develop problem-solving strategies in reference to contemporary, historical, and dilemma/decision cases related to the course content
  • to apply theory to real life examples
  • to develop professional oral and written communication skills
  • to work effectively in groups
  • to become an active learner

To keep learners involved and motivated, I use a combination of the following approaches: inquiry, group discussions, case studies, problem-based learning, and cooperative learning. Learning is enhanced, retention improved, and transactional distance reduced by creating a supportive community through fun games like "Family Feud" or "Jeopardy". Given that I think that learning is a socially constructed, I create opportunities for learners to collaborate with each other, as well as with me, to learn and gain expertise in applying or practicing the concepts learned in the classroom. It is my hope that students become empowered by their own learning and development as scholars.  I model this by earning the highest degree in my field, attending professional conferences, presenting at professional conferences, networking with colleagues, becoming a member of professional organizations, participating in training sessions, updating certifications, and continuing to publish books and journal articles in the field.

Commitment to Teaching:

I want learners to understand that the professional world they will inhabit. As professionals, they can make a difference through their work endeavors. My commitment is to teach the whole person, i.e., the cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions of the human being. I feel that an effective teacher helps each individual appreciate the potential that resides within all of us -- the potential to make the best use of our minds, our hearts, and those behaviors that can make the world a better place. It is healthy for learners to see that I do not have all the answers and that I must deal with contradictions about teaching and life just as they will. To embrace these contradictions and gaps in knowledge creates the opportunity for new understanding and alternate ways of looking at the world. Learners are the future intellectuals of this culture. As Ayn Rand states, "Professional intellectuals are the voice of a culture and are therefore, its leaders, its integrators and its bodyguards." I am highly invested in the learners that I work with in the counseling program. In summary, I want to make a difference in the lives of learners by being a benefit to them, bringing a smile to their faces during the educational journey, and hopefully, lighting that flame which makes learning a lifelong process. 

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." - Albert Schweitzer.

Copyright @ Stephanie L. Brooke, 2004 - 2022