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Teaching Philosophy

Faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences are teacher-scholars: student learning is their first priority. Recognized experts in their fields, they inspire learning through their own passion for learning, their commitment to student engagement, and their mentoring of student independent exploration.

A Passion for Learning

Faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences are active scholars and artists who are always learning, and who test their learning by submitting it to public critique through publication, presentation, and performance. This commitment to increasing knowledge means that we are a faculty of practice, scholar-teachers who both model and mentor the process of learning for our students. And our learning extends to a commitment to innovation in teaching—from new pedagogical approaches such as community-based learning, sophomore-scholars-in-residence courses, and collaborative teaching to the appropriate uses of technology in courses. As we pursue our own inquiry, we provide students the opportunity to pursue theirs as well, designing courses with achievable outcomes and fair assessments that will help guide them towards their own pursuit of knowledge.

Student Engagement

Faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences recognize that student engagement can take many forms, from focused inquiry in the classroom to community-based learning, and from in-depth study within a discipline to interdisciplinary exploration. From first-year seminars to capstone courses, A&S faculty design courses with student engagement at the forefront. In practice, this can mean writing-extensive courses in which students develop their thoughts in writing and share the results of their work through written expression. It can mean courses in which students develop their oral communication skills, exploring course material through discussion and sharing the results of their inquiry through the public presentation of their work. Or it can mean working in the community, sharing their coursework with a community partner and deepening their inquiry through experiential learning. Student learning provides the common thread for an engaged pedagogy.

Independent Exploration

Crafting research questions, developing creative projects, and pursuing knowledge for its own sake are the hallmark of a liberal education. Faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences work with students to guide their independent exploration across the disciplines, working in faculty labs, the library, the studio, the rehearsal hall, or in the field. This independent work, undertaken during the semester or in the summer, is a transformative experience for students, giving them the tools to become life-long learners.