My teaching objectives are based on
my training and experience as a primary, secondary, and university
level educator, the needs of the students, and my own interest
in the earth sciences. In instructing introductory geology
students, I have three main objectives:
1) To spark students' curiosity and excitement
about the world around them. For most students, an introductory
geology course is their first experience in learning and exploring
science. This provides me as an educator with the opportunity
to motivate students to look beyond their immediate surroundings
(to teach what is outside the four walls), with the result
that they become more interested, concerned, and amazed at
the diversity of biological and physical environments on and
within the planet. I do this by creating a positive, student-centered
environment in the class (as well as outside the class, e.g.,
2) To teach at an introductory level the methodologies of
modern contemporary science. This is critical in ensuring
that the populace has a basic understanding of science in
deciding public policy.
3) To integrate up to date science and societally relevant
topics into the curriculum (bringing geology "to life").
I hope to show students that entering the field of geology
can be a rewarding experience, which can contribute to society.
This will attract majors to geology and ensure that our discipline
is enriched by bright young future scientist.
For upper level undergraduate classes,
such as stratigraphy, I have two main goals.
1) To promote and encourage the use
of the scientific method and the method of the multiple working
2) To frame any geology course using a larger multi disciplinary
approach to the earth sciences. For example, I developed a
term project that integrated a variety of geological applications,
see above, stratigraphy lab instructor). This gave them a
broader perspective and experience of the wide array of geological
applications that can serve them in their future careers.