Embracing Søren Kierkegaard’s concept that “to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner,” I join with my students on a journey of generative learning. Learning generatively connects existing knowledge about a subject with emerging ideas about it, resulting in a more personalized understanding. A generative learning approach encourages students to individually engage material rather than passively listen to lectures.
It is for this reason I am motivated by the motto “learn continuously, live generatively.” Intrinsically inquisitive, I practically apply knowledge gained from intellectual investigations. A simpler version, “learn generatively,” captures the concept, but obscures the effect: if I am learning, I am creating. Learning when I am engaged will always be generative, as will be the life to which I contribute the knowledge created through that process.
Integrating poet Mark Van Doren’s idea that “the art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery,” I translate information into knowledge for others to engage. Realizing relevancy is essential to discovery, I avoid assignments requiring repetition in deference to papers, presentations, and projects. Whenever possible, I customize curriculum and remain responsive to requests for revision. Modern minded, I leverage technology to increase engagement, manage knowledge, and maximize learning.
Acting as a “guide on the side” and not a “sage on the stage,” I am committed to the intellectual confidence of my students. Combining learning with laughter I encourage students to own their ideas. Having taught students of various ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, I am perceptive to their diverse perspectives. I condone collective individualism, a knowledge management process that leverages the contributions of independent and interconnected participants to solve a shared problem. Given this, I believe an educational environment should create community, not competition. In short: when one of us succeeds, all of us succeed.
Interdisciplinary by nature, I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in communication, entrepreneurship, innovation, management, and marketing for delivery in person, via blended learning, and online. While each discipline is distinct, I interweave their areas of intersection with humanity, technology and industry. I often include elements of one or more of them in every class, regardless of its primary focus. Challenging my students to think evolutionarily, I encourage them to shatter preconceptions and share knowledge for individual and mutual benefit. It is because of this potential that I am drawn to teaching.
While it can be as challenging as it is rewarding, when asked why teaching and research is my tenure I explain, “Education empowers me to influence individuals and impact organizations while improving myself in the process.”