I strive in my teaching to achieve three primary purposes:
Appreciation – Students should learn to engage with and enjoy knowledge in a variety of forms (e.g. written, verbal, visual), all the while developing a keen eye for the theoretical and practical contributions of that work. As part of this process, I believe in the particular importance of students encountering and grappling with content from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds.
Critique – Educators should provide students with a space in which they feel comfortable criticizing even (or especially) the most time-honored or sanctified knowledge and perspectives. As Max Weber famously told an audience at Munich University, “Every scientific ‘fulfilment’ raises new ‘questions’; it asks to be ‘surpassed’ and outdated. . . . We cannot work without hoping that others will advance further than we have.” This critical aspect of education, I believe, serves not only an intellectual but an ethical function: values like justice and equality depend on the ability and willingness of individuals to speak out against the prevailing ideas of the time.
Imagination – Building off of appreciation and critique, students should be encouraged to push beyond the bounds of existing thought and practice. They should be encouraged to develop and test new ideas in a rigorous manner, learning all the while that many of the best insights inside and outside education come from exploring new ways of thinking and approaching problems.
For more information on my teaching experience, please see my CV.