My philosophy for teaching contemporary environmental and societal challenges of the built environment consists of three pedagogical principles:
- critical thinking
- collaborative learning
I expect students to think critically and apply that thinking to the challenge of real world examples. This is accomplished with supplemental course readings and discussions of current events and contemporary complications that invoke students to question and answer, what would (will) I do?
I believe service-learning is more than an experience-based pedagogical addition to traditional courses; it is based in the civic mission of the academy and connected to democratic ideology and communitarian public concern. A holistic service-learning course incorporates three dimensions: professional training, liberal education and citizen engagement. The key to a successful service-learning course is developing a relationship that is mutually beneficial for all participants.
Collaborative learning is a shared learning process in which all participants in the course learn from one another, the professor included. This involves the recognition that each individual’s knowledge is valued. Technological innovations allow learning to occur beyond the classroom in alternative learning environments, such as, online discussion boards, blogs, video conferencing, and mobile apps. This learning process is also facilitated by established debates, the use of alternate ending case studies, student-lead lectures, and group projects. Collaborative learning is strongly associated with the incorporation of service-learning projects.