Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy of teaching has evolved from years of teaching experience in higher education settings across a variety of courses and teaching/learning contexts (online, face-to-face, blended, overseas/study abroad, undergraduate, Masters, doctoral — list of courses taught provided below).

My view on what I value in teaching also arises from my interests in design, creativity, and learning psychology. There are several key themes, often integrated in practice, which I believe in and aim for, including:

  • Deep/meaningful engagement with content
  • Learning by design
  • Care/concern for student experience and learning

Deep/meaningful engagement with content

Learning is most powerful, and most likely to make a difference in the lives of students, when it requires students to engage with the content in meaningful ways.  This means going beyond surface level engagement, so that students not only receive content in the form of readings and direct instruction (which are valuable and a part of my teaching), but also that they do projects that push them to work with content at deeper levels, and in ways that are relevant to their lives and interests. I frequently plan activities and projects in which students work with the materials and content from the readings, discussion and lecture, and then go on to engage with these ideas to create projects that have applicability to their own professional, research, and educational interests.

Learning by design

Teaching is an act of design, and I believe that learning can be most powerful through the process of design-based activity or inquiry.  One of my goals is always to encourage creativity in students, in the hopes that as teachers themselves they will also seek opportunities and find ways to apply this in their professional work and thinking. Seeing learning as most powerful through the lens of design I look for activities that will allow students to create something (an educational artifact, teaching tool, lesson, video, podcast, or anything that will be useful in their own thinking, teaching, or interests). I feel that the process of designing something helps students internalize the knowledge they acquire along the way, and learning occurs more organically.

Caring/concern for student learning

A key attribute of my approach is a strong feeling of concern and caring for students’ learning and their experience in my courses. This refers not only to empathy for students’ experiences (which is always important), but also to my concern that they have a positive learning experience, feel more empowered about their learning and knowledge and that they leave the course having learned skills, ideas and approaches that will serve them going forward.  Whether in online, hybrid or face-to-face teaching, I make it a point to know each student and their work.  I provide extensive personal assistance to students, both with technology skills, and with larger-scope ideas of shaping their projects and interests, and encourage them to communicate with me personally and regularly throughout the course with questions or with any academic needs.

Teaching Experience

Summer 2020 – Present

Associate Professor
Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation

Fall 2015 – Spring 2020

Assistant Professor
Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation

Graduate Courses Taught

TEL 792/799 (Dissertation Research: Leader Scholar Community)
TEL 712 (Mixed Methods for Inquiry)
TEL 711 (Strategies for Inquiry)
TEL 705 (Systems Change & Leadership)
TEL 704 (Leading Change in Education)
TEL 504 (Learning & Instruction)

Dissertation and Thesis Advising

Dissertations Chaired:

Nine doctoral students’ in Ed.D. in Leadership & Innovation program:
Dr. Bret Dieterle (graduated); Dr. Michelle Glaittli (graduated), Dr. Nika Gueci (graduated); Dr. Rachel Halquist (graduated); Dr. Greg Pereira (graduated); Dr. Lynda Scott (graduated); Jennifer Keller (current); Amy Collins Montalbano (current); Helene Shapiro (current).

Dissertation Committee Memberships:

Seven doctoral students in Ed.D. in Leadership & Innovation program:

  • Ed.D dissertation committee member for Dr. Andrea Avery (graduated); Dr. Megan Workmon (graduated); Dr. Jose Herrera (graduated); Dr. Sogol Houmayoun (graduated); Dr. Liz Azukas (graduated); Dr. Cori Lomonte (graduated); and Jodie Donner (current).

Two doctoral student in Ph.D. programs:

  • Ph.D. dissertation committee member for Dr. Kristin Elwood (graduated) and Dr. Tamara Christensen (graduated).

Thesis Committee Memberships:

One Barrett Honors College undergraduate student from Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

  • Thesis committee member for Brianna Osman (graduated)

Course development

TEL 705 (Systems Change & Leadership):
Developed course in Fall 2015 as a core content course for the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership and Innovation. This course introduces students to theory and content around educational innovation and systems thinking. It has consistently received high evaluative scores in students’ semester evaluations. 

Spring 2005 – Summer 2015

Visiting Faculty 2012 – 2015 / Teaching Assistant 2005 – 2011
Michigan State University, College of Education (2 courses per semester and summer teaching)
Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

Graduate Courses Taught

CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings)­ – 13 terms, 13 sections
CEP 801 (Psych Development: Learner Differences and Commonalities) – 2 terms, 2 sections
CEP 815 (Educational Leadership) – 3 terms, 3 sections
CEP 822 (Educational Research Methods) – 6 terms, 6 sections
CEP 817 (Learning by Design) – 1 terms, 1 section
CEP 917 (Knowledge Media Design – Best Blended Course: Award Winner) – 1 term, 1 section
CEP 882 (That Which Moves Us: The Nature and Design of Compelling Experiences) – 2 terms, 2 sections
CEP 807 (Capstone in Educational Technology) – 1 term, 1 section
CEP 816 (Teaching and Learning across the Curriculum) – 1 term, 1 section
CEP 817 (Learning Technology by Design) – 5 term, 5 sections

Undergraduate Courses Taught

CEP 416 (Teaching and Learning with Technology) – 1 terms, 1 section

Course development

CEP 817 (Learning by Design):
Full course curriculum re-development, to redesign existing course on web design into a new content focus on design and design-thinking-for-teaching. This new course design supported teachers’ design skills for addressing problems of practice in their teaching and classroom.

Teaching Awards

Finalist for ASU Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Award. Selected as one of three faculty members across 3,500+ ASU faculty, from a pool of 130 ASU faculty nominees, as an outstanding mentor of doctoral students.

AT&T Faculty Award for Best Blended Course (MSU). Awarded for the design and teaching of CEP 917 (Knowledge Media Design). Recognition for innovative/effective teaching with technology.

Student Feedback

Below are examples of feedback provided by students in my courses. Forms are anonymous and sent after grades are submitted for student objectivity.

Arizona State University

Michigan State University