I have my M.A. from the Department of Philosophy at UCI. I am a Pedagogical Fellow, meaning that I have been selected to be part of a competitive program for TAs at UCI that focuses on professional development and teaching theory and practice.
Unlike many other TAs (and some of the professors), I have a passion for pedagogy and teaching excellence. I subscribe to a student-centered teaching method. This boils down to a few basic principles:
1.Learning is an inherently active process. Considering thinking as the activity of the brain, all learning is an active process on the part of the student. As an educator, I cannot force learning. Rather, I can create an environment where learning is likely to happen.
2. Students are active in my classroom. Rather than using a lecture-only format, I supplement my mini-lectures with activities such as short writing assignments, ungraded quizzes, group work and other tasks. Students are also expected to contribute to decisions about what material is covered in class.
3. I teach the students I have. Some teachers teach in a way that only works for what they consider to be an "ideal" student. Putting students first means that I accept the broad range of experiences, backgrounds, capacities and interests that my students have and I try to work with this diversity rather than against it.
These three principles can only begin to cover my thoughts on teaching an pedagogy. For more thoughts on this topic, feel free to visit my blog @ www.teachinginreverse.blogspot.com