Teaching Philosophy

The foundation for my pedagogy is grounded in equity and inclusion, epistemological reflectivity, dialogism, and the development of practical application skills. As an educator, I teach students how to interpret actively, think critically, and express their ideas coherently (through both oral and written means). In every course, I aim to create a classroom environments that empower students to participate productively, that value diverse ideologies, bodies, perspectives, abilities, and inspire students to challenge themselves intellectually. Each group of students influences me to continue to expand and augment my classroom strategies, tactics, and techniques. 
 
In order to maintain an equitable and inclusive my classroom, I commit to, and encourage my students to be, considerate and supportive of each other. This entails, among other things: critical compassionate listening, relevant and constructive feedback, and unprejudiced respect for diverse points of views. I am sensitive to differences in gender, race, ethnicity, class, religion, nationality, physical ability and sexual orientation. Beyond student exchange and discussion, I design the syllabus with citational diversity and inclusion in mind. My course readings and assignments are chosen from multiple ideological standpoints and represent a diversity of perspectives so that a variety of students can relate to the readings and course examples. 
 
A dedication to epistemological reflectivity prioritizes helping students reflect on their current assumptions about themselves, the world, and the role they play as engaged citizens. My pedagogy is designed to encourage students to become lifelong learners. Utilizing a variety of teaching methods, I emphasize that the production of knowledge is never objective, stable, nor void of violent and enabling effects. Rather than the simple acquisition of knowledge, I cultivate in students an understanding of how knowledge is produced so that they may critically consider their roles and the effects of that knowledge. Together, these interdisciplinary approaches promote intellectual diversity while encouraging students to evaluate critically not only what they know and how they have acquired that knowledge, but also their roles in perpetuating knowledge paradigms. I am committed to arming students with the applied communication skills that facilitate cooperative solutions in a diverse world. My classes’ stress rigorous reading that nurture comprehension strategies, writing mechanics, and effective speaking skills. Through a wide range of instructional technologies, I reinforce fundamentals while introducing theoretical vocabularies, critical thinking, and in-depth research assignments designed to encourage students to refine their rhetorical processing and lifelong learning skills. Rather than empty receptacles intended to harbor information, each student is, in my view, a prospective critical thinker, who, like us all, needs practice. 
 
I recognize that my classes contribute to students’ comprehension of the world and the roles they play, or fashion themselves to play, within it. I realize that not every student will remember each term, concept, and author explored in my courses. Yet, I remain committed to the personal, potential, and professional growth of my students. As a result, I care less about teaching my students what to learn than in teaching them how to learn. Likewise, while aspects of my courses introduce perspectives on what to think, a successful class, in my view, teaches students how to think. Drawing on the pedagogical principles of reflectivity, dialogism, and practical communication skills, I hope to provide my students with techniques that enable them to chart their own course—both in my class and in their future. 

Rae Lynn Teaching