Teaching is a lifelong process of progressive learning rather than only transferring the existing knowledge to students in a didactic way. Its goals in classrooms -in statistics related courses- are connected to being quantitatively literate and intellectually aware, and applying and extending the knowledge and experience to the real life. When it is embedded in a social context with technology, I believe students can better build their knowledge. Here, the role of a teacher is to reflect the objectives of a well-designed course in a learning environment, considering each student’s needs and capabilities.
I employ varies technologies to support learning and teaching as well as to communicate instantly and honestly. I use the most trending and free statistical software tool, R, for teaching statistics as well as probability. Verifying theorems with simulations is an effective learning strategy. My web site for the courses I teach includes rich course sources and communication tools. I upload lecture notes regularly. Announcements, blogs, instant surveys and reflections etc. are all great Gmail tools that I use.
I assign projects and take-home portions of exams from real life situations. Courses prepare students find their career/way if instructor becomes a good guide. I like to share Josh’s case: He was a smart student, but he had some consistency problems in his major selection. In the past he shifted his major many times. My course was his second statistics course he took ever. However, he was ready for a sharp learning. I mentored him. He discovered his ability in computational statistics and he loved statistics. In three months, he started his internship in a company as a statistical analyst.
An instructor should be a good problem solver even beyond classroom. A nontraditional student in my upper-division class was not doing original work for tasks I assigned. This was an ethical problem! I didn’t make him embarrassed. I engaged him with an original project based on his interest that requires knowing all topics what I taught. Since he was very enthusiastic with the context of the task, he worked hard, I guided him hours and hours after class, and then he did a wonderful job! Later he told me that everything now made sense with this project. I cared and guided him.
I am a progressive person and currently a fellow at Community Center for Teaching Excellence at MCC so I have opportunities to update my teaching and learning methodologies by attending workshops and collaborating with other fellows from various educational institutions. My statements here are by no means all-encompassing, or perfect, but these provide a basis or minimum principle so that it can be updated based on future needs and situations. For sure, I will seek to improve my teaching and learning as well as to enhance student learning.
For additional information on my work in the Fellows Program, please see my action research report on A Sequential Teaching Strategy Using Web Search, Collaboration, Socratic Seminars, and Concept Maps in Math 242, Elements of Probability and Statistics.