Teaching Philosophy

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In academia, we rely on theory and rely on research. I probably consider myself a scholar before a teacher, but we are here to prepare students for something. If I can prepare them, through research and theory, but connecting that to the real world, that all what is about. I am a real believer in the connection between what I am talking about in class and what they are going to be doing in the world. We need to emphasis the real-world skills because in the business world it’s “teams, teams, teams”. Students need to learn that design projects are often done in collaboration. Another important concern for teaching is to students to learn to make an assessment for themselves.

Therefore, my teaching philosophy is based on engaging students in class. I believe that design and practice activities should be integrated. Therefore, I try always to invite practicing guest lecturers, introduce first hand knowledge, successful case studies and arrange field trips in my class. Because field trips expand student's understanding and application of educational concepts and knowledge. Actually, my greatest challenge is how to encourage the creative thinking, creative idea generation and conceptual combination in design. Issues such as fixation in problem solving, incubation, intuition, visualization and problem representation are very important.

My pedagogical strategy is to act as part teacher, part tutor applying a blended approach with students in which tutors are more directives with technical issues during design development but are more non-directive during conceptual design, asking leading questions that provoke independent and critical thinking by the students. This is an essential consideration. How to give students the help they need such that they do not become dependent on tutors to solve all their problems. I learned from my experience that I have to create a welcoming and low-risk environment where students can come to improve their design skills.

Finally I believe that the greatest challenge for all of us is to equip the students with the tools they need to succeed as architecture students and then to succeed as professional architect where sustainability will be critical.