E. Taylor Atkins
Contrary to "populist" opinion, we still need expertise; but experts must recognize their own limits with humility and be open to the "gems" students bring to the classroom, which can enhance our own understanding and the ways we communicate our knowledge to others. On the best days in the classroom, the learners teach, and the teacher learns.
In this seminar, E. Taylor Atkins shares two quotations that form the core principles of my teaching philosophy and practice. As much as he enjoys the performative aspects of teaching, he is guided by the belief that all students possess "gems of inestimable value" within themselves, many of which they do not realize are there. He works to identify those and help pull them out. He shares some of the assignments and activities he has created (or in some cases, borrowed and adapted) to mine those gems.
The Presidential Teaching Professor Award is the highest honor a faculty member can receive at NIU for outstanding contributions to teaching. Each fall and spring semester one Presidential Teaching Professor award recipient delivers a seminar to share his or her teaching experience and expertise.
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