My teaching philosophy closely reflects my research framework, which in turn reflects my own formative experiences as a teacher and student. I make a distinction in my students between the social individual and the private self: in my role as a teacher, I interact with a plurality of social individuals in a social space (e.g. the classroom). However, as a truly effective teacher, my mission is to reach beyond the teacher-student binary and impact my students as private individuals. By challenging students' popular conceptions of a teacher, and their own expected behaviours as students, I try to re-negotiate the teacher-student relationship: the teacher as learner or mentor, the student as coeval complement.
Just as the roles and behaviours of teachers and students must be re-negotiated, I believe the learning process itself must be reinterpreted and redefined. Learning may involve acquiring archival information, practical skills and good working habits, but divorced from a greater context these acquisitions do not, in my mind, stand in place of education. The greatest thing I can do for my students is to teach them how to learn, that is, how to approach a problem or situation with the intent of understanding it on its own terms. A student who has learned how to learn can confront and overcome any problem, whether academic or personal. My role is to help them create this framework for themselves, by challenging those premises and conceptions that may obscure its importance.