As an interdisciplinary educator I have worked with students in a variety of bioregions including the Colorado Plateau, Adirondacks, the Greater Yellowstone Geo-ecosystem, and the Canadian Rockies. I have taught and developed curriculum, courses, and programs for several non-profits and educational institutions including the National Outdoor Leadership School, Teton Science Schools, Wild Rockies Field Institute and St. Lawrence University.
Whether I am in the classroom or out in the field, I always strive in my teaching to continually: a) bridge theory and practice; and b) connect the local to the global (and vice versa). Contextualizing content, concepts, and issues in this way provides an avenue for application and the first step for students to address the contemporary environmental challenges we are currently faced with.
Seeking to engage and design for diverse learning styles my teaching is founded upon pedagogical pluralism. Depending on the content, context, and students I utilize and integrate diverse activities, exercises, and assignments. Yet, at the same time, as an educator, I also consider learning to be a collective process of inquiry and reflection where upon students contribute equally to the process.
At the core of my teaching are what I consider to be two essential habits of mind. The first is systems thinking: that is to think in terms of relationships, connections, and patterns. The second is an emphasis on integration: that is the importance of integrating diverse perspectives, disciplines, and ways of knowing. In addition, there are five objectives that are common threads throughout my teaching:
- Fostering critical thinking;
- Instilling creativity;
- Developing effective communication skills;
- Cultivating a reflective practice; and
- Inspiring passion and action
Peruse through the course descriptions above to get a better sense of what this looks like.