One day an old man was walking along the shore just before dawn. In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing? Why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”
“The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”
“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said- “It made a difference for that one.”
I prefer to call myself a teacher rather than a professor or a lecturer. It means that my focus is on the students rather than on the subjects or courses I teach. Although I love teaching a variety of courses in globalization to students both using traditional Face2Face and online instructional methods, the true joy of my life is making students better and smarter. Moreover, I like experimenting with new approaches and learning from what doesn’t work as well as what does in my classroom.
My pedagogical stance reflects a combination of liberal teaching philosophy and social constructivism. The liberal education entails the heavy reading of a text, which in my classes comes mostly from open-access materials. Research demonstrates that reading improves vocabulary and language use, which enhances critical thinking, writing, and public speaking skills or so-called Trivium. The learning goal is mastery of these premium skills with a broad knowledge of global problems and themes.
On the other hand, I also want my students to have a ‘practical’ learning experience. The social constructionist pedagogy teaches me that learning is particularly effective when students, work together constructing and sharing something for others to experience. Therefore, I encourage students’ creative collaboration in a class by using various learner-centric tools and technology available to present their understanding of the course materials.
I believe this type of learning empowers students and better prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change.