Teaching Philosophy

As an educator specializing in the science of learning and cognition, I realize that learning is a lifelong process and that each of my students is the product a unique learning history and a complex biological makeup.  I am also aware that the specific details of each individual’s background and behavior may not be obvious, so I approach education sense of unconditional positive regard for my students and with an eclectic teaching pedagogy that draws from a variety of educational theories and methods to best meet the diverse needs and interests of every student.

Progressive, Humanistic, or Student-centered Perspectives:  In addition to their complex backgrounds, I engage with my students in a variety of contexts.  In some contexts, I take a humanistic, or student centered approach that emphasizes student active control and engagement with material, and relies on the students own self-efficacy for problem solving.   Additionally, due to the complex learning history and physiological make up of each of my students it may not be possible for me to know what is best for a given individual based on these unknown factors, as such I feel its important to refrain from giving personal advice in regards to personal matters, and instead give the student access to resources to assist them in their pursuit of self-actualization.   

Essentialistic Perspectives:  Its educational approach focuses on teaching basic skills and training the mind through a sequential progression of progressively difficult topics. Essentialist educators emphasize the historical context of the material world and culture to provide students with a solid understanding of the present day. A typical day in an essentialist school consists of seven periods, each devoted to a different subject. Teachers mainly conduct lectures, and students are expected to take notes, practice with worksheets or engage in hands-on projects, and undergo assessments to test their knowledge. This daily schedule continues for a semester or a year, with students being promoted to the next level when their assessments demonstrate sufficient competence. William C. Bagley was a prominent proponent of essentialism.

Perennialistic Perspectives:  Perennialism is a philosophy that places great value on timeless knowledge and centers around subject matter. Perennialist educators aim to cultivate critical thinking skills in their students and establish a well-organized and disciplined learning environment that inspires a lifelong pursuit of truth. Their approach is focused on exposing students to the great works of literature written by the most prominent thinkers in history, which are considered timeless and always relevant. Mastery of the subject matter and the development of reasoning skills are of paramount importance to Perennialists. They view education as a means of guiding students towards a deeper understanding and appreciation of these enduring ideas. Perennialism emphasizes a sequential approach to skill development, with teachers playing a central role in the learning process. The adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” perfectly encapsulates the Perennialist perspective on education.


Anderson, E. (1997). Active learning in the lecture hall. Journal of College Science Teaching, 26(6), 428-429.

Burrowes, P. A. (2003). A Student-Centered Approach to Teaching General Biology That Really Works: Lord’s Constructivist Model Put to a Test. The American Biology Teacher65(7), 491–502. https://doi.org/10.2307/4451548

Bybee, R. (1993). Instructional Model for Science Education, in Developing Biological Literacy. Colorado Springs, CO: Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies.

Lawson, A. E. (1999). What should students learn about the nature of science and how should we teach it? Journal of College Science Teaching, 28, 401-411.

Lord, T. (2001). 101 reasons for using cooperative learning in biology teaching. The American Biology Teachei; 63(1), 30-38.

Modell, H. 1. (1996). Preparing students to participate in an active learning environment. Advances in Physiology Education, 15(1), S69-S77.

National Research Council (NRC). (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Pheeney, P. (1997). Hands on, minds on. Activities to engage our students. Science Scope, September 1997, 30-33.

Schools of Educational Philosophy, Chapter 9: What are the philosophical foundations of American Education.

Rice, R. E. (1996). Making a Place for the New American Scholar. Washington DC: American Association for Higher Education.

While working in Montana Bagley wrote his first major book, the Educative Process (1905).

Read more: William C. Bagley (1874–1946) – Early Career, Teachers College – Education, School, Educational, and University – StateUniversity.com https://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1780/Bagley-William-C-1874-1946.html#ixzz7u9vdiU5u