Statement of Teaching Philosophy:
I view education as a training that embodies theoretical knowledge, practical skills and even the transmission of ethical values and the understanding of social and cultural values. However, I may wish to concentrate my teaching philosophy on formal or classroom-type education in which I may emphasize more on the notions of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
As a professor of engineering and as a research scientist, it is fair to state that the engineering profession has been instrumental in the birth of industries both in the manufacturing and in the biomedical domains. Engineering has played, and continues to play, a commanding role in trends that drive change in the economic structure of a nation. While some of these changes may be generic, such as integration of technologies from different disciplines or the increase in sophistication and knowledge required of engineers, others carry with them significant impact on society at large.
My philosophy focuses on bringing technical information that I have acquired and used in my long years of academic career into the classroom. I believe in active learning, imparting deep understanding of principles, and hence create learning environments that include lectures for knowledge-building, analysis of case studies, team-building activities, also various ways designed to improve oral presentation skills of the students.
Based on my life-long teaching experience, I recognize that students learn in different ways, through visual, auditory and also kinesthetic inputs. In order to bring my teaching to the door of the student, I use a combination of these tools involving other techniques like slides and internet facilities for the transmission of information. Added to these techniques, I assist in the development of learning groups such that the students are able to tell their peers what and how they understand a subject-matter. This idea allows the students to learn that expressing their ideas is a necessary and critical component to learning.
I muss confess that I also remember that I was once a student like those I teach every day. I did travel the road less traveled and beyond. This really means that I acquired academic degrees and professional skills in electrical and computer engineering, and in some aspects of process and mechanical engineering. I have had appointments both as professor of electrical and computer engineering and as professor of mechanical engineering, respectively. I have worked in the Research and Development divisions of modern industry. I am able to share some of my academic and professional experience with the students.
I have graduated a number of MS and PhD students in the past 20 years, and I entertain excellent relationships and rapport with them. In view of this, I give my former students as real-life examples to those students I teach.
This serves the notion that knowledge application and production is no longer occurring strictly within disciplinary boundaries. Hence, multidisciplinary thinking is changing the way engineering is being practiced. Traditionally trained engineers are increasingly working in hybrid fields and disciplines such as micro-electromechanical systems, robotics, bioengineering, and nanotechnology. These hybrid fields are in some cases spawning entirely new industries and moving engineers away from their traditional fields of learning and practice.
I hold an open-door policy in which students are able to come to consult me in my office everyday and any time. The students come into my office either singly or with their peers to ask me questions. In that way, they appear very relaxed to accommodate the things I discuss with them.
I am an advocate of an exhibition of a lively intellect and spirit, formulate problems and engage with those problems critically and creatively, and articulate the vision of UTEP, the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez community and world toward which they are working.
To summarize my teaching philosophy, I may emphasize that I continually strive to develop a broad array of teaching skills and adjust them to meet the needs of the students; I truly challenge the students and I evaluate them honestly and fairly. I also seek to foster the mastery of course material while at the same time assist them in developing broader, more important skills such as communication and critical thinking.
Through the use of these varied types of activities, I compliment the traditional theoretical foundation of knowledge, encourage and foster an atmosphere of learning that could be applied to the students’ careers.
Teaching offers me the ability to produce the results I desire most and helps me create values for others in the process.
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
“Oh Great Spirit grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.”
-Old Town, Albuquerque, NM-