Teaching Philosophy

My educational philosophy seeks to stimulate students’ creativity and curiosity about natural and cultural landscape systems at various scales, sensitize them to the importance of human-nature interaction, and nurture them to have land, resource, and environmental stewardship. One of the greatest goals for my teaching is to have students become motivated, insightful, and enthusiastic thinkers with intellectual force, design proficiency and confidence, not merely a skilled designer. This kind of quality will allow them to join one of the most impactful professional communities and change critical parts of our land and society. I believe that elaborating training process and active invitation to the compelling relationships with theories, contexts, and real-world experiences will approximate the fulfillment of this goal.

My students are encouraged to expand their roles beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries with more innovative, integrative and transdisciplinary perspectives in order to solve ever-increasing complex challenges that they face in a professional environment. As educator, I strive to expose my students to real-world problems as much as possible so that they can obtain meaningful insights through site contexts in addition to classroom experiences. As such, site visits are essential part to place-based projects and service learning practices in my courses. Additionally, my design studios serve as an important venue where collaborative design research, immersive learning, multilayered interaction with peers and instructor, and refinements of soft and technical skills occur simultaneously.

While improving my teaching style and approach, I maintain a high level of expectation for students to have them discover their advanced capacities and full potential throughout the learning process. I value engaging in reciprocal communication with students and occasionally use non-traditional materials outside of the standard canon to engage students. For instance, I at times utilize newspaper articles or picture imageries related to a certain topic to stimulate class discussion and planning implications. I also bring a variety of teaching strategies to classes including: visualization technologies, data analysis demonstrations, lab practice, and small group discussion. To advance my teaching performance, I actively capitalize upon the best available means such as peer-evaluation and professional workshops on and off campus.

I attach value to creating an inclusive learning environment. Such endeavors range from a balanced use of instructional examples to embrace diversity in background, gender, ethnicity, culture, intellectual level, and special needs. I believe the successful execution of this value ensures educational equity in a diverse classroom and fosters effective leadership in work environments.