As a clinician, I fully subscribe to the concept that one cannot practice clinical medicine without a strong background in the basic sciences. As such, my educational efforts often challenge the student to link new and challenging clinical scenarios with often forgotten and neglected basic science principles. While this may be stressful for the learner, I feel that only by linking these valuable building blocks can one become a well rounded and well read clinician. I must admit that I believe that some degree of "tension" should exist in the learning process, specifically inspiring students to want to be "the smartest person in the room." By providing this role model I hope to mimic the excellent training I received during my time at this medical school and hopefully inspire students to practice the best medicine possible.
Students at Upstate are well-prepared, self-motivated, adult learners. As educators here, I feel that our first responsibility is to provide them with high-quality, well-organized materials - lectures, labs, small-group challenges, and more - to serve as springboards for their learning. Next, we cultivate a highly collaborative, interactive learning environment that encourages each learner to leverage the remarkable human resources available on campus. High on that list of remarkable resources are their fellow students. Many of our first-years have not previously had the experience of being surrounded by genuine intellectual peers and collaborators. We push them hard to build bridges to their peers that develop into long-term professional networks and enable them to become comfortable with the highly team-based modern medical workplace. It is an honor to be part of this process of personal and professional growth.
My reason to participate within the Academy is to share my expertise and experiences with other Academy members, but also to use my background to the benefit of the teaching faculty at Upstate at large. Having performed educational research studies and received some grant funding for these endeavors I would like to continue my scholarly activities in this area and feel that the Academy is a great venue to do so.
1. Course materials and activities must be coherent and relevant to clinical practice. Objectives, activities, assignments, and assessments should be clearly described and linked to expected student outcomes. Linkages between, and across, didactic and clinical courses should be explicit.
2. Principles of adult learning and activities that require different learning styles should be incorporated across the curriculum to support learner engagement and motivation. Students should be held accountable for their learning and teachers should model the outcomes that they anticipate the students will perform/achieve/demonstrate.
3. Authentic learning experiences should be provided across the curriculum to ensure achievement of requisite performance competencies in knowledge, skills, and behaviors.
4. Students should be provided with ongoing formative/summative assessment and feedback opportunities including 360 degree evaluations (from clinical/academic faculty, peers, patients and standardized patients) to promote the identification of learners' strengths and areas that need to be developed.
5. Self-assessment and reflection are requisite for deep learning and personal meaning-making.
My philosophy about teaching is the same as my approach to any skill, hobby, sport, or job. (1) Pick one that you intrinsically like. (2) Always look for ways to improve your knowledge and skills. (3) Accept change as a positive thing and always try different ways to approach both problem areas and places which you are already an expert. The key is to always move forward with knowledge, skills and application. My hope is that students can appreciate this through my teaching and role modeling. Teaching and learning are both progressive processes where teacher and students should strive to always continue their education and improve themselves in every way possible!
Learning requires deep understanding that comes only when students internalize and actively apply knowledge over a period of time. I believe that a teacher's role is to help, guide, and motivate students so that they get interested in the process of learning. I believe most students will rise to the challenge when quality work is demanded of them if they are also helped to develop the skills necessary to make that possible. As a teacher I feel students are served best when they are engaged in a rigorous curriculum. As someone who was not born and raised in this country I strongly value the diversity of learning styles and the unique perspectives that we all, faculty and students bring to the classroom. I strive to provide an environment where students feel comfortable in expressing their opinions. As my discipline grows and matures, I am constantly striving to meet the challenge of passing that knowledge on to my students in a meaningful way.
My philosophy of education stems from servant leadership. As Director of Online & Distance Learning, my primary role is to serve faculty by pairing their subject matter expertise with instructional design principles, best practices in online learning, active learning techniques, and a variety of educational technology tools to create learning environments that engage our students. I also serve students. Sharing teaching presence with our students helps them better prepare for their roles in their respective health professions. And, advocating for online and distance learners helps us think about how to best serve all of our students when they are not on campus.