Teaching context and philosophy
Through my teaching and my role as an educator, I embody a humanistic approach when teaching anatomy– by respecting and acknowledging the diversity, accomplishments, and limits of every student, I subscribe to a lens that allows me to see the humans learning human anatomy. My teaching philosophy allows for the involvement of resonance emotions in which students can use in fuelling their curiosity towards becoming life-long learners (Spiro et al, 1996).
It is my duty to know who my learners are, their preferred style of learning, and to nurture their innate love for learning (sometimes lost by the pressure of studying) (Reylonds & Shirey, 1988). I believe that I fulfill this duty by having a dynamic rather than a static approach to my ‘lesson plan’ where I personalise each class to cater to different needs and types of learners. Further to this, by integrating different modes of technology, drawings, analogies, and discussion, I have observed that students devote more energy to their learning process when they see me devote my energy into the class in a way that promotes them to become life-long learners (Spiro et al., 1996).
By adopting candor and being open about my limits, I represent a realistic and relatable image of the limits of learning. This is met by my hunger to constantly learn by expanding my horizons and filling in gaps within my own knowledge. This is apparent to my students when I converse with them about my thought process and reasonings and invite them to embark on the journey of discovery with me. This approach empowers my students to explore boundaries of their own developing skills and knowledge. Therefore, an engaging, curiosity-fuelling and safe classroom environment is shaped (Spiro et al., 1996; Singer & Lamm, 2009). For example, during my tutorials for the introductory unit of anatomy, I ask students to write down their favorite part of the body on the first page of their books, where we compare in the last tutorial if that has changed in light of all the new knowledge gained.
Additionally, when approaching a clinical case study, I strive to keep it connected to a relational context, where students can envision themselves applying their problem-solving skills in a real-world situation. I believe that this extrinsically motivates students to build a strong and imperative foundational ground of knowledge that can be matched with pride in scholarship and eagerness to become students of the universe, once they are no longer students of the university (Lin et al., 2003).
My philosophy much like my teaching is not static. I strongly believe that it will continue to evolve and be a statement that can resonate and align with my ability to fulfill students’ needs so that their worldly impact influences society positively.
Lin, Y. G., McKeachie, W. J., & Kim, Y. C. (2003). College student intrinsic and/or extrinsic motivation and learning. Learning and individual differences, 13(3), 251-258.
Reynolds, R. E., & Shirey, L. L. (1988). The role of attention in studying and learning. In Learning and study strategies (pp. 77-100). Academic Press
Singer, T., & Lamm, C. (2009). The social neuroscience of empathy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1156(1), 81-96.
Spiro, H. M., Curnen, M. G. M., Peschel, E., & James, D. S. (Eds.). (1993). Empathy and the practice of medicine: beyond pills and the scalpel. Yale University Press.