Below you will see a list of my operating principles in the classroom. Although
none of these principles is original or radical, each is idiosyncratic to my personality; socio-economic background; socio-political
orientation; value system; and academic training.
<operating principles and assumptions>
**Good teaching entails a democratic and egalitarian classroom, where everyone
in the class has a voice. The instructor may be the leader or facilitator in this classroom, but his or her voice does not
dominate. In the words of Martin Buber, I does not supersede the thou.
**An ethical, egalitarian, democratic classroom facilitates an expression of all
student voices, as the teacher seeks to nurture their learning. **A democratic classroom empowers the instructor and students
to engage in more egalitarian actions and power relations, mainly by way of the communicative activities that take place.
Accordingly, How can I help you to improve your learning? and What do you need to have a meaningful learning experience? are
questions the teacher should ask students several times throughout a term.
**Good teaching should have no proprietary ends, nor posture as possessing secret
knowledge that only an anointed few may access. In this, all notes, handouts, resources, and references are made available
to colleagues and students in both hard copy and electronic formats. Copyright material is also made available, with the understanding
that citation etiquette is the rule.
**Good teaching is a highly demanding skill, requiring the teacher to possess talents
in numerous areas outside his or her academic discipline. A good teacher is part actor, psychologist, salesperson, and intellectual
**Good teaching can be an acquired skill, and it most certainly is a skill that can
be developed; therefore, it needs to be evaluated and updated on a regular basis by the students, peer review, and the teacher
**Good teaching requires the teacher to be a life-long learner and serve as a learning
model for students.
**Technology and multimedia should be integral components in the teaching environment.
At the same time, a technophilic stance is not required . Rather, the emphasis should be on a progressive pedagogy that sometimes
makes use of technological tools.
**Technology and multimedia should be applied
in unique and creative ways rather than used as high-tech applications of conventional materials. Some duplication of traditional
course material using technology and multimedia is needed, however, to facilitate the transition from "Old" to "New Age" information
and progressive educational delivery systems. The E-Folio Minnesota is one such transitioning system.