Boston College- Bachelor of Science (Biology)
Columbia University- Master of Arts (Developmental Psychology and Learning)
Iowa State University- Doctor of Philosophy (Child Development)
Child Growth and Development, General Psychology, Life Growth and Development, Personality, Statistics
My father expected a lot from the people who worked for him. However, he demanded even more from himself! I always try to remember this lesson as a teacher. If I do not take the class seriously, the students will not either. If I do not put effort and enthusiasm into my lectures, it is unfair to expect students to put forth the effort to master my subject. If we fail to give of ourselves to our students, we cannot realistically expect our students to sacrifice for us. Investing effort into lectures and handouts to create an environment of success demonstrates my commitment to the student. In return, I ask them to reciprocate by giving me their time, their attention and their best effort.
As the science of human and animal behavior, Psychology should definitely be relevant to the student. While survey courses place a high premium on mastering terminology, it is equally important to maintain relevance to the student’s everyday life. To achieve this goal, I tell stories- about personal items, news, television shows, and movies- anything that will illustrate the point. Ideally, my narratives or anecdotes will touch the student on a personal level. If the student can make a personal connection with a concept, he or she will be more likely to remember it.
Finally, what material the student needs to master should not be a game. My reviews are structured to guide the student to those areas that I consider important for their mastery of the course. Knowing exactly what they need to study for an exam reduces their stress over the unknown. By identifying the key components from which the exam will come, students are able to maximum the effectiveness of their time by concentrating on the key aspects of the material to be mastered. By creating an environment in which student effort can translate into success, I am reinforcing the value of the lecture, the textbook, and the importance of the student’s exam preparation.