I believe that success – whether personal or professional – is generated from three critical building blocks: knowledge, critical thinking, and curiosity. These building blocks have an enduring, cyclical relationship; knowledge helps us to understand the world around us as well as ourselves, critical thinking gives us the ability to incorporate knowledge and apply it endlessly, and curiosity, which is the result of realizing the limitations of current knowledge, drives us to acquire additional knowledge.
I see my role as a teacher as one of transferring a fundamental knowledge of course content to students while cultivating their critical thinking skills through the application of theory and concepts to current health-, economic-, and industry-related issues. Through this application, areas that are void of knowledge will ultimately emerge. As a teacher, I will strive to instill a sense of curiosity in my students that will challenge them to fill this void, whether for themselves or for all of us. I will do this by serving as a role model in the sense that I too am searching for knowledge – for me, for them and for the future. I will demonstrate my own critical thinking skills and share my curiosity for the unexplained or unexamined. I will value the individual backgrounds and experiences of my students, and encourage them to teach me as I teach them.
I expect that my students will have a variety of levels of desire for learning. I will strive to nurture an environment that will encourage them to seek areas that excite them, for I believe that true learning occurs best when it is most meaningful. I will expect my students to understand and utilize their rights for a quality education, and to fulfill their responsibilities to themselves, to me and to each other in our collective efforts to learn and discover.
My ultimate goal in teaching is to provide requisite knowledge, encourage and develop critical thinking skills, and stimulate natural curiosity that will guide students in their efforts of pursuing success. By accomplishing this, I will satisfy the need within myself to somehow make a difference.
Susan Judd Casciani is a clinical assistant professor and program director of the Health Care Management Program at Towson University.
This article is part of the Faculty Focus special report titled Philosophy of Teaching Statements: Examples and Tips on How to Write a Teaching Philosophy Statement. Click here to download the report for free.