Teaching Philosophy

Creating Meaning: A Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.

— Nelson Mandela


Creating meaning is the most difficult yet crucial part of engaging and educating students in this Web 2.0 world. Flooded with digital tools and online experiences, educators are tasked to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we didn’t even know existed.

Students are learning technologies that didn’t exist in past generations, much less five years ago. Educators must help them understand how to approach these tools and harness them to deliver solutions that have meaning. In the design process, for example, learning how to iterate and prototype gives students the structure in which they can make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and refine their work until they reach innovative solutions.

It is imperative that we embrace a new model of pedagogy that includes animated conversations and interactive education, a cornerstone of creative learning.

No longer content to only listen, students want to do, to create, and to interact; we as educators also need to embrace new technologies that will engage their creativity while giving meaning and structure to their work. New media technologies allow professors to move beyond the traditional method of transmitting information to curating customized learning experiences.

Encouraging students to adopt the design process and identify the problem, understand the constraints, brainstorm possible solutions, generate ideas, explore possibilities, build, and critically evaluate will help to give meaning to their work. While technology is a driving force in today’s learning environment, it must be seen as a tool and incorporated into our educational tool kit.

Today, both educators and students face complex challenges. Creating meaningful solutions begins with a deep understanding of how to harness new teaching methods to fill their educational and real world needs.

Najlah Feanny Hicks – Teaching Philosophy

Education is a powerful weapon. Education with meaning can change the world.