Teaching, for me, is about meeting each person where they are. I focus firstly on affirming what each person knows as well as how they know, in thought and action. From there, we can cultivate interests and abilities together.
Learning, for me, is not only about accumulating information and skills. We can learn from those who express knowledge differently than us, for example children, animals, plants, objects, machines. Our teachers need not be experts, nor banks of knowledge. What matters is the relationships we build with them.
My teaching is grounded in care for critical difference: not a priori difference, but difference as it comes to matter in ways of thinking, making, and sharing. As a teacher, I insist on the specificity of differentiated identities, practices, disciplines, and cultures to trouble normative notions of intelligence, as well as hierarchies of knowledge, in academia and beyond.
At the heart of my teaching is a seeming contradiction: although my goal is inclusivity and self-directed learning, my approach is stringent and rigorous. Across subject areas, I provide students with firm structures to push up against, including explicit tasks and rubrics for evaluation. The specificity of my syllabi serves two functions: firstly, it lays bare my values and expectations; secondly, it invites students to engage head-on with the power dynamics integral to student-teacher relationships in educational institutions.
What matters to me, pedagogically, is how students learn to learn. Honing a meta-perspective on learning, that is, on one’s own aptitudes, habits, and desires as a learner, carries beyond singular courses or curricula. I guide students in critical-response processes involving open questions, description, and interpretation prior to assessment, such that they can take responsibility for their own progress via self-reflexivity and peer exchange.
Ultimately, when the time is right, the best thing I can do for my students is get out of their way! I aspire not only to be an instructor, but a mentor. To be a mentor, I must trust in the potential of each student to become a teacher. Teaching, for me, is learning.
- Contemporary dance technique
- Intermedia performance
- Screendance and video editing
- Performance philosophy
- Cross-disciplinary collaboration