As an educator, my goal is to facilitate in the “eureka” moment; that magical moment when everything being questioned, explored, created, and taught aligns to form an understanding. I believe that designers need to be collaborative thinkers, problem solvers, and effective communicators, and that it is critical these skills be developed and fostered in the classroom. This can be done by sharing design theory and real-world experience, careful assignment selection, and providing students with constructive feedback through studio time and critiquing sessions.
With a carefully designed “theory into practice” curriculum, students will be able to apply their knowledge successfully and facilitate further learning, problem solving, and exploration beyond the classroom. This transfer of knowledge can be facilitated by an instructor with an understanding of the training process, assessment procedures, and evaluation techniques needed to properly gauge learning in the classroom. To facilitate in this learning process, I feel that each design assignment should reinforce the 3-phase design process: Phase 1). Research and concepting; Phase 2). Design layout and revisions; and finally, Phase 3). Production and final presentation. During each phase, critiques should be made to assess the project and project objectives with the student. Requiring that students work through this process for each project will establish the necessary discipline for creating intelligent and creative designs.
I feel that the classroom is a two-way street; and that education is not just something offered, but something that must received. For this to happen, I believe it is critical that expectations and responsibilities be clearly communicated and understood. I expect my students to take responsibility for their own learning, and to put in the time and effort required to present their best work—this is what they will be expected to do as professionals. I believe that it is equally important that an instructor introduce students to a variety of resources and engage them in current events that are relevant to the class and the design world.
Being an educator requires dedication, a passion for your subject, a desire to constantly educate yourself, patience for those learning, and a willingness to share your knowledge with others. Following this set of guidelines will creates a rewarding educational experience for my students; and makes the task rewarding for me, as well.
Copyright 2016 Wendi Wulf Moubray