Basic Teaching Philosophy

I believe that students learn by applying theoretical knowledge to answer practical questions, and then updating their knowledge by learning how their proposed answers turn out.  I see my role as a teacher as presenting students with practical (usually food safety) questions that require them to use new (usually food microbiology) knowledge to propose an answer, work with them to find the knowledge to answer the questions, provide clear, constructive feedback on how well they answered the questions, and provide reflection to update their knowledge.

My signature undergraduate course is a food microbiology lab where this iteration is inherent.  By the 3rd or 4th time students are asked some variant of – How many aerobic microbes are in this food? – they should have a pretty good sense of why and how a microbiologist or food scientist would ask and answer that question.

But even in more traditional lecture courses like my graduate course I try to build in iterative writing assignments to create this cycle of learning.

Links to Courses

FSHN 472: Applied Food Microbiology

FSHN 595: Food Safety for Global Food Security