Teaching Philosophy Statement: Teaching is Learning
Mildred F. “Mimi” Wiggins Perreault, PhD
Higher education helps one to discover his or her own beliefs and orientation in the world. Higher education is not separate from the world, but rather should help one integrate his or her ideas into the problems and possibilities of our world. Students create their conceptions of the world through classes, just as scholars have the opportunity to explore real world situations in ways that allow for deeper understanding and evaluation through research. In public relations, this “world making” function can be found within the walls of the college classroom, and also by reaching out to the community at large. In a learning community, I explore this function with my students. Together we seek to understand communication in this constantly changing world. Through in-class instruction, service learning and mentorship outside of class, students acquire knowledge and skills to become good citizens of their communities.
Public relations uniquely enables students to understand the world around them, and their own relationships with people and events. It is my aspiration to help each student link his or her classroom experience to the activities of the average citizen. Students relate to their course work with new eyes, peeled to learn and adapt to the world around them. It is my goal that students are able to develop foundational tacit knowledge and theoretical understanding that provides a foundation for their careers or future educational ambitions.
Learning and contributions to the learning of others should motivate students in my classes. The class will be for the student what they decide to put into it. I can do my best to encourage the student to tug on what is provided to them, but in the end they must take up that rope of learning and pull. It is my goal that students leave the term feeling as if they have engaged themselves and pushed the boundaries of their understanding. Students’ grades should reflect their knowledge, effort and application of learning. Success is not always measured in the ability to earn higher grades, but rather the ability to improve exponentially throughout the course, and gain understanding in their field. Failure and success are measured by how much is learned in the process of learning and application, not just the assessment of projects and assignments.
In my research concerning the interpretation of warning messages and the crisis communication surrounding natural disasters, I seek to apply practical knowledge and experience to research. In the courses I instruct, I want college to be as much about collaboration and community engagement as it is about gaining individual practical knowledge. My goal is that students come away from an introductory class with a confident understanding of a particular topic, and a deeper understanding if the student is taking the course in their field of study. I want students to feel comfortable about the subjects discussed in class so they can interact with each other, as well as with professionals in the public relations field.
I also teach students to apply the concepts and topics discussed in class in creative ways to their own interests. In my classroom, each student should feel her or his perspective is a valued part of the course discussion. I want my students to gain knowledge from lectures, course materials, their course materials and classmates. Outside the classroom I want students to feel comfortable seeking additional help and guidance. In my classroom I want students to feel comfortable seeking additional help and guidance. In addition to sharing my knowledge with students, I mentor them in a way that allows growth. My goal is that students should feel empowered, if not compelled to discuss course subjects outside of class as well as converse with me in person, over email, and online chat. I encourage students to find ways to apply the subject to their personal passions and interests. It is my goal that students see their personal experiences and those of others as perspectives to be considered and gained.
By sharing my knowledge with students, I seek to mentor them in a way that allows growth. I also encourage students to find ways to apply the subject to their personal passions and interests. It is my goal that students see their personal experiences and those of others as perspectives to be considered and gained.