teaching philosophy

I find teaching to be a profoundly social enterprise, which hangs its success on the quality of what’s between rather than on the individual.  I consider teaching a privilege because the work is fundamentally creative and because there is no better way to learn.

In the design studio as well as the seminar, I find it essential to cultivate a spirit of ensemble amongst students so that the learning environment is one of a natural curiosity and inquiry borne out of an ongoing conversation and collaboration between ‘players’.  In this environment, even the quietest students find a voice, and the support they find from their peers is far more valuable to them in the long run than any approval or instruction I might give.

I believe that students must learn to define their own interests and passions, and then develop a methodology or practice for investigating those things.  They must learn to share the ideas that are inspiring to them, and cultivate an enthusiasm for their work that is contagious.  I consider it my responsibility as a teacher to help students discover tools and practices, respective to their interests and talents, which will be serviceable beyond the borders of a curriculum as defined.

I believe in learning that brings the passions and curiosities of the individual into confrontation (or concert) with the culture and context of a course.  I have found that such an integration of the personal and the discursive consistently helps students locate their own positions in relation to subject matter.  This can only deepen insights, make argumentation more persuasive, and inspire others to the same type of creative honesty.

www.risd.edu/Architecture/Anastasia_Congdon/


September 7, 2012