pedagogical philosophy?

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Nov 12 2008 - 13:35:11 PST

In general, as Chuck noted, a search committee does not expect a
theoretical explication in a 'statement of pedagogical philosophy'
and discussions of Boal, Friere, Giroux (or Bill Ayers) are likely to
do more harm than good. However, I fear Chuck's advice about being
specific about how you teach this class or that could fall into the
other direction. That is, you probably want to discuss the _kinds_ of
things you do and framing them within a "why" phrased in relatively
plain language that shows some level of common-sense reflection about
the process of teaching. To put it the most stark terms, the
committee probably wants to be reassured that you are neither a rigid
pedant who lectures all the time and throws in a final paper at the
end on one hand, or a total shoot from the hip improviser working
from chaos theory. But it does make a big difference what kind of
rubric under which the job is being offered. A Studio Art program
will have a very different attitude than a Film program offered
within a liberal arts, which will be very different from a Film
program that sees itself as a feeder to the industry. For the liberal
arts, you want to talk about using devising structures that employ
discussion to keep students involved, encouraging critical thinking,
emphasizing process over product. Pre-professional programs more
likely want a focus on necessities of procedure and discipline,
grounded in some larger rationale. (I was on a search committee that
wanted to hire a designer who based his teaching philosophy statement
on Sun Tzu's The Art of War, over my screaming objections...) Fine
art programs are probably best swayed by a more metaphysical approach
that frames teaching as constructing an enviroment that avoids
fencing in the spirit and mystically encourages the inner creative
self (of those few who really have one) to spread its wings and fly.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.