Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2008

Faculty Award winner

Stephen Kuebler

 College of Sciences

 Chemistry

My teaching philosophy is that pedagogic activities should be guided by the principal: “Do this if it enables students to learn.” My teaching practices should empower students to take ownership of their education and help them realize that they are responsible for their learning outcomes. When students take this step, they can make striking progress and achieve academic success. I find that when I can convey my own enthusiasm for physical science, it is often contagious enough that students become engaged in learning. I try to help students transition from memorizing formulas to thinking critically about ideas and connecting concepts with everyday examples. I encourage students to tackle problems creatively, which helps them learn to think outside conventional boundaries and to seek the deeper meaning of a concept or finding. These skills have facilitated the greatest advances in science and also foster personal and intellectual fulfillment.I believe teaching is the most important service I provide to the Central Florida Community, because I am helping to educate a generation to function knowledgeably in a society where rapid technological advances constantly pose new questions and ethical challenges. I view teaching as inextricably linked with research scholarship.  University education must go beyond simply passing on information. It should involve rigorous training in the methods of developing, analyzing, and communicating new knowledge. Teaching should extend well beyond the lecture hall. For many students, the most powerful lessons are learned in informal discussions, working problems during office hours, and encountering science first-hand in the lab.I chose an academic career because I want to develop new knowledge through research, as well as contribute to my field and society by training top-rate students. There appears to be no single perfect method for teaching, and an important aspect of teaching seems to be identifying the app