Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2008

Faculty Award winner

Scott Waring

 College of Education

 Teaching and Learning Principles

I believe that education begins at birth and is a life-long process and that all people have the capacity to learn. I believe that all effective educators realize this and embrace their role as a facilitator of knowledge and passion for learning. I believe in a multiple intelligences approach (Gardner, 1993) to instruction, a belief that each person is a unique individual who has a style of learning that is different from the next. I believe that it is an educator’s responsibility to find the most effectual instructional methods for the each unique student. I believe that the development of curriculum should begin with the desired understandings to be gained by the students and instruction should be constructed with these aims in mind (Wiggins & McTighe, 2007).Historically, the teaching of social studies content is done in a passive and tedious manner, which is evidenced through numerous surveys listing social studies as the respondent’s least favorite subject. I believe that social studies is an alive, active, and dynamic subject that must be taught in a manner in which a passion and enthusiasm must be present and displayed. I am one who insists on practicing what I preach, as I hope to change the outlook for how social studies can and “should” be taught. Real learning must be experiential and meaningful to the individual and facilitate the students' own construction of knowledge rather than forcing students to become passive recipients of “fact-based” content, without any relevance to his or her life.Students, within a course of mine, will have an opportunity to understand what it is that social scientists do and experience disciplined inquiry firsthand. Traditionally, when it comes to social studies, students are asked to read the chapter, define the vocabulary words, and answer the questions at the back of the book. This is not learning! I believe it is my role to change this mentality and to instill a passion for lear