Teaching Philosophy

As a geographer, I have always been interested in exploring the complex relationships between societies and the environment. By engaging students in applied learning, critical thinking, and self-reflection, I aim to cultivate my students’ ability to consider multiple viewpoints when dealing with complicated issues.  By emphasizing positive teacher-student interactions and student diversity, I aim to encourage my students to enjoy learning throughout their lifetime.  I have always enjoyed teaching and appreciated the reward of seeing the growth in my students.  Throughout my academic career, I will continue refining my teaching skills and make teaching a life-long learning process for myself as well.

  • Applied Learning

I am a firm believer in the model of applied learning, which not only connects knowledge with real-world issues, but also promotes independent learning among students.  Delivering fundamental information and ideas about a subject matter is the foundation of teaching.  Equally important is to facilitate students in applying their newly acquired knowledge to contemporary issues that interest them.  In my teaching, I integrate practical projects into my curricula.  With my research expertise in community-based natural resource management, I collaborate with local communities on hands-on environmental projects.  Through applied learning, I aim not only to train students with practical skills, but also to nurture their inclination toward serving the society.

  • Critical Thinking and Self-Reflection

Another facet to my teaching is to cultivate critical thinking and self-reflection in students.  Especially for courses in environmental studies, it is important to challenge students to think beyond what they are familiar with and to develop their sensitivity to diversity among social groups.  One of the core messages I would like to pass on to my students is that there are different perspectives on all social and environmental issues.  As civilized individuals, we should try to understand the causes of these differences and reflect on approaches to resolve conflicts and integrate diversity.

  • Positive Teacher-Student Interactions and Attention to Student Diversity

I believe that teaching should always be a mutual activity.  Positive teacher-student interactions not only allow me to evaluate my own teaching, but also promote active learning environments.  In my teaching, I put emphasis on students and actively solicit their feedback to ensure positive learning experience.  Another aspect to positive teacher-student interactions is attention to student diversity.  The student population consists of people with diverse social backgrounds and varying degrees of strengths and weakness in different learning styles.  Therefore, no one single teaching approach can be received equally well by all students.  To address students’ individual needs, I adopt diverse teaching strategies and evaluation methods.  Through different means of teaching, such as case studies, group discussions, fieldtrips, personal journals, and role plays, I try to provide a variety of learning experience to my students and make an effort to ensure that everyone feels involved.  I believe that everyone has an equal right to education, and, as a teacher, I should do my best to facilitate the learning experience

Teaching Experience

University of Washington, Program on the Environment

Environment 100 – Environmental Studies: Interdisciplinary Foundations
Environment 250 – Environmental Studies: Data Types and Collection Methods
Environment 300 – Environmental Studies: Synthesis and Application
Environment 495C – Socio-Environmental Data Analysis Workshop

Highline College, Department of Geography

Geography 100 – Survey of Geography (Hybrid Class)

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geography

Geography 120 Global Physical Environments
Geography 339 Environmental Conservation
Geography 370 Introduction to Cartography
Geography 377 Introduction to GIS