A Chinese proverb says, “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” As a result, I always try to make students yearn for learning, always try to engage students in the subject so much that they will want to get the knowledge and master the skills on their own.
At the end of the semester, I often evaluate my success not by the number of “A” grades students have earned, but rather by the number of students who want to work in the profession I have taught them about.
Most of the classes I teach are interactive – in-class deliberations, online discussion boards, group case studies, and brainstorming activities have an ultimate purpose of keeping students involved. Whenever possible, a class has a real client (or clients) students work for, either in groups or individually. This approach builds a link between students’ education and real-world professional activities. Guest lectures by professionals serve the same purpose.
My teaching philosophy, then, is this: “Lecture me and I forget. Quiz me and I remember. Engage me and I understand.”