- PSYCO 400/409 - Honors Seminar II: 2010--present
- PSYCO 104 - Basic Psychological Processes: 2001--2010
- PSYCO 372 - Behaviour in Relation to Genetics: Sept 2003, Jan 2012
- PSYCO 403/505 - Aggressive Behaviour: Sept 2004
- PSYCO 402/414/505 - Advanced Methods, Monte Carlo techniques: Jan 2006, Jan 2008, Jan 2010.
- PSYCO 402/505 - Bootstrapping, Randomization and Experimental Statistics: Jan 2003
- (at U. Texas) - Biostatistics: 2000 & 2001
Teaching Awards:Connie Varnhagen Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award, Departmental Teaching Award 2011.
- Departmental Teaching Honour Roll:
PSYCO104: Fall 2001, Fall 2003, Winter 2004, Fall 2004, Winter 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009.
PSYCO403/505: Fall 2004, Winter 2008, Winter 2010.
PSYCO400/409: Fall 2010-Winter 2011, Fall 2014-Winter 2015.
- Departmental Teaching Honour Roll with
PSYCO104: Fall 2002
PSYCO400/409: Fall 2011-Winter 2012, Fall 2012-Winter 2013, Fall 2013-Winter 2014.
PSYCO402/505: Winter 2003, Winter 2006.
PSYCO414/505: Winter 2011.
- Teaching Evaluations some (non-random, but representative) student comments from past evaluations
- I was Feb 2005's UPA Prof of the month
When I was applying for academic jobs, one of the things I hated most was writing paragraphs on my teaching philosophy. I thought this was because I had none, other than the usual anarcho-punk rock mix of A.S. Neil's Summerhill and Paul Feyerabend. The last few years teaching, supervising and interacting with colleagues has led me to realize that I do have something like a teaching philosophy -- It is "Make them ask 'Why?'"
- High School:
- Learn "answers". The purpose of high school (besides the obvious political indoctrination) is to get used to putting ideas in your head by learning "answers". If you're very lucky/good, you may learn how to teach yourself. Life's most important lessons are taught by the worst teachers. The sooner you get used to learning from people with poor pedagogical skills, the better for you.
- Understand the question "Why?" University is where one hopefully learns that memorizing the answers isn't what education is all about. Simple answers are usually half answers. Knowing a bunch of stuff from a textbook does not make you wise (but thinking about what textbooks are saying, and why, is a good start). If you don't learn how to teach yourself at University, then you missed the most valuable lesson.
- Learn how to ask the question "Why?". Anyone paying attention during their undergraduate years saw the edge of human understanding. Graduate school is an apprenticeship in learning where, why and how to shine light into darkness and how to back out of deadends without getting discouraged.
- Ask "Why?"! Ask "Why?"! Ask "Why?"!
In other words, the point of an undergraduate eduction is not to learn a bunch of facts. it's to produce an understanding. Like the old saying about "give a man a fish to eat, and he'll eat for a day" vs. "teach the man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime*". High School is a pile of dead fish, an undergraduate education is a show and tell of angling gear, while graduate students should be "fishing" for basic knowedge by themselves. The point of each of these stages is not to continue the one before, but to do something completely different, some thing deeper. Emerson tells us "books are for the scholar's idle time", and he's right. Grad students should also be reading, and thinking, a lot, but it is far more important that they should be sticking fishhooks into their thumbs, making mistakes, figuring out problems: doing research. It should be just about impossible to keep a graduate student from filling their head with reading and thinking, but reading is just fertilizer, doing is where the growth happens.
See also the short section on collected advice to grad students on my page of cruft.