In 1989 I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Elementary Education. I taught in Philadelphia at the University City New School (4th, 5th, 6th grades) and later worked in a wildnerness program (VisionQuest) with youth (13-18) based out of Pennsylvania. These experiences, along with jobs that required a lot of training of adults, led me to my current passion of working with young adult or adult learners.
From 2009-2015 I was the Faculty Director of the Wellness Living and Learning Community at DU. This small group of freshman live together, explore wellness in the community (such as hot springs and sound healing) and take 3 classes together during the year. During this period of my work, I developed 3 new wellness courses, including an Introduction to Wellness, Spiritual and Emotional Wellness and Community Wellness. Over the years, WLLC students did wellness projects in Denver spanning the entire life course, developing wellness promotion with newborns to elders in a variety of community settings.
When GSSW determined to start an on-line social work program, my course development took a new turn and I learned how to build a 10 week on-lline course, with both asynchronous and synchronous content. Learning new pedagogy and planning for online courses has strongly influenced the way I think about teaching and learning.
Zone of Proximal Development
I first read Vygotsky (1978) as a junior in college (1988) and it changed my understanding of how people learn, and helped me recognized the value of support and encouragement in the learning process. It became the foundation for how I approach my students, as I assume they will "get there" with a combination of guiadance and the chance to make sense of it on their own. Graduate students will soon be our professional colleagues and I aim to give them the tools to figure solutions in the field. Truth and knowledge change and evolve, so the process of becoming a self-reflective, life-long learner is really what I want for students as an outcome.