Teaching Philosophy

I believe that students learn best when they feel a sense of wonderment, engagement, and pride for the course material; in short, I believe that enthusiasm motivates learning (teaching philosophy). I plan to instill enthusiasm in my students by promoting self discovery, peer-to-peer learning and collaboration, and hands-on activities in both the laboratory and the field.

Althea ArchMiller 2014

If you want to build a ship,
don’t drum up people together
to collect wood and
don’t assign them tasks and work,
but
rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
–Antoine de Saint-Exupry

One way that I have used peer learning in the classroom was as a co-instructor for a statistics course for graduate ecologists. We developed a group peer-assessment approach that used a calibrated rubric (see ArchMiller et al. In Press).

Students reported that the calibrated rubric helped scaffold their understanding and that peer-review increased their exposure to alternate ways to approach statistical problem-solving. For some, this activity was a highlight of the class.