Teaching Philosophy

My views of teaching and learning begin with the understanding the pursuit of knowledge is an active lifelong process. Teaching students in the 21st century requires wearing three intertwined hats. These three hats are motivator, counselor, and mentor.

As a motivator it is my duty as the teacher to help students understand the value of lifelong learning, and to help students understand they need more drive for education than just linking course activities to the achievement of their goals (e.g., their grades). Often, this is helping students redefine success. In our environment, success is about developing a process for learning using course content as lessons (i.e., field specific norms or life). When students grasp the idea of learning over focusing on grades, their intrinsic motivation takes over.

Often, intrinsically motivated students are ready to handle tough tasks. Usually, these students fear tough tasks because of the unknown elements of the task. As a teacher, it is my duty to help students realize they are capable of handling tough tasks, but to do so, I must be a counselor. In counseling, it is important I understand the student. This requires me to observe and listen to the student gathering information about their likes, dislikes, and issues that may be taking place in their life. Learning this information allows me to better design and augment the delivery of the course content helping students develop and refine their learning process to better handle tough tasks. Further, this information also helps with mentoring students.

To be a capable mentor, I have to understand the student’s learning process and motivations. As a teacher and mentor, this information allows me to work with students in research settings producing scholarship, designing plans for graduate school or law school, or making other decisions (i.e., career or life). When situations arise, this information helps me discuss with the student the different choices the situation presents. With the known information at the time of the situation and knowing their motivations, I can help the student use their learning process to make a decision. In addition, in my role as a mentor, it is vital, I serve as a model for this process. This takes the process out of a theoretical lens and allows students to see one way of applying the learning process.

When all three hats have been worn and applied by the teacher, the student learns. Usually, the student realizes their learning process can be applied to any situation. Importantly, they begin to realize the need for additional information and repetitions to continue to refine their learning process. As time passes and the student has had many repetitions applying their learning process to various situations, they tend to understand how their lifelong pursuit of knowledge has influenced and changed others. This is evident when some assume employment with teaching, discretionary, management or supervisory responsibilities. Words cannot convey the happiness it brings me to see a former student in one of these positions working with their students or fellow employees teaching them to use their learning process to engage lifelong learning. In my career in higher education, I work with our current students, and I have had the honor to, continuously, work with countless alumni through this process. As a teacher, motivator, counselor, and mentor, this is my greatest joy.

Recent Courses Taught:

Computer and Electronic Crime

Examination of legal policy and technical issues of computer and electronic crime.

Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice

Focuses on the use of statistical techniques in criminal justice. Emphasis on the application and interpretation of the statistics. Utilization of statistical application computer systems.

Research Methods

The application of quantitative and qualitative analyses in criminal justice research. The concepts of validity, reliability, hypothesis development and testing, measurement, sampling, experimental, quasi-experimental construction, errors in reasoning, and approaches to the problems of the conduct of stringent and useful research.

Criminal Justice Systems

A study of the criminal justice system n the United States. A systems approach to the study of criminal justice and the interrelationships of the various components of the system. Social and political issues related to the criminal justice system are examined in depth.