Sunday, February 21, 2010

R2C2H2 Tha Artivist: My Teaching Philosophy Part One

Copyright By R2C2H2

R2C2H2 Tha Artivist: My Teaching Philosophy Part One

My teaching philosophy is about duality and applicability. Everyone is a teacher and a student at the same time. Learning is a two way street between teacher and student. Learning is best achieved when the learning environment is open and transparent. Fluidity is key in terms of the flow of ideas. When you erase hierarchy and status in the learning environment then you are able to bring down walls and other barriers which can hinder access and growth to new frontiers in the learning experience.

However, I would also say that dissonance and discomfort in the form of adversity and challenges can also help both teacher and student achieve both exceptional standards and achievements in their interactions. Learning should teach all engaged in the process to never be afraid of challenges: Challenges are only opportunities waiting to be exploited. Also doing research and preparation is half the battle in one being able to master daunting philosophies and foreign/new material. Oprah once said that “luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” True teaching teaches one to embrace any opportunity to learn something new by being mentally prepared and receptive.

In terms of applicability, I always tell people there’s a different between information and knowledge. In my paradigm knowledge is when information is applied effectively and proficiently for desired effect/outcome. There is also a difference between being smart and intelligent. In my paradigm smart is a trait whereas intelligence implies putting smarts to strategic use in order to develop an idea and infrastructure suited to one’s advantageous desires and maximum potential.

I for one also believe in the laws of observation and participation. Being an artist many things I learn through visual interaction and observation. I have trained myself to be very aware of my surroundings. Many of the answers to our everyday problems stare us right in the face on a daily basis and some of us can’t see the forest for the trees. I think developing the laws of observation and participation can help one become more socially progressive and engaging. Networking is key to surviving and navigating an economically adverse world like we find ourselves currently in. In other words, it is not always what you do, but rather who you know that may open the door to your future success.

True teaching also shows how one’s weaknesses and limitations are truly one’s strengths. When you learn your limitations you are able to refocus and redirect your energies into seeking knowledge to rectify or supplement your weaknesses. The learner must possess curiosity in order to muster up the courage and drive to seek the necessary knowledge. A teacher’s job is to act as an academic life coach in motivating the pupil to form clear and substantive objectives/goals in order to make the impossible possible.

The best teachers in my opinion are the ones that actually know what they are talking about. True teachers are leaders who do not demand from others what they do not demand from themselves. In a day and age where attention spans are short and people’s temperaments are even shorter, it is important for teacher to provide empirical evidence of the utility and proclivity of their teaching philosophies. In other words, actions speak louder than words and one needs to put up or shut up if they want others to believe that their teaching methods are valid.

(Ron Herd II a.k.a. R2C2H2 Tha Artivist Is Author Of The Award Winning James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant He is also the creator of W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News, Radio & TV He can be reached at

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