Dr. William Elenchin
Associate Professor of Sociology
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Plassmann Hall A-6
“Confidence comes not from always being right
but from not fearing to be wrong.”
Peter T. Mcintyre
My teaching philosophy is reflected in the above quote. As an educator, my goal is to help students gain the confidence to step outside of their comfort zone and question what they know, by presenting the material in a manner for students to obtain not only a basic understanding of criminology and criminal justice, but to provide them with a learning structure that allows them to take the material and confidently apply it to real-life situations.
I want students to understand that learning is an ongoing process, which they may struggle through at times, but this struggle provides a growth in learning. Therefore, students should never be afraid to fail because failure teaches each of us important lessons that help us grow and develop as human beings, expanding our knowledge.
Learning takes place in various ways for each student. I believe that students should be provided the material via various means (i.e., lecture, PowerPoint, in and out of class activities), and asked to demonstrate their knowledge of the material as well. Students should also be encouraged to provide their thoughts, opinions, perceptions, and beliefs of the material, even if what they believe to be true is not factual.
As an educator, I provide them with and lead them to the resources they can use to check and question their knowledge, so they will continue to independently learn through my guidance. Therefore, I not only teach my students through the use of various methods, as demonstrated throughout my portfolio, but I encourage them to never be afraid to speak in class and to share their opinions with the class, especially through in-class discussions.
I strive to provide a respectful, encouraging classroom environment, helping students to feel more at ease when discussing or presenting the material to the class. Students are provided with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of criminology and criminal justice as well as demonstrate such knowledge through the use of in-class discussions and presentations, writing assignments, community service, and various projects, each providing students with different means by which they can learn.
If my students learn differently from what I am teaching, I alter my teaching methods to assist the students in efficiently understanding the material. Not only are students encouraged to use my office hours to further expand their knowledge of the material or to ask for help in better understanding the material, but students are encouraged to schedule appointments outside of my office hours to meet with me if they would like to acquire more assistance with understanding the material, or would like to learn a new approach to learning.
In short, as an educator, I provide students with a classroom setting that is encouraging and helpful. I assist students in obtaining not only the basic knowledge of the field of criminology/criminal justice, but I encourage students to apply such knowledge to real-world situations, via assignments and discussions. I also encourage students not only within the classroom, but outside of the classroom, therefore helping them grow as learners and determine what their own life goals are.
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