One of my goals upon completing the Graphic Design M.F.A. program at SCAD is to become an instructor at the college level. This is because positively influencing and guiding others and practicing my craft are things that I am very passionate about. One particular subject that stood out to me was that of teaching design, which was discussed by Sharon Poggenpohl. In her discussion, she stated:
“Design research is stagnant. Many teachers simply replicate what they were taught a generation prior. Teaching the same thing, year after year, stunts the growth of the students. Presuming teacher knows best is dangerous if the teacher is out of touch socially, culturally and technologically or is not growing or changing as an educator or actually questioning their performance as an educator.”
This statement resonated with me so much, because I whole-heartedly agree. My older brother and I are three years apart in age so we had a lot of the same teachers growing up. So often, I can recall coming home with the same school projects and assignments he had three years prior. I have witnessed countless interactions among college students, who have passed around the test answers from three semesters prior to current students. It makes me wonder, are those teachers really helping their students grow to their full potentials, if they are not changing themselves or their practices to cope with the changing times and society? They are not.
It is imperative that teachers of all genres, not just design, stay abreast of this ever-changing society and the differences in generations, to better equip their students for the industries in which they wish to practice. Think about it. If all design teachers never changed their curriculums, methods and approaches to teaching, and outlook on the industry, growth would be stunted; and the design industry could quite possibly become obsolete, as it would no longer be aligned with the times and capable of fulfilling society’s needs.
As a teacher, I wish to help develop my students and their practices in a way that will not only keep them afloat in the industry, but will also help them succeed in positively influencing society with their design practices. The only way to do that though is if I first develop these same practices as a student.
Thanks for reading!
03_NCNP_Provocation#2: Sharon Poggenpohl; Design Research: Building a Culture from Scratch; http://vimeo.com/15694188