Teaching Philosophy of Erika Ogier

Why do I teach?

I teach art because I enjoy engaging with students on a creative level. I love hearing about their experiences and watching them bring those experiences into their art. What are my students thinking about? What excites them? How can we make something that expresses those experiences and interests that at the same time allows them to develop artistic and critical thinking skills?

What do I teach?

My expertise lies in many forms of fine art including and especially computer arts, video production, graphic design, and digital photo manipulation. My goal is for students to gain confidence navigating the language of creative software to meet artistic challenges. Creative technologies and new media open a world of possibilities to students artistically and pragmatically. Through many computer arts programs students learn hands-on 21st century computer skills such as coding, graphic design and technical problem solving. I wish for my students to experience the joys of making with a wide variety of media and technologies, while taking the time to contemplate ethical considerations of digital media and technical skills. What is our relationship to technology and through it what do we value? My students have the right to access the skills and experience to be full participators in 21st century creative production. 
I integrate current technologies into my teaching to build student confidence with the technical and visual language of new media as well as to connect these modern ways of making into their everyday technological experiences.

How do I teach?

The aim of my teaching practice is to encourage equal student/teacher participation, developing dialogic discussion within the classroom. Units of instruction take the form of project based-learning, assisting students in building problem solving skills that will serve them through life. As educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire states: “Problem-posing education affirms men and women as beings in the process of becoming”, therefore emphasizing the process of growth in the classroom as well as recognizing the dynamic social realities we work within. I work hard to create safe, inclusive environments where my students feel confident in exploring narratives & thinking critically about their own experiences. An integral part of human development is exploring your identity and art can be a facilitator for self-discovery. My teaching priority is to cultivating strategies to empower my students’ voices and encourage personal agency through art making. Above all my students know their experiences and opinions are valued in my classroom.

How do I assess my teaching?

I have worked diligently during my time in my graduate department to begin cultivating a lifelong reflective teaching practice that will assist me in reaching my professional goals. With heavy influence of such education theorists Paulo Freire, bell hooks and Miles Horton I recognize the essential connection between reflection and practice in successful cultivation of knowledge. I am experienced in action-based research to assess my own practice and its efficacy in meeting my students’ needs. Narrative Inquiry, as a research tool, as been integral to my practice creating a link between my past influences, my growth as a teacher and my future goals.


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