My name is Dr. Ernest R. R. In 2009 I received my Ph.D. in Cultural History from Union Institute & University. I have been teaching in post-secondary education since 2003 and am published and specialize in research and investigation. My experience in higher education involves long-term adjunct appointments. Currently, I am teaching at Hudson Valley Community College, and at Empire State College, SUNY. Additionally, I am a Research Scholar at the IOU Foundation. My doctoral dissertation was entitled "Clash of Cultures: Uprising at Akwesasne" and centered on the violence at a reservation near Massena, NY from 1989 to 1990. I also have an M.A. in European History and an M.A. in Religion/Ministry with a B.A. in History.
In my personal philosophy for higher education I believe that learning is an affiliation between the student, the instructor, and the academic environment. Each affects the overall goal of learning through the presentation of cultural concepts, ideas, and historical material so it can be integrated into the student’s life experience.
As an instructor, I need to transmit the historical concepts and paradigms for the course using a variety of techniques that include interactive discussion around a central theme or historical point, oral presentations, movies, readings, role-playing, and appropriate student research of course topics. No matter what a student’s preferred learning style is, s/he will have an opportunity to understand the material in a manner that is useful. New technologies such as iPods, iPads and similar devices are used to connect students, instructor, and resources. The use of Twitter, Face-Book, texting and other forms of social networking are also employed. In all of my courses I use e-mail, messaging, and a scholarly blog to connect to students in a professional, culturally relevant manner. I provide information that can be used for extra credit assignments or discussion points in class. In addition, in my role as an instructor I am prepared to help a student identify deficiencies and work with them toward competency in the subject.
Teaching is a primary element of the education experience, however, research is also necessary. A good instructor needs to be well versed in their subject matter and in touch with the latest information available. Keeping up-to-date in scholarship and personal research is important in giving the student the latest information. The syllabus of the course must be clear and direct with expectations and requirements easily understood. A history course should use a variety of assessment tools to evaluate the student’s progress in the course. They could include written work, testing and oral presentation and may also have interdisciplinary outcomes such as portfolios and scholarly presentations.
It is incumbent upon the student acquire information and concepts and then synthesize and organize them in a fashion that is usable. Students should find the areas in which they are deficient and develop the needed skills. Positive reinforcement should be used to change academic behavior and to increase class participation. The teacher should remove from the process any self-aggrandizement or ego which would hinder the learning scenario and teacher-student relationship.
The academic environment is another facet of learning. It needs to be conducive to teaching and learning. The student and instructor should feel free to ask questions and discuss various topics of the course without ridicule or censor. Students should be challenged through competent instruction to rise to new levels of understanding and accomplishment. In addition, teachers need to be aware and open to student needs and able to assist or direct them as the circumstance dictates. In teaching it is important the presentation of information is stimulating and promotes a positive experience.
I am married with two grown children and reside in the Frear Park area of Troy, NY. My family and I also enjoy going, hiking, camping, kayaking, snow-shoeing and Geocaching.
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